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DIY: The 2-minute Stylus

Gather a few cheap materials at home and in less than 2 minutes, make a stylus that works with your phone or tablet.

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Sharon Vaknin/CNET

At some point, you'll realize that your finger isn't always ideal for using on your phone or tablet.

For me, the epiphany came when I realized that a stylus would help me draw more accurately on my tablet. But because I was not willing to spend $10 to $30 on a piece of metal or wait for the product to ship, I opted for a DIY solution.

To function, a stylus needs to be able to carry the static electricity from your finger to a conductive material and onto the screen. With that in mind, I created a stylus out of supercheap materials I had at home.

Within minutes, I made a free stylus for doing anything from browsing the Web to drawing masterpieces. I'm calling it "The 2-minute Stylus."

Here's what you'll need:

  • A cotton swab (aka "Q-tip")
  • Aluminum foil
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • A pen

1. Remove the ink from the pen.

2. Cut the cotton swab at a sharp angle and insert it into the mouth of the pen. Secure with tape.

3. Wrap the foil around the neck of the pen, a couple of centimeters above the tip of the cotton swab. Wrap tightly, and secure with tape at the top.

4. Moisten the cotton swab with a drop of water. (No, this will not harm your tablet's or phone's screen.)

That's it! Your stylus is ready for use. Note that your finger must be touching the foil at all times, and if your stylus stops functioning, re-moisten it with a touch of water.

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