How to Create a Homemade Stylus for Your Kindle Fire

On deadline for this week’s Kindle Chronicles, I found a cool-looking app for the Kindle Fire named Smart Writing Tool. It costs 99 cents, and it enables you to write cursive text on your Kindle Fire or other capacitive tablet screen. Your scribbling turns into readable text. You can use your finger, but I thought it would be more fun to try it with a stylus. Unfortunately, mine is in Denver, not here in Cambridge, Mass. What to do?

I Googled “homemade tablet stylus” and came up with several videos showing how to cut up a sponge and stuff it into a ballpoint pen from which you have removed the ink cartridge and spring. This one is a good example of the genre. I found an unused sponge in the kitchen, and with my trusty Swiss Army penknife, I sliced off enough of the sponge to jam into the end of the empty pen. It worked!

Okay, it’s not a elegant or reliable text-entry device, but it worked well enough for me to try the Smart Writing app and to post a tweet with it. There is a better way to enter text and drawings on a Kindle Fire, though, and it costs just $10.91 at Amazon. It’s the AmazonBasics Stylus for Touchscreen Devices, and I ordered one that will arrive in a couple of days.

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