A step-by-step tutorial on making a touch-screen-compatible pen for your tablet or smartphone using inexpensive parts from around your home or office.
In this step-by-step tutorial (inspired by iLearn), we're going to show how to make your own capacitive stylus that you can use with touch-screen devices, such as tablets and smartphones. The materials you'll need are a pen, a paper clip, and a sponge. With any luck, you can "borrow" these from your work.
Next, slice a little rectangular wedge off the sponge. You're going to be squeezing a chunk of this through the barrel of the pen, so make sure it's small enough to get in, but thick enough to stay put. Any sponge should do, so long as it has a little moisture in it. You can always test it out by just using it directly on your screen.
Carefully drill a hole on the pen barrel near the tip. The hole needs to be big enough for the paper clip to get through.
If you don't have a drill bit, you could also a Phillips-head screwdriver bit (and some patience). One CNET reader also had some success melting a hole in the pen with a cigarette lighter. Whatever MacGyver technique you use, please be careful. It's very easy to slip and hurt your fingers. However tempting it may be, do not use a knife or scissors to accomplish this step or you will get cut and people will laugh at you. Seriously, don't.
Now, shove the sponge through the barrel so it pokes out of the tip. This part is easily the most frustrating. Make sure the sponge is moist enough that you can pinch the end and feed it through the opening. Then try twisting and pushing the sponge until it's most of the way in.
If you're not having any luck, try trimming the sponge down to a smaller size.
So long as your hand is in contact with the paper clip's metal, it will carry an electric charge through the sponge and to the screen. It won't work if the sponge is completely dried out, but a few drops of water should get you back in business.