How to Make an iPhone Stylus

By Jeffrey Brian Airman

You can make a stylus for an iPhone screen using a few items you may already have around the house. A stylus is any writing and drawing tool used to transfer information from the hand to the surface. The touch-sensitive iPhone screen is activated when electricity is conducted from the body to the device through the fingertips. An inexpensive homemade iPhone stylus is comfortable in the hand and conducts electricity to the screen without causing damage.

Things You'll Need

  • Razor blade
  • Conductive foam
  • Chrome or stainless steel mechanical pencil

Step 1

Cut off a chunk of conductive foam about half the size of a postage stamp. Conductive foam is the spongy black or dark gray foam that is often used to hold chips and other circuitry in a static-free environment during storage. Visit an electronics or computer-repair store and ask for some; you will likely be given scraps for free.

Step 2

Dump all the lead out of the mechanical pencil and spread open the adjustable guide pipe at the tip as far as it will go. This is generally done by depressing a button or spinning the cam at the writing end of the pencil.

Step 3

Pinch and twist a narrow end on the chunk of conductive foam until about half-an-inch of its length can be inserted up into the open guide pipe. Tighten the guide pipe down onto the foam by releasing the button or spinning the cam.

Step 4

Trim the protruding section of the foam chunk into the rounded cylindrical form of a small fingertip. Those inclined to draw on the iPhone screen may choose to make a series of styli with different-shaped tips to create varying line widths.

Step 5

Hold the stylus in your uncovered hand and press the conductive foam tip lightly to the screen of the iPhone to make sure it is responding properly. Try using a different mechanical pencil if the first one does not properly conduct your electricity to the screen.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wrap the mechanical pencil with cloth or other adhesive tape to make the stylus grip softer. Make sure you are still able to make direct contact with the metal when holding the stylus.
  • Pressing hard with the homemade stylus on an iPhone screen may cause the conductive foam to tear or get pushed off to the side. If the stylus is used with the foam out of place it may scratch an iPhone screen.