I read various design blogs on a daily basis, seeking inspiration for my next project.  On one such day, I came upon the work of Yoshinobu Miyamoto, an architect and skilled papercraft artist from Japan.  Please take a moment to check out his fantastic designs.

Many of his papercraft polyhedra are illuminated, as you can see in the flickr set I linked to.  I decided to replicate and illuminate one of his designs, the "Tri-Star Fruit."

My Papercraft Lantern utilizes surface mount LEDs for illumination, and flexible self-adhesive copper foil as conductors.  A single 9V battery provides power, for an estimated run time of about 40 hours.

Step 1: Materials and Tools


Three sheets of 8.5 x 11" card stock (Or get fancy with patterned or textured paper)
Glue (glue stick or white glue)
Copper foil tape (used for stained glass)
Some clear tape (packing tape or Scotch tape)
3 LEDs (I used Digikey p/n 475-2542-1-ND)
A 9V battery clip
One 9V battery


Computer (I assume you've got one of those already!)
A printer (laser is preferable)
A soldering iron
A good, sharp knife with fresh blades (X-acto will work fine)
Wire stripper and other soldering hand tools

<p>thanks It was really nice, we made it together with a 4year old and she is very happy with her new night light.</p><p>thanks again it was a nice project</p>
Very nice instructable!!! Very inspiring!!
Hi, bravo! welldone...that's really amazing...thank u
very Beautiful
Thank you!
This is a bad design.<br>The Led must have a resistor in series to limit the current.<br>
Ordinarily I'd agree with you. But in this case, with the forward voltage of the LEDs equal to the battery, there is no need. Perhaps a few ohms of resistance - but that's taken care of by the resistance of the copper foil, and the internal resistance of the 9V battery.<br><br>I left the lantern running for a full day and nothing blew up, so I'd say it's quite safe.<br><br>Thanks for calling me on it, though!
The forward voltage of the led is 3 V. If you put 3 led in series it would be more less equal to the battery. Indeed the copper foil and battery have a resistance. <br>But for other people trying to make this project using other leds with different forward voltages should check how to connect a led properly.
Definitely. Beginners should check out this excellent <a href="http://led.linear1.org/led.wiz">online LED calculator.</a> You simply enter your power supply, number of LEDs and LED voltage, and it does the rest - even drawing a neat little diagram!<br> <br> (The above calculator says I need a 1 ohm resistor)<br>
This totally looks like a ribcage! All it needs is something to suggest a spine, and maybe the collarbones and shoulder blades!
I'm sure I've seen a Halloween decoration made like that before. Can't find anything on Google, though.
ever thought of spray painting it a metallic color? don't know the electrical implications or hazards involved.... but probably not too hard to work around.
Well sure, you could spray paint it any colour you like. I doubt that it would make much difference electrically. Of course, you'd want to spary it before laying down the traces.
I really like it.<br><br>Reminds me of Star Trek, somehow ...
Hey, to me, that's a big compliment! ;)
You can also do the scoring with the &quot;backside&quot; of the X-acto blade. It works wonders.
Nice , you is sure cheaper ;)<br> <a href="http://www.ponoko.com/design-your-own/jewelry/kinema-pendant-luminaire-4710">http://www.ponoko.com/design-your-own/jewelry/kinema-pendant-luminaire-4710</a><br>
Wow, very nice! Cheaper, yes - but also not made of brushed laser-cut aluminum. ;)<br><br>(As a side note, it should be possible to make that design in the link out of paper...)
Cool ;)
Wow, this is really amazing !<br><br>Did anybody manage to find printable designs for which this method could be adapted ?
I looked around a bit but found nothing (at least not from the creator of the original design I based my lantern on). I had to design my own pattern.
thanks for sharing this awesome project...<br><br>i planned to buy a lamp shade this month but after going through your instructables i changed my mind. instead, ill be building this project this week end... <br><br>are there any other designs available on line?...<br><br><br>thanks! more power!!!
Sure, give it a try! The paper costs less than a dollar so you've got nothing to lose, even if it doesn't end up working.<br><br>I searched a bit for design files and templates, but couldn't find any. So, I made my own. If you visit the links you'll find a Flickr set of all of Miyamoto's creations - perhaps you could figure out how to recreate of of them!
It looks gorgeous!
. Wow!
So, are you going to make one, too? ;)
.&nbsp; Probably not. :(&nbsp; I have next to no artistic ability.<br>
Hey, that part has been taken care of! If you can handle an X-acto knife and a soldering iron, you can do it. :)
I really like the &quot;Rib Cage&quot; look of the shade
simple and beautiful. Congrats
My top two goals for this creation. ;) Thanks!
You Sir, be awesome. <br> <br>Thank you for sharing this :)
Thanks, and you're welcome!
creepy cool! the lamp is reminiscent of a rib cage and the shadows look like spider webs. You should enter this into the Halloween contest!
Hmmm, I'm not sure it would qualify. Perhaps with some modifications it could... I'll think about it!

About This Instructable




Bio: By day, Jeff is the Jack of All Robots at Clearpath Robotics. By night, a mad scientist / hacker / artist / industrial designer wannabe!
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