How to Make a Stylus for iPad: DIY Guide for Touchscreen Precision

Making a stylus for an iPad can be a fun and straightforward DIY project. All you need is a pen, some cotton, aluminum foil, and tape. After creating your homemade stylus, you’ll be able to use it just like a store-bought one, navigating your iPad with precision and ease.

After completing your DIY stylus, you can use it to draw, write, and select items on your iPad screen without the need for your fingers. It’s a great way to keep your screen clean and free from fingerprints.


Have you ever found yourself in need of a stylus for your iPad but didn’t have one on hand? Or perhaps you’re just looking for a fun DIY project to do at home. Making your own stylus is not only resourceful but can also save you some cash. Plus, it’s a quick and easy process that anyone can do with a few household items.

Styluses have become increasingly popular as touch screen devices, like iPads, have become more prevalent. They allow for more precise control when drawing, writing, or selecting items on the screen, and they’re also helpful for those who have difficulty using their fingers on the touchscreen. Whether you’re an artist looking to create digital art, a student taking notes, or just someone who prefers using a stylus, this project is for you.

How to Make a Stylus for iPad

The following steps will guide you through the process of creating your homemade stylus for iPad use.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

You will need a pen, cotton, aluminum foil, and tape.

Before you begin, ensure you have all the necessary materials. An old pen with a removable ink cartridge works best, as it provides a hollow barrel to work with. Cotton can be from a cotton ball or the end of a cotton swab. The aluminum foil and tape are used to create a conductive tip that interacts with the iPad’s screen.

Step 2: Prepare the Pen

Remove the ink cartridge and any internal components from the pen.

Once you’ve gathered your materials, take the pen apart. Retract or fully remove the ink cartridge, leaving you with just the outer shell. This will be the body of your stylus, so make sure it’s clean and free of any ink residue.

Step 3: Create the Tip

Wrap a small piece of cotton around the tip of the pen and secure it with tape.

The cotton acts as a buffer between the aluminum foil and the screen, helping to mimic the touch of a finger. Make sure the cotton is not too bulky, as it needs to fit comfortably within the aluminum foil.

Step 4: Add the Aluminum Foil

Wrap the pen tip covered in cotton with aluminum foil and secure it with tape, making sure the foil is in contact with the cotton.

The aluminum foil needs to be secure enough that it won’t easily rip or come off when using the stylus. It should also be smooth to ensure it glides across the iPad screen without scratching it.

Step 5: Test Your Stylus

Use your new stylus to interact with your iPad’s touchscreen.

After completing your stylus, it’s time to test it out. If you find that it’s not working, make sure the aluminum foil is making good contact with the cotton and that there are no gaps or tears in the foil.


Cost-effectiveMaking your own stylus can save you money compared to buying a commercial product.
CustomizableYou can create a stylus that fits your personal preferences, like length and width.
Easy to replaceIf your homemade stylus wears out or breaks, you can easily make a new one.


DurabilityA DIY stylus may not be as durable as a store-bought one and may require frequent replacements.
SensitivityDepending on the materials used, a homemade stylus might not be as responsive as commercial options.
AestheticsA homemade stylus might not have the polished look of a professionally manufactured stylus.

Additional Information

Creating a stylus for your iPad is not only a practical solution for when you’re in a pinch, but it’s also an excellent opportunity to recycle materials you already have at home. When making your stylus, you can experiment with different types of cotton or foil to find the combination that works best for you. Additionally, consider wrapping the body of the pen in decorative tape or paper to personalize your stylus further.

Keep in mind that while a DIY stylus is convenient, it might not have all the features of a stylus designed specifically for iPad use, such as pressure sensitivity or palm rejection. However, for basic navigation and drawing tasks, a homemade stylus can work remarkably well.


  1. Gather a pen, cotton, aluminum foil, and tape.
  2. Prepare the pen by removing its ink cartridge.
  3. Create the tip by wrapping cotton around the pen’s tip and securing it with tape.
  4. Add aluminum foil over the cotton and secure it with tape.
  5. Test the stylus on your iPad’s touchscreen.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use any pen to make a stylus?

Yes, any pen with a removable ink cartridge should work, but it’s best to use one with a round and smooth barrel.

Does the cotton need to be a specific type?

No, any cotton will work as long as it’s not too bulky and can be covered by the aluminum foil.

Can I use something other than aluminum foil?

Aluminum foil is recommended because it’s conductive and interacts well with the touchscreen. Other conductive materials could potentially work, but they might not be as effective.

How can I make my stylus more durable?

Using stronger tape or multiple layers of foil can help increase the durability of your stylus.

Can this stylus be used on other touchscreen devices?

Yes, this homemade stylus should work on most capacitive touchscreens, not just iPads.


Making a stylus for your iPad is a quick, simple, and cost-effective way to enhance your touchscreen experience. While it may not have all the bells and whistles of a store-bought stylus, it’s a satisfactory solution for everyday use. This DIY project not only taps into your creativity but also encourages you to recycle materials you already have at home.

With a bit of practice, you can perfect your homemade stylus and maybe even prefer it over the commercial alternatives. Happy crafting and enjoy your new iPad accessory!