These work with any capacitive screen or trackpad such as the Apple iPad, iPhone, or iTouch.
Materials: synthetic kitchen sponge such as the Scotch Brite sponge. Use a new one right out of the package. Old dried up sponges don’t work. Use the soft part, not the pot-scrubber, scratchy part of the sponge. You can cut off a piece and trim it with household scissors. I start with a piece about 1/2 inch (1.2 cm) square and an inch (2.5 cm) long. Later I trim it down to about 1/4 inch (5 mm) in diameter. You’ll also need some aluminum foil.
I discovered that the material that holds the sponge has to conduct electricity. I guess your fingers (and body) act as a ground. So plastic pens, straws and other holders don’t work.
1. Mini Maglite. I unscrewed the lens and popped out the lamp and its holder and took out the batteries and stuck a piece of sponge in the end. This worked well and felt comfortable in the hand, but in practical use the tip was too big. It was no better than drawing with my index finger.
2. Pentel stainless steel body pen. I unscrewed the tip which also included the ink cartridge on this pen. This left the barrel and the cap. I made a stylus with a piece of sponge rolled up in some aluminum foil and stuck it in the end of the barrel. This makes a very nice stylus. You can replace the cap and it looks like a normal pen that you can carry with you in a shirt pocket or bag.
3. Sponge and aluminum foil. This one is the easiest and fastest to make. It’s very nice to use. It’s lightweight and you can use it at any angle. Just fold some aluminum foil over half of the piece of sponge, compress it, and continue to roll, compress, and crumple the foil until you have the diameter and length of pen you want.
4. Plastic drinking straw and aluminum foil. This makes a very nice, lightweight, and rigid stylus. Roll a piece of sponge between your fingers to compress it and work it into the end of a straw. Then wrap the straw with aluminum foil and secure the ends with clear tape. I also ran a piece of tape on the seam of the foil along the length of the straw. Be sure to have some foil wrapped around the sponge. I cut the straw to be about 6 inches (15 cm) long. I put sponge at both ends of the straw. That way it doesn’t matter how I pick it up; it always works. Also, it’s fun to tell your friends that one end is for drawing and the other is for erasing. I do a little drawing in Brushes and then hold up the stylus and make a big deal of turning it over while secretly double tapping the upper left corner of the screen with my left hand to change from brush to eraser. This bit of misdirection works every time. For added amusement I hand them the stylus and let them try.
5. Just a short version of #4. This one works well for detail and it’s easy to carry around as a spare.