Introduction: Northern Lights 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…
I had some colour changing LEDs lying around and I wanted to incorporate them into papercraft. I was trying to think of a scene I could make and my mind just kept coming back to this idea. Sure the Northern Lights may be an odd choice for papercraft, as it is not easily rendered onto paper, but I thought I would give it a try.

The colour changing LED projects against a white cut out of the Aurora against a black background.  There are small holes in the background with a white LED in behind to give the appearance of stars.  When I was looking at images of the Aurora Borealis on Google a lot of them had trees in the foreground so I added some silhouettes of trees to make it look more authentic.

Step 1: What You Will Need

  • White and black card stock
  • Template.pdf (see below)
  • One White and one RGB colour changing LEDs
  • 3V button cell
  • Wire, conductive thread or conductive paint
  • Printer
  • Scissors
  • Pliers
  • Glue
  • Tape

Step 2: Cut Out and Fold

  • Print out the template on heavy paper or card stock
  • Cut out each of the pieces
  • For the piece with the trees, trace the template on black card stock and cut out
  • Valley fold on the doted lines

Step 3: Prepare Night Sky

  • Find something sharp and poke randomly spaced holes into the black background.
  • Bend the legs of your LEDs at the base.
  • Poke the legs of the colour changing LED through the black background.  It should be in the centre bottom with the light aimed slightly towards the back.

Step 4: Add the Aurora

  • Using a glue stick, glue the bottom of the Aurora to the back of the treeline (the LED should be behind it).
  • Glue the top of the Aurora to the background.

Step 5: Backdrop

  • Poke the white LED through the white backdrop.
  • Poke two more holes in the backdrop across from the ones you just made along the other edge.
  • Glue together the corners of the ackdrop.
  • Apply glue to the edge of the white backdrop and stick it on the back of the black background.
  • Feed the legs of the colour changing LED  through the two hole you made earlier and the same holes used by the white LED (the positive leg should be with the positive of the and the negative with the negative).

Step 6: Circuit

  • Trim the legs of the LEDs so that they are all the same size (make sure you know which ones are positive).
  • Attach conductive thread to each set of legs.
  • Take one of the battery holders, run the thread along it and tie a few knots and loops at the end where it will be in contact with the battery (conductive would probably be more suitable for this).
  • Fold over the flap and tape it closed.
  • Repeat with the other pole.  The second battery holder paper should be facing the other direction.

Step 7: Finishing

  • Add a piece of tape connecting the battery holder to the background.
  • Place a battery in the holder.
  • To operate press and hold the down the top piece of paper to turn on the light or place something on top to keep it pressed down..
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