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DIY Soft iPhone and iPad Stylus

As much as we all love finger painting, drawing is often more precise and comfortable when using a marking tool.  It’s exciting to see capacitive multi-touch screens become the norm, but the range of stylus options is still pretty limited.

Current iPhone and iPad drawing tools fall into two camps: foil sticks and wet wands.  Foil sticks are pretty straight forward to make.  Just grab a sheet of aluminum and roll/crumple it into a pencil shape.  The only problem is that the part that touches the screen is hard and needs to be pretty large, requiring the user to write at a very specific angle.  On the other side, wet wands use a soft, wet element to interact with the screen, such as a sausage or a q-tip.  They work well for a while, but either need to be frequently rehydrated or start to go bad.

We’ve been experimenting with conductive foams and fabrics in search of a middle ground.  Fortunately, it’s quite easy to make a soft, conductive writing tool using some pretty basic materials.  All you need is a pencil, an anti-static sock (such as this one, with X-Static in the foot area which contains conductive silver thread), and some patience to cut and sew it all together.

See the detailed step-by-step instructions in our Soft iPhone and iPad stylus instructable.


  1. […] Adam Kumpf from the design firm Teague in Seattle demonstrates a DIY soft conductive stylus for use with an iPhone, iPad, or any other device with a capacitive touch screen. We’ve been […]

  2. […] Genug Gefühlsduselei, harren wir der Dinge, die da kommen! Apropos Ausharren: Seitdem Autodesk mit AutoCAD R12 die Mac-Plattform fallen ließ, sind der Gerüchte viele und der Wunsch vieler Macianer nach einem Comeback stark gewesen. Eventuell ist Rettung jetzt zum Greifen nahe. Jedenfalls wenn man diesem Beitrag Glauben schenken darf. In der Zwischenzeit gibt es aber von Autodesk handfesteres: das Sketch Book Pro für das iPad. Wer mit dem iPad nicht wie ein Kindergartenkind (oder eine Katze) Fingermalen möchte, für den gibt es die folgende Lösung: […]

  3. […] do DS Labs criou uma solução barata: bastam um lápis e uma meia velha para você ter uma stylus. O vídeo no site mostra o improviso em ação – e parece funcionar muito […]

  4. My friend Catherine reminded me that you can use your tongue to take a picture so you don’t have to take your gloves off. Faster and easier than carrying and using a stylus!

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