The In-A-Pinch 10¢ DIY Tablet Stylus Pen

The In-A-Pinch 10¢ DIY Tablet Stylus Pen

Taryn Williford
Sep 2, 2011

We're still trying to think of a stylus emergency. Maybe if you lost all of your fingertips in a horrific factory accident? And you're the only one around? And your only means of communication is a capacitive touchscreen device? Whatever. The point is that one of you might need to MacGyver yourself a touch-screen pen stylus sometime in the near future. Here's how you do it.

Apparently, Scotch Brite sponges are well-known to be made of a conductive material. You could technically hold the yellow side of a Scotch Brite in your hand and control your iPad with the tip of the corner of the sponge.

But before you get sent to the loony bin for operating your iPad with a sponge, try this hack: Wrap a bit of craft wire around a cut piece of Scotch Brite sponge. Then, empty the inkwell from a cheap ballpoint pen and poke a little hole through one side of the case near the point of the pen. Draw the wired sponge up through the pen point, leaving a little point of sponge exposed at the end, and wrap the excess wire around the outside of the pen case.

As long as you have your finger resting on the wrapped wire, that bit of sponge at the point of the pen will allow you to point and drag all over any touch screen.

So if you ever find yourself without fingertips, but conveniently in the company of some conductive wire (paperclips would work, too!) and a Scotch Brite sponge, you know you can still whip out your iPhone and dial 911. You should definitely go do that, by the way, if you're still missing your fingertips.

Want more DIY Stylus options? Check these out:

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