Introduction: Customizable Light - Up Badges

About: Paper Crane Lab is a STEM education space in Bangalore, India that runs workshops and classes around the city. We are a group of enthusiastic teachers who love to experiment and combine STEM and the arts. Our …

Snazz up your outfits and accessories with these simple to make, but incredibly awesome light up badges, completely customized and designed by you! Paper Crane Lab teaches you a quick tutorial on how to make these light-up badges.

For a video tutorial of this, click below:


  • LED of your choice of colour
  • Toggle switch
  • 3V Battery
  • Battery holder
  • Connecting wires
  • Wire cutter/stripper
  • Solder gun Solder wire
  • Helping hands (optional)
  • Tape
  • Cardboard square with a safety pin attached
  • Scissors/ paper cutter
  • Pens, colours and sketch pens

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

Step 2: Circuit Diagram

Let us start with the basic electronic circuit used. It is super simple, with the positive of the LED connected to the positive of the battery, the negative of the LED connected to a switch, which is then connected to the negative of the battery.

Step 3: Soldering the Leads to the LED

Let us start by soldering the circuit. The most important thing to remember is to make sure the positive of the LED connects to the positive of the 3V battery according to the circuit. The longer end of the LED is the positive end.

Take small pieces of the connecting wire as the entire circuit has to fit behind the small cardboard piece we have. Strip the ends of the wire with a wire stripper and solder them to the ends of the LED as shown in the image.

Step 4: Connecting the Switch

Once the LED is soldered, to the wire, to the wire connecting the negative end of the LED, attach one end of the toggle switch by soldering it, and connect another small piece of wire (stripped by the wire stripper) to the other end of the toggle switch.

Step 5: Connect the Battery Holder and the Battery

Once this is done, we connect the battery in the circuit. If you take a look at the battery holder, the square end is connected to the positive terminal of the battery, and the end with the two pronged wires is connected to the negative terminal of the battery.

Be sure to solder only the battery holder to the circuit, and connect the battery into the circuit after this is done, otherwise, the battery can get very hot and damaged.

Solder the wire attached to the switch to the negative end of the battery holder as shown in the circuit diagram in the previous steps. Now solder the wire connected to the positive end of the LED to the positive end of the battery holder to complete the circuit.

Now you can put the battery into the battery holder

Step 6: Test the Circuit

Now that the circuit is done, turn it on with the switch to test its working. It should be able to turn on and off by toggling the switch as shown in the images.

Step 7: Insulate the Circuit

To insulate the wire endings and make the circuit safe, tape up all the wire connections and ends in the circuit as shown in the images.

Step 8: Customize Your Badge!

Now is the time to get creative. Design your own badge on the cardboard square as shown. Make sure to leave one point where the LED can pop up into your design. We have made an alien with a glowing eye.

Step 9: LED Placement

Cut out your cardboard design, and pop a hole into where you would like your LED to be placed in. Colour and design your light up badge as per your choice. Get creative!

Step 10: Attach Circuit to the Badge

Now we attach our circuit to the back of our badges. Pop the LED gently into the cardboard hole as shown. Ensure it is sturdy and stays in place.

Tape up the entire circuit at the back of your circuit to make sure it stays in place and is properly insulated as shown in the images.

Step 11: Test It Out!

There you have it, your very own customized light-up badge! You can change the circuit to incorporate two eyes as you can see in our video tutorial, or with multiple lights at different positions. This little project is so fun simply because of the many different ways you can make it your own.

Give this a try and let us know how you liked it in the comments.

You can find the video tutorial here:

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