iPad Artists: Avoiding Accidental Gestures

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The iPad is an empowering device and just so happens to be a great tool for artists. I draw with my iPad all the time, but I found that I often drag my hand across the iPad’s surface and accidentally add unwanted lines and shapes. With a little ingenuity, however, I hand-crafted a solution.

After trying a surprisingly long list of materials — and crowd sourcing for answers on Twitter — I found that the most reliable material for keeping accidental hand movements from registering as iPad gestures was felt. With a piece of felt between my hand and iPad surface I could rest my hand on my drawing while I was working, and the felt slid with my hand without any resistance.

My swatch of felt didn’t feel substantial enough to hold up under long-term use, so I added a layer of 2mm art foam to the back of the felt. Here’s how:

  • Start by cutting your art foam to the finished size that’s comfortable for you. I used a juice glass as a stencil so that my finished hand rest would be round.
  • Next, cut a piece of felt that’s a little bigger than your art foam.

Use spray adhesive to attach the felt to the art foam.

  • Once I had my art foam and felt, I coated one side of the art foam with spray adhesive. That gave me an even adhesive layer and left my foam disc flexible.
  • Press the felt to the art foam, and apply even pressure for about 30 minutes to let the spray adhesive properly set. A couple of heavy books and my coffee table worked great for keeping the pressure even while the adhesive did its magic.

Use a heavy book to apply pressure to the freshly-glued parts.

  • Once the spray adhesive is dry, trim the felt to the shape of the art foam. By trimming the felt afterwards instead of starting with a piece that’s the same size as the art foam, you’ll have better luck at keeping spray-on glue from oozing out and getting on the surface that’ll eventually rub against your iPad display.

Trim the felt to the shape of the art foam after the glue dries.

  • Your new hand protector is ready to use. The felt side goes against the iPad display, and you rest your hand on the art foam.

Gesture-free drawing thanks to my home-made pad.

I was able to find all the materials I needed at my local Hobby Lobby arts and crafts store:

  • 2mm art foam. The brand at my art store is Funky Foam.
  • Felt square.
  • Spray adhesive. I used Elmer’s Multi-Purpose Spray Adhesive.

With my foam and felt drawing puck in place, I can draw with my finger or Pogo Sketch stylus with my hand in a more natural position. In addition to keeping my hand from accidentally touching my iPad display while I’m drawing, my hand protector disc is small and light weight enough that I can toss it into my iPad bag without adding any bulk.

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Jared Apperson

Fracking brilliant, Jeff.  I dig it!  I’m on it…

Now quick, get the patent secured and market that thing!



Now quick, get the patent secured and market that thing!

We already have a patent.

Sent from my iPad


Too late. I already got a patent for “A Roundish Thingy to Prevent Messing Up Your Stuff”. That probably covers it.


I just cut an appropriately sized rectangle out of a can coozy I got for free!

Learn how to make your own stylus here:



ps. many artists wear fingerless gloves, though that would look quite dorky in an important business meeting.


Many artists have also been trained to draw without resting their hand on their surface. wink


I don’t have a patent for one, but I do have a copyright for the name.

I call it the “iPad Pad”


Looks great,..now if someone can actually design a stylus that has a pointed tip so I don;t have to feel like I’m drawing with a rounded off Crayola crayon!! Oh,...and then make the IPad pressure sensitive….Then we are set.


many artists wear fingerless gloves, though that would look quite dorky in an important business meeting.

Maybe so,...but no less dorky than having an iPdad at the meeting perhaps.

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