Have you ever been stuck in the dark with your wand in hand when you think "Man, I could really use a lumos charm right now"?
Happens to me all the time.
In this Instructable we're going to make your very own illuminating wand. It's an easy build and a great project to introduce a simple circuit to children of all ages. To get started, you're going to need a few materials from around the house, including:
- Hot Glue Gun
- Electric Tape
1 sheet of 8.5 x 11in paper
- 1 LED (any color)
- 26 in of 22gauge insulated wire (cut into 12 in, 8in, 6in)
- 1 paperclip
- Small battery(s) (23A/27A, 3V Li button, LP44 button cells (2))
Soldering Iron (optional)
Step 1: Paper Wand - Step 1: Create the Circuit
The first step in making this wand is to get your circuit working. In this design, a paper clip cut in half will serve as our switch. Touching the two pieces together will turn on the light. To set up your circuit:
- Straighten the paperclip and cut in half. Make one half a ring approximately 1 in in diameter, and leave the other half straight with a small hook at the end for attaching the wires.
- Connect the red wire (the wire that will attach to the + side of the battery) to the long leg of the LED. Connect one of the short black wires to the short leg of the LED. Solder in place if desired
Optional: put a dobble of hot glue on near the ends of the LED legs to prevent the red and black wires from touching each other. The glue holds the legs in place nicely but is not required.
- Attach the open end of the red wire to the positive side of the battery pack (in my example I just used electric tape to hold the batteries together). Attach the remaining black wire to the (-) end of the battery pack.
- Create the switch: Attach the open end of the black wire from the LED to one half of the paper clip. Connect the other paperclip half to the the black wire from the battery pack.
- Test that the circuit works by touching the two paper clips together. The light should turn on. If not, check that your connections are solid and that the battery is oriented the right way.
Step 2: Paper Wand Step 2: Roll It Up
Now that you know your circuit is working it's time to make the body of the wand. We're going to roll a sheet of paper around your circuit and glue it into place. To roll, start with a sheet of paper laid flat on the table with one corner of the paper close to you. Position the LED so that it will end up near the tip of your wand. The battery and paper clip halves should end up coming out the back of the wand.
Place Elmer's glue on the paper and roll with a slight taper. Hold in place by hand or with a rubber band until the glue dries.
Step 3: Paper Wand Step 3: Place the Switch
After the glue has dried, it's time to place the switch:
- Cut a small slit in the back of the wand to run the switch wires out of.
- Take the paperclip ring and make sure it fits snuggly around the outside of the wand. Hot glue in place.
- Position the straight paperclip so that pressing it lightly will create contact between the two paperclips.
- Hot glue straight paperclip in place. Place a drop of glue under the straight paperclip to help to position it above the ring.
- Add hot glue along wand length for personalization design.
Step 4: Paper Wand Step 4: Paint It
Now that your wand is fully assembled and all the glue has dried it's time to paint it. I used Acrylic glue (specifically Coffee Bean Brown) to paint my wand. I put one light layer of paint on (don't want to saturate the paper), let it dry and then put another coat on to make sure no white was showing through. After the first two coats dried I took a small Q-tip and got all the hard to reach places along the wand.
Let everything dry and you will be ready to practice your Lumos spell!