Introduction: BookWorm Light-Up Book Light and Bookmark

About: 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 students and Makers to put together.

Make this fun bookworm bookmark that doubles as a book light! We'll print it out, cut it out, color and decorate it, and them use him to light the night so that you can read in the dark. He's made with just a few materials and makes a great first circuit project.

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Brown Dog Gadgets does in fact sell kits and supplies, but you don't need to buy anything from us to make this project. Though if you do it does help support us in creating new projects and teacher resources.


Other Supplies:

  • Cardstock
  • Markers, Colored Pencils, or Crayons
  • Binder Clip
  • Hobby Knife
  • Scissors
  • Glue Tape, Double-Sided Tape, Glue

Step 1: Download and Print the Template

Print the template on a paper color of your choosing or white. Color your BookWorm with markers, colored pencils, or crayons.

Step 2: Cut Out the Bookworm

Use scissors or a hobby knife to cut out the BookWorm and his antenna.

Step 3: Place the LEDs

Cut a slit across the center of the eye, where the horizontal line is. This is where we'll place our LEDs.

Step 4: Position the LEDs

Poke the LED's legs through each of the two slits.

Step 5: Fold the LED Legs

Fold the negative (shorter leg) flat against the back of the worms head. Then, bend them 90 degrees toward each other so that they touch.

Fold the positive (longer leg) flat against the back of the worm's head, toward the bottom of the worm as shown.

Step 6: Add Maker Tape

Cut a small piece of Maker Tape and place it across the two negative (folded) legs. Then cut three more pieces of tape - one that is 3 inches long and two that are 2.5 inches long.

Tip: Use the guides printed on the template next to the worm to easily measure your tape lengths.

Step 7: Attach the Battery

Using the binder clip, attach the battery to the top of the worms head with the positive side up. (The positive side of the battery will have a plus (+) sign on it.)

Step 8: Connect the Circuit

Stick the longer, 3-inch piece of Maker Tape to the back of the battery. Make sure this piece of tape doesn't touch the positive legs of the LEDs.

Stick the shorter, 2.5-inch pieces over each of the LED's positive legs. All three pieces of tape should be parallel to each other and not touching.

If the tape for the negative side of the circuit touches the tape for the positive side of the circuit this is known as a short circuit, and it will prevent our circuit from working properly.

Step 9: Make a Switch

Cut a piece of Maker Tape about 1-inch long. Fold the bottom of the worm so that the bottom-most circle meets the three lines of Maker Tape.

Place the piece of Maker Tape so that the tape will bridge the gaps between the three pieces and close the switch.

Step 10: Test Your Circuit

With the worm's tail folded over, check that your bookworm lights up!

Step 11: Add the Antennae

Remove the handle from your binder clip on the front of the worm. Glue your antenna in place on top of the binder clip using glue tape, double-sided tape, or glue.

Step 12: Embellish the Eyes

Use a permanent marker to draw eyeballs on top of the LEDs. Will they point up? Will they be winking? You decide!

Step 13: ​Use Your Bookmark!

When you are reading, fold your BookWorm and place him in the pages to come. Give him a squeeze and he will light your way to new reading adventures!

When you are putting your book away, unfold your BookWorm to make sure his battery is saved.

Happy Reading!