Introduction: Halloween Pumpkin Head String Lights for Young Makers

About: Patrick Waters is an award-winning educator who brings the Maker Movement to new audiences. He founded The STEAMworks, a makerspace for individuals with neurological differences at The Monarch Institute in Ho…

Here’s a great “getting started” 3D printing project for young #MakerEd students. It combines rudimentary circuit knowledge, gross motor skills and safe tool use. It costs about $5 to make (excluding the cost of a 3D printer) and can be modified to fit any holiday, not just Halloween.

These pumpkin string lights are appropriate for young makers K and up. While this version uses glue guns, safety conscious adults can use blue tack or sticky wax instead.

If this type of project appeals to you visit, the blog at the corner of sawdust, education and making.

Step 1: Supplies & Tools


3D Printed Pumpkin Heads. I found this model on by designer @Davision3d. If you go with a different design, choose a hollow design, then drill a hole on the bottom.

LED String Lights. You could make a similar chain, but I picked these up for $3 each at the clearance rack of my local Target.

AA Batteries.


Slip joint pliers, screwdrivers. Whatever you need to rip off the covering of the LED light bulbs.

Low Temp Glue Gun.

Step 2: Assembly

1. Print the pumpkin heads on a 3D printer. If you don’t have one, try a local makerspaces. While companies like, and do offer print services, they aren’t very cost-effective for small projects like this.

2. Rip off the colored plastic protectors by any means necessary. We used slip joint pliers and a twisting motion to get the effect. We did mess up and have to re-connect the wires. I simply twisted the bare wire together and dipped the ends in hot glue, as soldering was outside the scope of this project.

3. If you need to, drill a small hole in the printed pumpkin (or whatever you chose) the same size as the LED light with a hand drill and bit. Slip the LED inside the pumpkin print, then hot glue in place.

Step 3: Test!

Insert batteries to the power switch and turn on!

Halloween Decor Contest 2016

Participated in the
Halloween Decor Contest 2016