Introduction: Friendship Bracelets 2.0

About: Hands-on kits and programs to learn about science, technology and your environment.

Friendship Bracelets 2.0 - the new friendship bracelets that you can make with electronics!

Design your own interactive light-up friendship bracelets! This project is a great introduction to wearable electronics. Make two friendship bracelets out of paper and simple electronics so that one of the bracelets lights up when the other one gets close to it. No soldering required!

How it works:

The bracelets use a magnetic switch (reed switch) that is normally open and closes when a magnet is close to it which causes the LED to turn on. Using tape, an LED and a battery you can make these fun interactive bracelets to share with your BFF!


If you have questions about this project you can contact us at

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Project Materials:

  • 1 LED
  • 1 3 V Coin Battery (CR2032 or equivalent)
  • 1 Reed Switch (single pole magnetic switch, normally-open)
  • 1 Small Round Magnet
  • 2 Pieces of Construction Paper
  • Tape (electrical or scotch tape works)


  • Scissors
  • Wire Strippers (optional)
  • Pencil or Pen

Step 2: Design Your Bracelets

Cut one sheet of construction paper into two long strips. Draw your desired designs on the other piece of construction paper. Cut out and tape designs onto the long strips.

In our example, we chose to make purple bands with yellow designs - a star and a lightening bolt

Step 3: Tape Magnet to One Bracelet

Wrap one bracelet around your hand for sizing. With a pencil, make a mark on the left hand side of the bracelet that will touch the other bracelet.

Unwrap the bracelet and tape the magnet on the reverse side of the spot you marked with the pencil.

Wrap the bracelet and tape the edges of the paper together. You may have to cut some pieces off depending on the size of your bracelet.

Step 4: Tape Magnetic Switch to Bracelet 2

Wrap bracelet 2 to your hand for sizing.

With a pencil, mark the spot on the right-hand side of the bracelet that will be used to touch bracelet 1.

On the inside of the bracelet, tape the black part of the reed switch to the paper behind the marking.

Step 5: Insert LED Into Bracelet 2

Decide where you want the LED to go on your bracelet.

Insert LED into desired location. Poke a small hole with scissors or you can also use the LED leads to poe through the paper.

In our example, we chose to place the LED in the center of the star.

Step 6: Bend LED Leads

Turn the bracelet around.

Identify the positive and negative leads of the LED. The positive (+) lead is the longer lead. The shorter lead is the negative (-) one.

Bend both leads across the paper. With a pencil, mark the positive and negative leads.

Step 7: Tape Switch Lead to Battery

Tape one of the wire leads from the reed switch to the positive (+) side of the coin battery. Make sure the metal wire is touching the positive side of the battery.

Step 8: Tape Coin Battery

Place the coin battery on the negative lead of the LED so that the negative side of the battery is touching the negative lead of the LED.

Tape the battery on the negative (-) lead of the LED.

Step 9: Connect and Tape the Switch to the Positive Lead of LED

Take the other wire lead of the reed switch and wrap the wire around the positive (+) lead of the LED.

Tape it down to the paper.

Step 10: Test Your Bracelets

You're ready to test the bracelets!

Place the bracelets close to each other so that the magnet is in close to the reed switch. The LED should light up!

If the LED doesn't light up, check your connections and make sure that all wires are making contact.

Step 11: Share With a Friend

The best part now is that you can share the bracelet with a friend!

Make your bracelet light up when you're friend is near you!

Papercraft Contest

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Papercraft Contest