Introduction: Light Up Paper Circuit LED Card

This is the tutorial that I followed to make this:

There's a couple variations however, since I did not have copper tape, this is my way of trying out different ways to work around that. This is specifically for my lesson plan.

Before you start, know that this is just a reference. Feel free to make it your own. The prompt I had based this on was creating a card based on a memory you have that involves light. The card I am making here is from a childhood memory I had of walking on this trail behind my house in the night, and then suddenly seeing fireflies for the first time. You can use this prompt as a starting point if you choose to do so.

Use whatever materials you think will make your work stronger. Just remember to keep your concept in the center of your thoughts. Worst comes to worst, your card won't light up the way you want it too, but on the bright side, you'll get to make another one!


Copper Tape/ Copper Wire (what I used. Copper tape is better)

Mixed Media Paper (Any thick paper will work like a card stock, but you can paint on mixed media)





Glue Dots/Hot Glue

PVA/Tacky Glue

Any type of art material depending on your paper (paint, crayons, markers, etc.)

Any other kind of decoration (stickers, washi tape, etc.)

Step 1: Prepare the Paper

Start by cutting your paper. There's no real measurement for this. I eyeballed it but of course you can measure this out. Fold it in half with a bone folder or the side of scissors.

Step 2: Cut the Paper

Now cut on the crease with a Xacto or scissors. One will be what the circuit lives on and the other will be what the design lives on.

Step 3: Draw Out the Circuit

Sketch out your circuit. I copied this from the tutorial that I followed and it's quite solid. You want this to be near the edges. If you want the LED in the center then just draw the "copper tape" lines to that area.

Step 4: Copper Time

Now lay your copper tape/wire onto the lines. Make sure they don't touch. Right here anything conductive should actually work, but the flatter it is, the better.

Step 5: Putting It All Together

So now place your battery over one of the wires in your drawing, I ended up securing my wires with dots of hot glue just to make it more manageable.

Step 6: Finishing Up the Circuit

So now we have to make a switch. All I did was put a copper wire onto the positive side of the battery, so when the wires touch, they complete the circuit and the LED lights. Also, plant your LED on there. I again secured mine with hot glue.

Step 7: Test It Out

Make sure it works here. You really don't want to move ahead unless this step is working.

Step 8: Preparing the Other Sheet

Now the other sheet you have is going to hold your design. First we need to cut out the holes where the switch can be reached and the LED can poke out of. The easiest way to do this is to place the drawing paper underneath the circuit paper and poke a little indentation that you can see on the drawing paper. Cut out the holes and make sure they're in the right place. Then glue the papers to each other.

Step 9: Sketch

Sketch out your design with a pencil onto the paper.

Step 10: Experiment With Your Materials

Color it in with your materials. I used a lot of paint here. I also ended up using some of the copper wire in the trees.

Step 11: Add in Labels

Now your circuit should still be working. If it's not (like mine), you may need to add a "button" to push down a part of the circuit to make it light (this would not happen with copper tape, but it's ok. These things happen). Add labels to tell the person you're giving this to how to make it light. Add any final decorations.

Step 12: Admire Your Work

Enjoy your work. Give it to someone you love. Share your light with them.