Introduction: Sparkly Origami LED Cubes

About: (Educational) Designer, Researcher, and Developer

I've been working on the idea of these cubes for a while. First I was trying to make it into a pendant, but I couldn't work away  the battery. I wanted to put the battery inside, but when you put something inside an object you're going to light from the inside, you can see the battery from the outside. So, pendants were off. Then I made a cube using regular paper. It's basically the same as shown in this instructable, but then with regular paper. It was nice, but didn't have that "wow" feeling I was looking for. Next I tried it with coloured transparent paper and I couldn't have been happier with the end result. I hope you like it!

Step 1: Materials

I wanted these cubes to be as easy as possible to make, no soldering iron or other tools. This is what you will need:

- scissors
- transparent coloured paper
- needle
- eraser
- battery
- regular white paper
- scotch tape
- glue (optional)
- flat-nose pliers

Step 2: The Paper

Start by folding your paper. I folded the paper in half on the short side, then I folded the corners in to touch the middle crease. Next fold back the triangle you've just created. Unfold these folds and cut out as shown. Next there is a bit of folding and cutting (again).  Fold the corners to the middle crease in the direction not yet folded. Unfold these two folds. Fold both sides to the middle, unfold. The last fold here is folding the paper in half on the short side, unfold this fold as well.

Step 3: The Pieces

Now you will see eight small squares. You're only using six of those, so cut out six :) 

Next you will need to fold the pieces. I've already shown how to make these pieces in my origami bracelet instructable.

Put it together until you have one piece left. 

Step 4: Making Some Holes

This is where you can use your eraser. Cut it into pieces to fill up the cube. This will prevent the cube from collapsing when you're making the holes. I already had a piece I once used to erase a small piece, so I cut some more pieces to achieve the height of the cube. Add them to the cube and take your needle. Next thing i make holes! This step is very much up to you: you can choose to put a lot of holes in, or go for one hole a side. Just being creative with a needle there!

(But remember, needles are sharp, and it will definitely hurt when you miss the cube and hit the finger)

Step 5: Adding the LED

When you are happy with the amount of holes in your cube, open it and take the eraser out. Now you can put your LED in!

When you close the cube again, you could secure it by glueing one point (where is shown on the picture)

As you can see when you put your cube down, the LED's "legs" aren't really optimal like this, your cube can't stand straight! You can use your pliers to set them as shown, that way your cube can stand down and the battery can be easily removed.

Step 6: The Battery Holder

Now you have your cube, you have your LED, just one more thing to do: the battery.

Take your piece of regular white paper. I used a note paper. Fold it in half and cut over the just made crease. Take one of the two halves  and fold it in half. Place the battery on that crease and wrap the paper around it as shown.

When you've done that, take your scotch tape and tape, tape and tape! Cut off the tape and end your wrapping. Take your scissors and cut off the paper left behind the battery. Next cut off a pice of tape and use it to end the battery holder as shown. 

Step 7: How to Make Your Cube Glow

When you look at your battery holder, you will see two different sides of the battery: one completely flat, one not completely flat. The plus side of the LED should go on the completely flat side, the minus side on the not completely flat side.

And how do know which side is the plus side and which side is the minus side?
Usually the wire on the plus side is a bit longer, if this isn't the case you can always just try, 50 % chance that it will be the right side :)

If you've made the battery holder tight enough, the LED should go on (and stay on) when you connect the battery with it. To put it off, just remove the battery holder.

Step 8: The Result

I've made four of these cubes, using four different colours. I really hope you liked this instructable and I would love to see your cubes glow!

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