Picture of DIY LED Lanterns for Kids!

Tools & Materials Recommended:
*Lasercutter (or an xacto and very steady hand)
*3D Printer
*Basic Soldering Equipment
*Durable string
*Coloured Cellophane
*Paint or Markers
*Two-Sided Tape
*Hot Glue
*3 AAA batteries and holder
*Custom LED Circuit

There are three files attached to this page that you'll need:
*3D Printed Moon CAD file
*Lantern Exterior CDR file
*LED Circuit PDF
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: The Battery Pack

Picture of The Battery Pack
Note: I chose to spray paint my lantern black.  You can do with yours as you please.  From now on, I'll be referring to the black side as the "front", and the blank side as the "back".

The square piece with one off-set hole in it is the base of your lantern.  Run the wires of the battery pack through the hole, such that the battery pack is on the back side.

Now take your lantern sides (the long piece of cardboard with all of the pictures on it), and hold the image of the house up.  The rectangle hole that is missing in the house is where our switch will go.  We're going to cut the positive (red) wire on our battery pack such that the switch is lined up with the hole in the house.

Step 2: The Switch

Picture of The Switch
Solder the switch to the red wire.  Make sure it can reach the hole in the house!

Next, slide one half of the moon over both wires.  (This step is important!)

Step 3: The LED Circuit

Picture of The LED Circuit
We used a custom board for our LED--but you don't have to.  This circuit can be replicated with a 1W LED and a PTC Resistor. 

Once you've soldered the LED to the ends of the battery pack, it's time to position it for optimal lighting.  Bend the LED such that it's pointed straight down.  Now, hold up the top half of the moon, and position the lower half  just low enough along the wire to fit the LED in the very top of the other half of the moon.  Drop a bit of hot glue in the bottom of the lower moon to hold it in place on the wire.

Nice and superb instructables.
poofrabbit2 years ago
Congratulations on being a finalist in the Halloween contest!!! Can’t wait to see if you win! Good luck!
solderface (author)  poofrabbit2 years ago
Thanks!! :)
tarabrown2 years ago
The kids are pretty cute too. I'm going to send these to our friends at Mt Elliot Makerspace in Detroit. Some blocks there don't have any street lights.
iceng2 years ago
Very good looking Lantern.

Where did you get the LED ?
and how many ohms is the resistor ?
joechiu iceng2 years ago
You should not use a regular resistor, as it's very difficult to regulate high-power LED's using a simple resistor.

This design uses a PTC resistor "fuse" (aka resettable fuse, polyfuse) to regulate current.

The PDF has the complete parts list for this kit. I've also put them on sale at tindie. Please follow the link from
solderface (author)  iceng2 years ago
The PDF has a schematic and all part numbers included. You can look them up on Mouser or other online parts distributor. :)