Introduction: DIY Light Up Cards

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 …

We at Paper Crane Lab believe STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is an integral part of today’s education and learning, and is only going to increase in importance in the future. We like to create fun exercises and projects that can teach them the same through small creative projects.

We bring to you one of our quickest and engaging ways to teach kids the basics of electronics - Paper Circuits.

So, let’s make some Light up Cards for the holidays!

Activity Duration : 30 mins - 1 hour Age: 8+

Follow our steps below, and add your own creative take to it!

If you would prefer a video tutorial, you can find it below.


  • LED
  • Copper Tape
  • 3V Battery
  • Scotch Tape
  • Scissors
  • Pens and colour pencils/crayons

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

Step 2: Circuit Designing

Draw the circuit shown on the inside of the card. You can also print out this template (A4 size) and use it

Step 3: Making the Circuit

First take the copper tape, you will notice that it has a removable tape on one side that makes the copper tape sticky on one side. Take this tape and stick it on the lines on the circuit that you just drew.

Next, take the positive of the battery - you will notice that there is a plus mark on one side of the battery - and stick some copper tape to it. Stick the battery onto the tape on the battery mark on the drawing.

Step 4: Adding the LED

Finally, we need to add the light. We need to make sure that the positive of the LED gets connected to the positive of the battery and the negative of the LED to the negative of the battery.

The positive of the LED is the longer leg, and the shorter is the negative. The template drawing has a marking on how the LED should be placed as well.

Once you place the LED on the copper tape - you can put scotch tape on top to stick it in place.
And voila - it’s done. If you now fold along the dotted line on the bottom right corner and press on the battery - you will see the circuit light up.

Step 5: Making a Hole in the Front of Your Card

Once the circuit is complete, fold the card in half so that the circuit is on the inside. It is important to add a hole in the front of the card, so that the LED can come through to the front. You can do this using a sharp needle and scissors. Parents - it's best to help your kids with this part, as it can get tricky!

Step 6: Customize

This is the final and most enjoyable step. Decorate the card! Use the LED as inspiration, and make a one eyed-monster, or a bright star, a firefly, or even a light up cap.

Have fun with this part, and remember - go crazy and draw up your wildest imagination.

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