Introduction: Harry Potter Papercraft

About: I like sewing and crafts,and trying new things. I'm vegetarian and always looking for new recipes. My cat's name is Mirko and likes to be in the centre of things, so you will see him in several of my instruc…

Paper craft is a lot of fun, I particularly like the models that move.  I wanted to try my hand at making my own movable model.  When I came up with the idea of making Harry Potter with a moving arm it occurred to me that it could be even better if I incorporated an LED into the wand.  So as he raises his arm to cast a spell the tip of his wand lights up. 

The arm is moved using a lever in the back and the wand is lit up with a 3mm LED.  As the lever is pushed in it strikes the inside surface closing the circuit, thus turning on the light.  I used conductive fabric for the contact points of the switch and conductive thread running between the LED, switch and battery.  Alternatively, you could use conductive paint, tape or regular wire.  The template is available in the next step as a pdf file, print full size on 8 1/2 by 11 (Letter) card stock.

Step 1: What You Will Need

Paper model:
  • Scissors/utility knife
  • Glue
  • Tape
  • Papercraft model pdf (see below)
  • Cardstock and printer

Step 2: Cut

  • Begin by cutting out each of the pieces from the template. 
  • Arms: cut slots along the dotted line, there are two on the right (wand) arm and one on the left. 
  • Head: cut the two side slots on the bottom flap as well as the one at the base of the back of the neck, follow the dotted lines.
  • Torso:  Cut along the dotted lines -two slots on the top and one at the back.  Cut out the circle, and the curved slot on the side.
  • Connecting pieces:  fold the connecting pieces in half and cut along the dotted line part way down from the top and up from the bottom.

Step 3: Start Folding and Gluing

Once the pieces are cut out, fold along the solid lines.  The template uses letters to indicate where the pieces fit together.
  • Fold together the left arm (non wand holding arm) and glue the tab. 
  • Insert and glue the connector into the top of the arm. 
  • Fold together the head, attach the head-torso connector.  Glue the sides and bottom tabs of the head but leave the top open.
  • Connect the left arm.
  • Fold together right/wand arm.  Attach the two connector pieces.  Leave fingers open for now.

Step 4: Wand

  • Attach the thread to the LED
  • Roll the brown square to form the wand, the diameter should be the same as the LED.
  • Insert the LED into one end of the wand, make sure the two threads sit in different layers to prevent shorting out.
  • Pull the thread out of the other end of the wand in different spots (again to prevent shorting).
  • Close the fingers around the wand and glue in place.
  • Draw the thread up the arm and out of the opening, taping them to the inside of the arm.  Again keep the two strands separate.

Step 5: Switch

  • Fold and glue the lever and attach the flat base.
  • Through the long curved slot in the torso attach the arm connector to the lever near the end with the flat base.
  • Pull one strand of wire through the arm hole and wrap it around the base to create one side of the switch.  I also glued a small piece of conductive fabric to the base to improve conductance.
  • For the other side of the switch I cut a small piece of craft foam, and cut a piece of conductive fabric the same size.  I stitched a strand of conductive thread into the fabric leaving a ~2 inch tail of thread to extend down the torso.
  • I glued the fabric to the craft foam and glued the whole thing to the torso where the base of the lever extends.
  • Draw the other strand of thread through the armhole and take along the top of the torso and down the other side to the bottom.  I used tape to hold the conductive thread in place.

Step 6: Battery

Take the wires/thread down to the base of the torso and connect to the battery holder.  Mount the battery holder to the bottom flap with tape or glue.  Close up the torso by gluing on the tabs to finish up.  To make it easier to change the battery, I didn't glue the bottom flap, I just taped it on the bottom.  Attach the torso and right/wand arm to the head and close up the top of the head.

If you are not using card stock or heavy paper for this model.  Reinforce the inside surface around the holes and slots with tape to prevent tearing.

Kiteman gave me a great tip -run a colour marker along the cut edges to mask the joins (this gets rid of those white edges).

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