Homemade Breadboard Using Paperclips

About: Logician. Interests: Computer programming and inventing. Electronics circuits. Homemade Breadboards.

We make a Homemade Breadboard using Paperclips inserted into Cardboard, which is held in place securely with Elmer's glue. We then use Paperclips to connect our Resistor and LED to the Paperclip Rails.

We call this Paperclip Crimping. We use Needle Nose Pliers to crimp Paperclips onto our Resistor, and then we crimp that Paperclip Leg, onto the Paperclip Rail. No solder is ever needed! This is a VERY STRONG CONNECTION!

When we have our pieces in place, and we want them to be more permanently held, we add Elmer's glue, to hold our components from moving.

Enjoy our tutorial on how to make a homemade breadboard for electronics projects and how to modify electronic components to connect to the breadboards you make.

Step 1: Paperclip Rails

We INSERT Paperclip Rails into Cardboard.

We USE Large Paperclips that we have unfolded into straight shapes.

We BEND the ends of each Paperclip, about 1/4" from the end, into a 90 degree angle.

We INSERT the bent ends of the Paperclip into a piece of Cardboard.

We SPACE out each Rail to be about 3/4" apart.

We MAKE a TOP RAIL, BOTTOM RAIL, and 8 RAILS in the middle.

The Top Rail is our Positive Power Rail, which connects to the Positive side of your batteries.

The Bottom Rail is our Negative Power Rail, which connects to the Negative side of your batteries.

Step 2: Insert Bent Paperclip Ends Into Cardboard. Elmer's Glue Added Over Inserted Ends

We INSERT the bent ends of the Paperclips into the piece of Cardboard.

We ADD ELMER'S GLUE to the insert holes, which is the very end of the Paperclips.

We WAIT 14+ hours for the Elmer's glue to dry.

For faster results, a person might choose to use Hot Glue. (careful - adult supervision required for Hot Glue).

Hot Glue NOT Needed. Elmer's Glue works extremely good.

We show the Elmer's glue method, because it is safer, both from no fumes, and no heat!

The Elmer's glue makes a VERY STRONG BOND for your Paperclip Rails to stay in place.

Step 3: Paperclip Crimping Around Resistor - Preparing the Paperclip

We USE NEEDLE NOSE PLIERS to BEND toward thevery end of the Paperclip.

We BEND the Paperclip into a Hook Shape, about 1/2" from the end of the Paperclip.

This Hook Shape will then be Connected to our Resistor by Crimping it on, using the Needle Nose Pliers.

Step 4: Paperclip Crimping - Strong Pressure Applied

We APPLY Strong Pressure with NEEDLE NOSE PLIERS to the Paperclip Hook Shape, around the Resistor leg.

We CRIMP our Hook Shape, almost at the very end of the Resistor leg.

If we happen to apply the crimp too hard, and it breaks, no worries, since we only crimped a very small portion of the Resistor leg.

With practice, you will learn the right pressure to use, so that you can CRIMP but not DESTROY the piece.

Crimping is VERY STRONG and will LAST FOR YEARS!

Crimping is very easy and you will become more proficient with each electronic component that you crimp.

Step 5: Paperclip Legs Bent Down & Excess Is Cut

We BEND the Paperclip Legs, straight down, by isolating the pivot point, near the leg of the Resistor.

Both Legs are bent downward in the same direction.

By using the Needle Nose Pliers as the pivot point,

we can then easily bend the paper clip downward, using our hand.

We CUT the Excess Paperclip remainder USING Heavy Duty Shears.

We now have two Paperclip Connectors crimped onto Resistor with equal size legs.

Step 6: Paperclip Ends Bent Into Hook Shape

We BEND the Paperclip connector into a Hook Shape, about 1" from the end of the Paperclip.

Both Paperclip legs are bent into Hook shapes.

These Hook Shapes will then be crimped onto our Paperclip Rails, using Needle Nose Pliers.

Step 7: Paperclip Crimping Onto Rails

We POSITION the Hook Shaped Paperclip Legs under the Paperclip Rails.

We CRIMP the Hook Shape around the Paperclip Rails, using NEEDLE NOSE PLIERS.

Both Paperclip legs are securely crimped onto each Paperclip Rail.

The Paperclip Pieces will Tilt. That is good. The tilt ensures contact for conductivity.

We will allow it to have this tilt, before we apply Elmer's Glue.

NOTE: Elmer's Glue is NOT needed. Our circuit will work without gluing it. We only glue it into place when we want all the pieces to stay where they are permanently.

When we want our circuits to be permanent, we apply the Elmer's Glue to our pieces.

Remember, our circuit does NOT have to be glued to work.

We only apply the glue, when we have the circuit completed and are comfortable with the position of each piece.

Step 8: Paperclip Crimped Resistor & LED Allowed to Tilt

We CRIMPED the 100 Ohm Resistor onto Rail 1 and Rail 2.

We CRIMPED the LED onto Rail 2 and Rail 3.

Both the Resistor and the LED are strongly crimped and will work without Elmer's glue!

But if you want the pieces to stay permanently in place, then apply the Elmer's while the pieces are tilted, for best conductivity results.

When you have all your pieces in place, keep them tilted,

and then after applying the Elmer's Glue, WAIT at least 14 hours.

Step 9: Power Supply - Positive Top Rail to 3rd Row - Negative Bottom Rail to 1st Row

We CONNECT Speaker Wire from the Top Rail, to Rail 3.

We CONNECT the Top Rail to the Positive of our Battery.

Therefore, the Top Rail is now the Positive Rail.


We CONNECT Speaker Wire from the Bottom Rail, to Rail 1.
We CONNECT the Bottom Rail to the Negative of our Battery.

Therefore, the Bottom Rail is now the Negative Rail.

The Battery supply, is two D batteries in series.

This DC power supply gives around 3 Volts.

We USE Duct Tape, to keep the Speaker Wire in place, with each Battery terminal.

Step 10: Resistor - Elmer's Glued Into Place

We ELMER'S GLUE our Resistor into place, while it is Tilting, for best conductivity results.

We WAIT at least 14 hours, before moving the pieces, to allow for proper glue drying.

We suggest Elmer's glue, because it has no fumes and is NOT hot, and therefore is a safer choice for STEM.


Your electronic components will NOT move around!

Elmer's glue is almost as strong as solder!

Make sure to give it plenty of time to dry!


While you are waiting you can construct more breadboards.

Remember, make sure that your pieces are TILTED onto the rails first, and THEN GLUE THEM!

When the pieces tilt, they touch the paperclip rails much more, and guarantee conductivity.

Step 11: Papercliptronics - a Solderless Method of Making Electronic Circuits

Papercliptronics is a fun and safe way to learn electronics.

I invented the Paperclip Homemade Breadboard and Paperclip Crimping Methods, because I really wanted to learn electronics, but found that Solder is VERY DANGEROUS, both from fumes and from heat!

The fumes from solder causes damage to the persons' lungs!

Therefore, it is advisable that Paperclip Crimping be used instead, for STEM learning, instead of Solder.

In Summation, we just made a homemade breadboard out of 10 paperclips, a piece of cardboard, and a little bit of Elmer's glue. In total, the paperclip breadboard costs an estimated 20 cents to make!

The Paperclip Breadboard is VERY STRONG when Elmer's glue is added.

Thus, we can consider Papercliptronics a permanent circuit design method, as well as a prototyping environment.

Enjoy Learning Electronics Safely.

Take Care Everyone.

Tutorial & Invention by: Keystoner March - College of Scripting Music & Science



    • Build a Tool Contest

      Build a Tool Contest
    • Epilog X Contest

      Epilog X Contest
    • Tape Contest

      Tape Contest

    3 Discussions


    9 days ago

    Cool, thanks for sharing!


    13 days ago

    Ha! What a fun way to use paperclips as an education tool for electronics! Well done!

    1 reply