Introduction: LED Star Light Garland

So you want to make awesome lights that look like lit-up stars? You've come to the right place!

So, for this project, you will need:

for the creation of your own LED:

  • Copper tape buy here
  • Scissors
  • Heavy duty tape or solder
  • 3-volt coin cell battery buy here
  • White LED Stickers (amount depends on how many stars you create) buy here
  • LED template (printable in the next step)

For the creation of your star light garland:

  • Double-sided tape
  • Ruler
  • X-acto knife
  • The LED you created in the first part of this tutorial
  • Star shape template (printable example in step WHAT)
  • String/fishing line for hanging the garland

Also thanks to Jie Qi, who has inspired and pioneered this kind of project; here is her website:

Step 1: Create Your Paper LED

  • First, you have to create your own paper LED, so print and cut out the template for your own paper LED that I created and included for your use.
  • Then use your copper tape to trace the lines. One continuous strip goes to where it says LED, and then use another continuous strip a little above the first one on the part where it says LED and cut it off when it reaches the negative line on the second circle.

    Step 2: Add Your LED and Battery to Your Paper Circuit

    • First, take your LED sticker and stick it onto the empty space between the two copper tape pieces (or where it says LED).
    • Second, add your battery by placing the negative side down, and the positive side face up (you can see the + means it is positive, so the bottom is the side with no writing). Place it on the circle with the negative line.

    Step 3: Now Test Your LED!

    • Now, fold over the paper where the line is across the left side of the paper template.
    • Touch the left circle to the battery, and you should have a connection; your LED should light up when you press down on your battery!

    Step 4: Tape / Solder Your Battery to Your Paper Circuit

    • The next step is to secure your battery to your paper circuit so your LED will stay lit. I did not have a solder gun at my disposal, so I had to use tape. I do not recommend this method, as soldering is always the best in order to keep a successful connection. However, the tape worked well.
    • You can also buy a battery holder here or make your own from this pdf (thanks to Jie Qi).

    Step 5: Part 2: Attach Your Paper LED to Your Paper Star!

    Again, for this part you will need:

    • Double-sided tape
    • Ruler
    • X-acto knife
    • The LED you created in the first part of this tutorial
    • Star shape template (printable example included)
    • String/fishing line for hanging the garland

    For the paper stars:

    • They are customizable, so you can edit the color of the star in Photoshop or any image editor program.
    • After you have your chosen colors, print two copies out on 8.5x11 paper and cut them out with an x-acto knife (you need two copies because you make two sides of your star).
    • You can make them any size you want, as long as they are larger than your paper circuits (which are approx. 2 inches x 2.5 inches).

    Step 6: Attaching Your LED Paper Circuit to Your Paper Star

    • To attach your paper LED circuit you made in part 1, just take some double-sided tape and stick it onto your paper star.
    • Make sure to position your paper circuit so that the light is where you want it to be in the star. After you tape the circuit onto the paper star, attach two sides of the star together, and trim the edges to make sure the wrong side is not peeking out.
    • And there you have it; a paper star lit by a circuit that you created!
    • Continue to tape your paper circuits on to however many stars you want to hang on your garland. I made 10 multicolored stars altogether.

    Step 7: String the Stars Together to Create a Garland!

    • To string together your stars, you can use any type of string. All you have to do is tape your double stick tape onto the string, place it in between the two sides of your star, and voila! Your stars are strung.
    • Once you have strung your stars altogether, you can turn off the lights and see them glow or even take pretty awesome light painting pictures if you set the exposure on your camera for a long time.
    • Once you have finished, you can show all your friends that you made your own string lights-LED included!
    • I hung mine up with clear fishing line to give the effect that the stars were floating. I also experimented with blue string.

    Step 8: Be Proud That You Have Created Something Yourself!

    And enjoy your beautiful string lights!

    Homemade Gifts Contest 2015

    Participated in the
    Homemade Gifts Contest 2015

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