Introduction: Halloween LED Paper Crafts

Picture of Halloween LED Paper Crafts

Halloween is right around the corner, and we know you'll need something spooky and geeky to light up your party. That's why Brown Dog Gadgets cooked up some fun LED paper decorations with our conductive tape kit.

Step 1: Supplies Needed

Picture of Supplies Needed

To make the Jack-O-Lantern, Grumpy Ghost, and Spooky Spider you will need the following:

Tools

  • Scissors and/or X-acto knife
  • Tape or glue stick
  • Pencil for tracing

Materials

  • Thick craft paper. We used orange, green, black, white, and brown.
  • Transparent vellum for Mr. Grumpy Ghost
  • 4 black pipe cleaners for the Spooky Spider
  • Large paperclips
  • CR2032 batteries
  • Gumdrop (10mm) LED's in yellow or red
  • Conductive copper tape

Step 2: Video Guides

In case you're in need of some video directions, watch these.

Step 3: Jack-O-Lantern: Cutting and LED's

Picture of Jack-O-Lantern:  Cutting and LED's

Cutting

First cut the Jack-O-Lantern body out of thick orange paper. The orange bump on the top that looks like the stem is actually part of the battery holder. We'll create the stem later with green paper.

LEDs

Next find your LEDs and fold the legs at 90 deg. to the LED head. Place these on your paper approximately where you want the Jack-O-Lantern eyes to sit. Cut a tiny slit in the paper directly under the LEDs.

Notice that one leg of the LED is longer than the other. Stick the longer leg of the LED through the slit so that you have a leg on either side of the paper.

Step 4: Jack-O-Lantern: Conductive Tape and Battery

Picture of Jack-O-Lantern: Conductive Tape and Battery

Conductive Tape

Front

On the front of your Jack-O-Lantern place a strip of conductive copper tape diagonally from each LED towards the orange battery tab as shown. Do not extend tape onto the tab. It will work best if the two strips of tape are touching in the middle.

Bend the LED legs on the back so they are on top of the copper strip. Secure them with a 1/2 inch strip of copper tape. Make a good copper sandwich around the LED leg.

Back

Run a strip of conductive copper tape diagonally from each LED up and over the tab,onto the front as shown. Use one continuous strip, this will ensure good electrical conductivity. Do not extend the tape so far it touches the first strips on the front, as this will short out the circuit.

Bend the LED legs on the back so they are on top of the copper strip. Secure them with a 1/2 inch strip of copper tape. Make a good copper sandwich around the LED leg.

Battery

Now you are ready to test your circuit! Place your CR2032 battery just under the orange tab and fold the tab on top. Make sure the end of all 4 pieces of copper tape are touching the battery. If your circuit is working both LED should light. If neither of them lights flip the battery and try again.

Bend a paperclip as shown and place it around the battery. This will hold it in place.

If only one LED lights, one of two things could be the problem

  1. The copper tape is not secure around the LED legs. Press around them and see if you can get the offending LED to light.
  2. One of your LEDs is backwards. Gently peel the tape off the LED legs and switch which one is inserted through the paper.

Step 5: Jack-O-Lantern: Decorating

Picture of Jack-O-Lantern:  Decorating

Eyes

Cut the eyes out of black construction paper. Cut a slit half way up the eye. Slide the eye under the LED as shown, with the led legs fit through the slit. Rotate the eye so it is upright.

Mouth

Cut out the mouth freehand, maybe with notches for teeth. Glue or tape it onto the Jack-O-Lantern.

Stem

Cut the stem out of green construction paper. The round end of the stem will go under the paperclip, covering the conductive tape strips from the back of the Jack-O-Lantern. Secure the stem with tape or a glue stick if you like.

And you are done!

Step 6: Grumpy Ghost: Cutting and LEDs

Picture of Grumpy Ghost:  Cutting and LEDs

Next we'll make the Grumpy Ghost

Cutting

Tape the white construction paper and translucent vellum together. Next cut out the ghost shape from both pieces of paper at the same time.

LEDs

Next find your LEDs and fold the legs 90 deg. to the LED head. Place these on your paper approximately where you want the Grumpy Ghost eyes to be. Cut a tiny slit in the paper directly under the LEDs. Stick both LED legs through the paper so they are on the back side.

Step 7: Grumpy Ghost: Conductive Tape and Battery

Picture of Grumpy Ghost:  Conductive Tape and Battery

Conductive Tape

Flip your ghost over to the back side. Place a strip of conductive copper tape diagonally from each LED towards the center of the ghost. Do not tape them so high that the LED legs can't reach.

Next, notice that one leg of the LED is longer than the other. Secure the longer leg to the conductive tape with a 1/2 inch strip.

Battery

Now you are ready to test your circuit! Place your CR2032 battery just over where the conductive tape meets in the middle. Bend the un-tapped led legs so they touch the top of the battery. If your circuit is working both LEDs should light. If neither of them lights flip the battery and try again.

Finally, cut a small circle of white paper to cover the battery. Next bend a paperclip as shown and place it around the battery. This will hold it in place.

If only one LED lights, one of two things could be the problem

  1. The copper tape is not secure around the LED legs. Press around them and see if you can get the offending LED to light.
  2. One of your LEDs is backwards. Gently peel the tape off the LED legs and switch which one is inserted through the paper.

Step 8: Grumpy Ghost: Vellum Sheet

Picture of Grumpy Ghost:  Vellum Sheet

Hold the vellum sheet over the ghost to determine where you want his mouth. Next cut a large frown into the vellum with an X-acto knife.

To make the mouth stand out, add black marker or pencil to the edge of the paper.

Finally, tape the top of your vellum over your ghost.

OMG he is so grumpy! But then wouldn't you be grumpy too if you were stuck as a ghost for all of eternity?

Step 9: Spooky Spider: Cutting and LEDs

Picture of Spooky Spider:  Cutting and LEDs

Finally we'll make the spooky spider with hairy black pipe cleaner legs.

Cutting

First cut the Spooky Spider body (or cephalothorax) out of thick black paper. The black bump on one end is actually the battery holder.

LEDs

Next find your LEDs and fold the legs at 90 deg. to the LED head. Place these on the head of the spider body approximately where you want the eyes to be. Cut a tiny slit in the paper directly under the LEDs.

Notice that one leg of the LED is longer than the other. Stick the longer leg of the LED through the slit so that you have a leg on either side of the paper.

Step 10: Spooky Spider: Conductive Tape and Battery

Picture of Spooky Spider: Conductive Tape and Battery

Conductive Tape

Front

On the front of your Spooky Spider place a strip of conductive copper tape starting under the LED leg and extending along the sides. Do not extend tape onto the battery tab. It will work best if the two strips of tape are touching in the middle.

Bend the LED legs on the back so they are on top of the copper strip. Secure them with a 1/2 inch strip of copper tape. Make a good copper sandwich around the LED leg.

Back

Run a strip of conductive copper tape starting under the LED leg and extending around and over onto the front of the battery tab as shown. Use one continuous strip, this will ensure good electrical conductivity. Do not extend the tape so far it touches the first strips on the front, as this will short out the circuit.

Bend the LED legs on the back so they are on top of the copper strip. Secure them with a 1/2 inch strip of copper tape. Make a good copper sandwich around the LED leg.

Battery

Now you are ready to test your circuit! Place your CR2032 battery just under the black tab and fold the tab on top. Make sure the end of all 4 pieces of copper tape are touching the battery. If your circuit is working both LEDs should light. If neither of them lights flip the battery and try again.

Bend a paperclip as shown and place it around the battery. This will hold it in place.

If only one LED lights, one of two things could be the problem:

  1. The copper tape is not secure around the LED legs. Press around them and see if you can get the offending LED to light.
  2. One of your LEDs is backwards. Gently peel the tape off the LED legs and switch which one is inserted through the paper.

Step 11: Spooky Spider: Body and Legs

Picture of Spooky Spider:  Body and Legs

Cutting

Next cut the abdomen out of brown construction paper. You can decorate the abdomen with black paper diamond pattern for an extra spooky detail.

Pipe Cleaner Legs

Next cut 8 slits through the body (not abdomen) of the spider, 4 on each side. Fold the pipe cleaner in half and insert each end through one slit from the bottom up. Repeat this with the other 3 pipe cleaners.

Next bend the pipe cleaners in 3 places as shown to create the legs.

Final Assembly

Using tape or the glue stick, attach the black body with LED eyes onto the brown abdomen as shown. She's ready to creepy crawl!

Step 12: Conclusion

Picture of Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed making these fun filled, yet simple, LED paper crafts. If you're in need of LEDs, conductive tape, or supplies please check out our kits over at BrownDogGadgets.com.

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Bio: I used to teach middle school science, but now I run my own online educational science website. I spend my days designing new projects for ... More »
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