Halloween Blinking Paper Jack'o'Lantern




Introduction: Halloween Blinking Paper Jack'o'Lantern

About: Bare Conductive makes creative electronic tools for any designer, engineer or aspiring maker.

In this tutorial we'll show you how to make a flickering jack-o-lantern greeting card using Bare Paint Pens - perfect for sending to friends or displaying in your window this Halloween!

To help you complete this project we've made the card templates, batteries and flashing LEDs and Bare Paint Pen available to buy in the Halloween Pop-up Card Kit. Alternatively you can source them yourself via the links attached.

You can also follow this tutorial on our website, at www.bareconductive.com

Step 1:

To make your pop-up glowing halloween card you will need…

Bare Paint Pen (or jar if you are using a brush)
A4 or US letter coloured card
Cutting mat
Metal ruler
Craft knife *
Glue stick
Sticky tape
Hope punch (optional)

* This kit involves using a craft knife to cut out the template and is not suitable for younger children without adult supervision and help. Please be careful when using cutting knives - it is easy to slip and cut your finger if you lose concentration or are tired!


1 x Flashing LED, Digi-Key (we use 1 red for the jack'o'lantern)
1 x 3V Coin Cell Battery with pins, Digi-Key
1 x paper clip


Download PDF of the jack'o'lantern below

Each template file is printed on one piece of A4 card, back to back. It can also be printed on US Letter - make sure you select 'fit to printable area' when printing on US Letter. We use coloured cards to make the cards look even smarter.

Step 2: Cut Your Template

1. Cut - using the craft knife and metal ruler carefully cut out the top and bottom of the pumpkin on the dashed cut lines, see key. Don't forget to cut out the face details, the slot at the paperclip symbol and around the stork (which you pop up later). You can use a hole punch to make the 6 small holes around the edge of the bottom template.

Step 3: Fold Your Pumpkin

2. Fold - use the back of the craft knife and ruler to score all the dotted fold lines, see key. Gently bend the folds of the top and bottom of the pumpkin inwards to create the pumpkin shape, as shown.

Step 4: Attach Your LED

3. LED - open out the bottom of the pumpkin to reveal the circuit diagram and select a flashing red LED (or other colour you choose). Notice that the LED has one long leg and one short leg - the long leg is positive and the short leg is negative. LEDs are polarised which means that electricity will only flow through them in one direction so it is important that you put them into the circuit in the right direction.

Curl round the legs of the LED and place on the LED circuit symbol as shown, making sure that the longer leg is on the side of the '+' symbol and the short leg is on the side of the '-' symbol, as shown. Using a Bare Paint Pen put a nice blob of Bare Paint on the legs to stick them to the card, as shown.

Step 5: Glue Your Battery

4. Battery - batteries are also polarised. The batteries we are using have a longer leg (starting on the top) and a short leg (underneath). Splay out the legs so the battery will sit flat on the paper and place it on battery circuit symbol as shown, ensuring the longer leg is on the side of the '+' symbol and the shorted leg is on the side of the '-' symbol. Put a nice blob of Bare Paint on both legs to stick them to the card

Step 6: Draw Your Circuit

5. Paint circuit and switch - draw in the circuit, see key, making sure there are no breaks or thin bits. Don't forget to fill in the grey square at the switch. Leave in a warm spot to thoroughly dry, approximately 10 minutes.

After it has dried you can check the circuit by closing the little flap with the switch across the circuit as shown - the LED should start to twinkle! If the LED doesn't come on don't fret - try our troubleshooter at the bottom.

Step 7: Assemble Your Pumpkin

6 Glue - take a long, thin rubber band and snip it open. Thread through all the holes in the bottom template and tie in a knot so that all the edges come together firmly.

The next bit is slightly tricky so go slowly - using a glue stick, glue a single hatched tab (see key) in the bottom template and press it against the corresponding tab from the top template as shown, until dry. Make sure that your pumpkin face is matched up correctly.

Slowly work your way around glueing each bottom and top tab together and pressing until dry. If you are right handed it is easiest work from right to left (shown), if you are left handed then it is easiest to work from left to right.

The last tab will be slightly fiddly - slide your finger behind the bottom tab as shown so that after glueing you can press it more easily against the top tab.

Sit back and admire your 3D pumpkin. If he's looking a bit loose then you can carefully tighten the rubber band to make the joints firmer.

Step 8: Slide in the Paper Clip and Watch Your Lantern Glow!

7. Paper clip switch - now the fun bit, poke the flap at the bottom in and gently slide a paperclip over it to secure - this will presses the painted square switch across the gap in the circuit to close it. Your pumpkin jack-o-lantern should start to twinkle!

Place your jack-o-lantern in a window or post to a friend. If you post you can gently flatten your pumpkin to slide in an envelope - make sure you remove the paperclip and open the flap so that the switch doesn't make contact while he's in transit!

If you've enjoyed this tutorial or have any bright ideas or comments let us know and send your pictures to info@bareconductive.com !

Step 9: Want to Make More Halloween Pop-Up Cards?

If you enjoyed this project you'll love our Pop-up Cat and Mummy Cards! You can check these out on our tutorials page at www.bareconductive.com

or by searching Instructables for:

Halloween Blinking Pop-Up Cat

Halloween Blinking Pop-Up Mummy

So go on and get your hands dirty with Bare Conductive!



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    6 Discussions

    Thanks, I have used it to create some Paper Pumpkin if you want to see the result this is the link: https://www.instructables.com/id/Paper-Pumpkin/

    How about using a color changing LED?

    Oh, by the way there is a 12 sided solid that would also make a good pumpkin but it wouldn't fold up for mailing.