Introduction: LED Paper Holiday Tree

About: I used to teach middle school science, but now I run my own online educational science website. I spend my days designing new projects for students and Makers to put together.

Gather round the glowing LED paper tree from Brown Dog Gadgets to get yourself into the holiday season. You can make your own with our conductive tape kit. This is a great project to learn about parallel circuits.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

To make the LED tree you will need the following:


  • Scissors
  • Pencil for tracing


  • Thick green craft paper.
  • Our conductive tape kit. OR
    • Large paperclip
    • 2 CR2032 batteries
    • 4 Gumdrop (10mm) LEDs, 2 yellow and 2 red
    • Conductive copper tape

Step 2: Video Guide

For those of you who like video instructions, watch this.

Step 3: Cutting


Trace the Xmas tree shape onto the green craft paper and cut it out.

If you want to make your own template we recommend you fold a white piece of paper in half and cut it out. This will ensure your tree is symmetrical.

Step 4: Conductive Tape and LEDs

Conductive Tape

Run a continuous strip of conductive tape down the right side of the tree, bending it towards the center.

Run a second continuous strip of conductive tape along the left side, bending it down onto the battery tab at the bottom. Do NOT touch the strip on the right.


Bend the LED legs 90 degrees. If you are unsure what color they are, press the battery between the legs to check.

Notice one leg is longer than the other than the other. The longer legs will be on the left side, the shorter legs toward the right side.

Arrange the LED's how you like. It is OK if the LED leg does not reach the copper strips on either side.

Secure the LED legs to the conductive tape on either side with a 1/2 inch strip of conductive tape, creating a secure copper sandwich. When the LED leg does not reach the side, run one strip if tape under the LED leg to the side strips. Then add a 1/2 inch strip of conductive tape on top to create a secure copper sandwich.

Step 5: Battery


Now you are ready to test your circuit! Place your two CR2032 batteries stacked on top of each other, +positive side up. Fold the battery tab on top of them as shown. Make sure both strips of conductive tape are touching the batteries. If your circuit is working the LEDs should light. If none of them light, flip the batteries and try again.

If one of the LEDs does not light, one of two things could be the problem

  1. The copper tape is not secure around the LED legs. Press around them and see if you can get the offending LED to light.
  2. One of your LEDs is backwards. Gently peel the tape off the LED legs and switch it around.

Finally, bend a paperclip open and then closed forming a triangle as shown and slide it around the battery. This will hold it in place.

You are done! Congratulations, you have made a parallel circuit holiday tree. Check out more cool projects at

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