All the popular mobile phones and tablets, including the iPhone and the iPad, have capacitive touchscreens meaning you either need to use your fingers or need a dedicated stylus to draw and write on the touch screen.

The most popular stylus pens – like the Bamboo Stylus or the AluPen Stylus – have received mostly favorable reviews on Amazon but they are also expensive. You should probably get a dedicated stylus If you are a digital artist, or if you have really long nails, but if you just want to experience how it is to write or sketch with a stylus, here’s an alternative.

An Home-made Stylus for the iPhone or iPad

All you need to make your own capacitive stylus is a cotton ear bud (some may know them as cotton swabs), a piece of thin aluminium foil (also known as tin foil) and some drinking water.

Wrap the foil around the ear bud such that the metal touches the cotton portion of the bud. Then dip the cotton in water such that it becomes slightly wet and your stylus is now ready to use. Check this video for a demo.