Welcome back to another exciting installment of our weekly DIY project spotlight. Every week, we track down handmade projects that we think are particularly clever, useful, and easy to do yourself. Last week, we spotlighted a sweet chalkboard iPad display for your kitchen. When your iPad isn’t on it, you can leave love notes to your sweetheart.
This week, we found a video tutorial for making a stylus marker out of the shell of an EXPO whiteboard pen and some particularly good conductive foam. If you are more comfortable holding a nice fat stylus instead of a skinny thin one, this project may be what you are looking for.
You’ll need a pair of needle nose pliers, wire strippers, scissors, conductive foam (you can use a household sponge if you can’t find good conductive foam), an exacto knife, copper wire, a drill with an 18-gauge drill bit, and the EXPO whiteboard marker. If you have another brand of fat marker lying around the house, I’m pretty sure anything will work. You will be cutting the foam to fit the tip anyway.
You’ll need to gut the marker by removing the ink and tip. It is recommended to tap out the tip using a hammer. Take off the back of the pen’s tube and pull out the inkpad. I would recommend washing out the tube just to be sure it is nice and clean and won’t accidentally get ink all over your iPad.
Then, cut a small, rectangular strip of conductive foam and strip a length of copper wire so that the metal is exposed. Wrap the wire around one end of the foam strip multiple times so that it is good and conducty.
Drill four holes in the marker tube. Two should be at the top and two at the bottom. Then, send the wire from the foam strip through the top of the marker tube and thread it through all four holes. This allows the copper to be exposed to your skin, which is what causes the conductivity to activate on the iPad’s touch screen.
The last step is to cut the foam into a chisel shape and clean it up with your scissors. Once you’ve shaped the new tip, you’ll have a perfect working fat-tipped stylus marker.
The creator of this project, “timonthetubes,” tried out a number of different types of foam to make the perfect stylus and recommends using the conductive foam from a NTE74HC151 Integrated Circuit from Frys.
Check out the video below for the entire how-to video. Click here for a direct link to YouTube if you are having trouble viewing the video.