Instructables Robot Paper LED Flashlight




This is my entry into the Instructables Pocket-Sized Contest.

Darkness is everywhere and often you find yourself stuck in a black abyss without a source of light. Fear no more, as now there is a tiny LED flashlight that fits into any pocket and weighs no more than a pencil, all while sporting a picture of the Instructables Robot.

Step 1: Materials

For the construction of my entry into the Pocket-Sized Contest, I decided to use a pocket-sized tool: My Instructables Leatherman.

All you need:

  • 3*5 Index card
  • 3v Coin cell battery
  • LED (that can be brightly lit with the battery; any size)
  • Instructables Robot sticker
  • Gel super-glue
  • Thin craft Styrofoam (see 3rd picture)
  • Instructables Leatherman (can be replaced with other tools if necessary)

Step 2: Manipulating the Card I

Sketch the lines as shown in the picture on to your index card. Look at the photonotes for the exact measurements. Be sure to copy the line style exactly, either solid or dashed.

Step 3: Manipulating the Card II

Now, following the lines you created in the previous step, use the scissors on the Instructables Leatherman to cut on all the solid lines. Be sure to cut the small slit that is identified in the photo.

Step 4: Manipulating the Card III

Now, using the knife of the Instructables Leatherman, score but do not cut, along all of the dashed lines. This will make folding the card much easier.

Step 5: Fold It

Fold the flaps on the side inward and then fold the entire piece in half.

Step 6: Components

Insert the leads of your LED into the slit that you created before. Twisting them helps them fit around the battery better.

Step 7: Battery Time

First, cut 2 small pieces of foam that are about 1/4 of an inch square. Then put two small dots of super glue on the negative terminal of the battery in the configuration shown in the second picture. Leaving a gap of about 1cm, place the foam on the dots of glue. If any foam hangs off the battery, trim it off.

Step 8: Final Assembly

Insert the battery into the paper "sleeve" that was created with the outside flaps. Make sure that the positive side of the battery is touching the anode of the LED and the cathode of the LED is resting on the foam on the battery but not touching the battery its self. Next, fold the paper sleeve, with the battery in it, in half. The side flaps must not be sticking out the side of the light once the paper is folded in half. Lastly, insert the final flap into the inside of the paper enclosure (look at the picture if you're stuck.)

Step 9: Robot-ifying

I know a lot of robots. Robot toys, useful robots, not so useful robots, big robots, and small robots, Roomba, the list goes on. My absolute favorite robot is none other than the Instructables Robot!

To make the Robot sticker fit on the light it needs to be trimmed. I used my Leatherman's scisors to cut along the black lines of the sticker. Then, peel off the sticker's back and stick it on the top side of your light. (The top side is the side that, when pushed on in the middle, lights the LED)

Step 10: Operation

Operation of this handy light is simple. Simply squeeze in the middle of the robot to touch the LED's lead to the battery's terminal.



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32 Discussions


3 years ago



4 years ago on Introduction

Thanks so much for this Instructable - our kids really enjoyed it! and i had a pretty good time myself :)


4 years ago on Introduction

Somehow, I missed this earlier. I noticed it again recently, when Zuz, from the Washington Twp Public Library (?) started to make an Instructable showing how she used this with the teens in her library.

That really caught my eye because, I am in the process of starting up an Electronics club at our library. As an owner of a small manufacturing business, I naturally thought about mass production of this project. So, I created a template to be printed out - it contains nine copies of your flash-light, along with VERY brief instructions and a link to this 'Ible.

I have hosted it on my web site at: and you are free to use it, if you like. The template was designed for US letter-sized paper (8.5"X11".)

This should be printed on heavy-bond paper (I used 110 Lb card stock,) and each flash light should be about one penny. I purchase my LEDs (standard) from Circuit Specialists ( for just over two cents each. Rather than foam and glue, I am going to use double-sided sticky foam from Electronic Goldmine ( for a bit under a penny per square inch. That should cover everything except for the coin cell, and at only US $0.04 per flash light.

I have not sourced out the coin cells, but Electronic Goldmine has them at five for $1.99 (,) for a total price of under 50 cents per project. Look around for a better price on the coin cells, and you may be able to beat that.


11 years ago on Introduction

Awesome job, it looks cool!
Rev. 2 could encorparate a magnet, so it doesn't even need to be *in* your pocket... just floating on your belt buckle! Thats fashion!

2 replies

8 years ago on Introduction

Dude! or Gal ! I have the same super glue as you. Its strange. Anyways nice project.

marc92Elephants Are Fat

Reply 10 years ago on Step 10

The Robot sticker came with a prize from a contest that I won. They usually include a few with your t-shirt.


Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

I won mine in the Launch It contest, but you can purchase an un-engraved one from sporting goods stores or online. The model is the Leatherman Juice S2.


Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

They shouldn't have closed the instructables store. By the time I found it, the page said "We have closed the instructables store". I think it's because it was unauthorized.


10 years ago on Step 1

I've just been wondering for a while (and this may be a stupid question), but where would one get instructable robot stickers?

1 reply

Reply 10 years ago on Step 1

They used to sell them in the Instructables Store, but you can also get them by winning a contest. Usually they will give you a few along with your prize.


10 years ago on Introduction

hey thats pretty cool ! what size is that LED ? its huge !