Introduction: Paper Craft House With Lights

About: MOXI - The Wolf Museum of Exploration and Innovation

In this instructable you will learn how to make a papercraft house. You will need either a laser cutter or a vinyl cutter such as a Silhouette Cameo. The house is made out of cardstock and can be decorated after. Once the house has been assembled, you can add tissue paper to the windows and lights.

You will need the following materials or equipment:

  • A laser cutter or a vinyl cutter
  • 11 x 17 Cardstock
  • Markers/Crayons/Colored Pencils
  • Scissors
  • Tissue Paper
  • Tape
  • Electrical Tape
  • LEDs
  • CR 2032 Batteries

House Template was designed by Analisa Russo of ElectronInks - Makers of Circuit Scribe

Step 1: Cut Out the Template for the House

Open the file attached to this step in your drawing program. The red lines in the file are cutlines and the green lines are fold lines.

If you are laser cutting the template, you can cut multiple houses at once. If you do cut more than one at a time, you may want to omit the fold lines (Green lines).

You can also cut the template out on a vinyl cutter.

Please consult the operator's manual of whatever tool you decide to use before cutting. Improper usage of equipment can result in damaging your equipment or injury.

If doing this project with a large group of students, you can pre-cut a handful of templates for students.

Step 2: Decorate Your House

Now that you have a cut template, it's time to decorate it. You can use markers, colored pencils, crayons, or anything else your heart desires to make it yours.

If your template was laser cut, it will have fold lines on it, try to decorate the same side that has the fold lines burned into. This will result in cleaner edges and make it easier to fold together later.

Step 3: Add Stained Glass

Now that you have decorated your house, flip it over. Cut out small squares of tissue paper to cover the windows of your house. Apply tape to the tissue paper and cover the windows. This will be the stained glass of our houses.

If doing this with a large group of students, you can pre-cut a bunch of tissue paper to save time.

Step 4: Light It Up

Now that we added the windows, it's time to light our house up. We will build a simple circuit with a CR 2032 battery, an LED and some electrical tape.

On your battery, there is a smooth flat side and a side that has a bit more texture. The side that is smooth is the positive (+) side of the battery. The other side of the battery is negative (-).

LEDs also have a positive and negative side. If you look at the legs of the LED there is a long leg and a short leg. The long leg of the LED should touch the smooth side of the battery, while the short leg of the LED should touch the textured side of the battery. If the LED doesn't turn on, trying reversing it. An LED is a diode, which means that it only works in one direction.

Once the LED turns on, apply a small amount of electrical tape so it stays together. Electrical tape does not conduct electricity, so it is ideal for securing the battery to the LED.

You can use scotch tape to tape the LED assembly to your house. You may want to use a few assemblies for your house.

Step 5: Fold Your Template

Your decorated template should have lights and stained glass windows. We are now ready to fold the template of our house. You will need to fold all of the tabs, slots and edges of the house towards the side with the LEDs. If you are confused, look at the attached picture. Do not attempt to tab your house together until you have folded everything.

Step 6: Assemble Your House

Now that you have folded all of the fold lines of your house, it is time to assemble it. Insert the tabs into the slots of the house one by one. Assemble from one side to the other. If you jump around, your house will likely fall apart while you are assembling it. You can add tape to the inside to help it stay together if needed.

Now that your house is put together, it's time to enjoy it!

Lights Contest 2017

Participated in the
Lights Contest 2017