How to Make a Mahlstick

By Alina Bradford

maul stick on drawingMahlsticks are used to hold the hand off an artwork so that the pastel, ink, graphite or paint isn’t smudged. You can buy mahlsticks in art stores, but they usually cost anywhere from $15-$30. You can make this mahlstick for around $5 in under 10 minutes. It is a great art supply to have around no matter what type of artist you are.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Things You’ll Need:

  • 2 tennis balls 
  • 12-24 inch long dowel 
  • Utility Knife 
  1. Cutting the tennis ballHold a tennis ball firmly in one hand and cut a 1/2″ slash with the utility knife. 
  2. Turn the tennis ball and make another 1/2″ slash in it so that the two cuts make and “X”. 
  3. Repeat Step 1 and 2 with the other tennis 
  4. ball. 
  5. Slide each end of the dowel into the tennis ball. Use the mahlstick by finishing the mahl sticklaying it on your work surface so that it creates a bridge over your artwork. 

How to Use a Mahl Stick

Rest your hand on the “bridge” while you work on your art. Move the mahlstick as needed.

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