Make a Breadboard for Electronic Circuits - Papercliptronics



About: Logician. Interests: Computer Programming and Inventing. Electronic Circuits. Homemade Breadboards.

We MAKE a HOMEMADE BREADBOARD using Paperclips as the Conductive Rails.

These are STRONG and PERMANENT Electronic Circuits.

In this tutorial we will MAKE:

  • LED Light Circuit on our Paperclip Breadboard
  • Light Detector Circuit on our Paperclip Breadboard
  • Dark Detector Circuit on our Paperclip Breadboard
  • Water Detector Circuit on our Paperclip Breadboard
  • Dual LED Blinking Circuit on our Paperclip Breadboard

Enjoy Our Step-by-Step Tutorial on Creating Homemade Electronic Circuits.

Step 1: Let's EXAMINE the Homemade Breadboard


We USE 10 Paperclips to be the Rails of our Homemade Breadboard.

We MAKE a Top Rail, Bottom Rail & 8 Rails in the middle.

The Top Rail is Connected to the Positive End of our D BATTERIES.

The Bottom Rail is Connected to the Negative End of our D BATTERIES.

We CRIMPED Paperclip Connectors onto the Legs of our Resistor & LED.

We then CRIMPED those Paperclip Connectors to our Paperclip Rails.

Step 2: Paperclip Power Connector - Using Magnets (Neodymium)

We can USE 3 small cylindrical Neodymium Magnets to make EASY Connections for our Battery Power Supply.

We USE Paperclips to CONNECT from the Breadboard Power Rails to the Battery, which has a Magnet on Each End.

There is also a Magnet in the Middle of the (2) D Batteries to Keep them Connected together.

Step 3: Power Supply USES Two D Batteries

The POSITIVE RAIL is on the top of the diagram.

The Positive Rail is connected to the Positive side of the D BATTERY.

The NEGATIVE RAIL is on the bottom of the diagram.

The Negative Rail is connected to the Negative side of the D Battery.

We can make our Power Supply Connections with Speaker wire & Duct Tape OR with Paperclips with Neodymium Magnets.

Step 4: Power Supply Connectors - Single Hook OR Double Hook

We CONNECT a Paperclip from the Bottom Negative Rail to the 1st Rail.

This makes the 1st Rail Become NEGATIVE.

We then CONNECT a Paperclip from the Top Positive Rail to the 3rd Rail.

This makes the 3rd Rail Become POSITIVE.

Paperclips or Copper Wire can be used as Power supply connectors..

Either choice works very nicely.

Step 5: Cardboard Box With White Paper That Is Glued Down

We USE a Cardboard Box to be the Base of our Homemade Breadboard.

We CUT White Paper to FIT INSIDE the Cardboard Box.

We ELMER'S GLUE the White Paper into the Bottom of the Cardboard Box.

(It only takes a small amount of Glue around the Edges of the Paper, to hold the Paper in place nicely.

Step 6: USE 10 Large Paperclips

We USE 10 Large Paperclips.

Make sure that your Paperclips are not coated with plastic.

We USE Metal Paperclips, which are highly conductive and very strong.

Step 7: UNFOLD the Paperclips

We UNFOLD 10 Large Paperclips.

We LAY them out on the Cardboard.

As we can see, our Paperclips have some Bent Sections.

In the next step we will Straighten the Bent Sections of our Paperclips using Needle Nose Pliers.

Step 8: Straighten the Bent Sections of Each Paperclip - (optional)

A person might choose to straighten out the Paperclip Rails even more,

by applying pressure with Needle Nose Pliers to each of the Paperclip's Bent Sections.

It takes about 4 applications of pressure to straighten out each bent section.

This step is optional, but does provide a cleaner look to our circuits.

Step 9: Paperclip Rails BENT on Both Ends

We BEND Both Ends of each Paperclip.

We BEND about 1/8" at 90 degrees.

We BEND all 10 Paperclips in this way.

Step 10: Paperclip Rails BENT & Ready to Insert Into Cardboard

We LAY OUT the Bent Paperclips that we prepared.

We have a TOP RAIL, BOTTOM RAIL & 8 RAILS in the middle.

In the next step we will insert these bent Paperclips into the Cardboard.

Step 11: INSERT the Bent End of the Paperclip Rail Into the Cardboard

We INSERT the Paperclip Rail Ends into the Cardboard.

We REPEAT THIS for all 10 of the Large Paperclips.

Step 12: Paperclip Bent Ends INSERTED Into Cardboard & GLUED

We INSERT the Bent Ends of Each Paperclip into the Cardboard.

We SPACE out each Rail, about 1" apart. But, a person may choose to space it closer too.

We APPLY ELMER'S GLUE over each insertion location.

We USE a good amount of Elmer's glue, to create a good adhesion effect.

We WAIT 14+ Hours, for the Elmer's glue to dry!


We MAKE a VERY STRONG BOND, using the Elmer's glue.

Step 13: Paperclip Ends Must Be Covered to Prevent Possible Injury

WARNING: Be Careful for the Exposed Paperclip Ends on the bottom of the box!


We can cover these Exposed Paperclip Ends using a variety of methods:

* 4 Layers of Duct Tape, with the Duct Tape Ends Elmer's Glued, to ensure the that Tape remains in place.

* A Cardboard Layer Cover which is Elmer's Glued, Hot Glued, or Stapled OVER the Exposed Paperclip Ends.

* Hot Glue OVER the Exposed Paperclip Ends

The Shorter the Ends, the less glue needed, but remember, that even a small amount of exposed Paperclip End represents a very serious risk to a person from possible puncture or scratch.

Step 14: Crimping Methods - Single Shoe Vs Double Shoe Vs Double Shoe CUT

We CRIMP Small Paperclips onto our Electronic Component Legs USING Needle Nose Pliers.

We call these CRIMPED Paperclip Connectors.

The Feet of these Paperclip Connectors are either SINGLE HOOK or DOUBLE HOOK.

Single Crimp Method is FAST to set up, but, pieces are less secure and tilt. (not recomended)

Double Crimp Method is VERY SECURE, but pieces don't fit in a closed Box.

Double Shoe CUT is the best method of crimping.

Notice also the small shoes. This makes it easier to apply the pieces under the paperclip rails.

Step 15: CUT Double Hook Shoes - Allows Pieces to Fit in Closed Box

This is the preferred method of crimping by the author.

The Double Hook Shoe Shape is VERY STRONG, SECURE, & CONDUCTIVE.

In order to Fit our pieces in the closed cardboard box, we must CUT the Paperclip down to size.

Step 16: CUT Double Hook Shoes - Allows Pieces to Fit in Closed Box

We CUT the Paperclip to size USING Heavy Duty Shears.

The two features that make this method the best are:

  • Small Shoe - allows easier placement under rails
  • Short Neck - allows a person to close their cardboard box, enabling easy stacking and transport of circuits.

Step 17: CUT Double Hook Shoes - Allows Pieces to Fit in Closed Box

We CRIMP the Hook of the Paperclip onto the Resistor Leg by SQUEEZING Very Hard.

This is a very strong and secure method.

Step 18: CUT Double Hook Shoes - Allows Pieces to Fit in Closed Box

We PLACE the Double Hook Shoes under the 1st & 2nd Paperclip Rails.

We CRIMP these Shoes to the Rails using Needle Nose Pliers.

Step 19: Double Crimp Method - VERY STRONG & SECURE

We CRIMP 2 Points on each of the Paperclip Connectors.

We USE Needle Nose Pliers to Crimp each point one-at-a-time.

We do NOT squeeze as hard as possible, because that would exceed the limit of the paperclips durability.

This 2 Point Crimping Method prevents the Electronic Component from moving in any direction.

The Electronic Component will not slide around, nor will it tilt. IT IS SECURE.

Step 20: Double Crimp Method - VERY STRONG & SOLID Connections!

We UTILIZE a Different Method for Crimping Components, for a more Secure Connection.

We FOLD the Paperclip to achieve 4 Connection points.

We CRIMP each Connection point, one at a time with Needle Nose Pliers.

By Using Double Crimp Method NO GLUE IS NEEDED!

Our electronic components will be securely held in place.

The next steps walk you through how to achieve this Double Crimp Method.

Step 21: Double Crimp Applied - 4 Point Crimp

We USED Needle Nose Pliers to CRIMP each of the 4 Crimp Points, one-at-a-time.

By Crimping 4 Points, it provides a very strong connection in all directions.

Notice also, the Stabilizer Arms.

We will SHOW each step on how to FOLD the Paperclip to achieve this Double Crimp effect.

Step 22: Double Crimp Method - Step-by-Step

We UNFOLD Only one part of the Paperclip.

To be able to close the box, we must make this extended part shorter, by making a Cut with Shears.

Cutting this extended section is optional, but keep in mind, that stacking your circuits is easier, when you are able to close the lid of the food box.

Step 23: Double Crimp Method - Bend the Bottom in Half

We BEND the Bottom of the Paperclip in half.

We USE Needle Nose Pliers in the middle of the looping part of the paperclip.

We FOLD the Loop on itself.

Step 24: Bend the Paperclip End

We FOLD the Bottom Double Section of the Paperclip.

Step 25: Bend a Hook at the End About 1/8"

We BEND the very end of the Paperclip at about 1/8" from the End, into a Hook.

This Hook will be Crimped onto the Electronic Component Leg.

Make sure you Bend the Hook Shape in the correct direction, as shown in the picture above.

Step 26: Position Paperclip Face Up BEFORE Making the CRIMP!

We POSITION the Paperclip as you see in the picture, face up.

In this way, we can later BEND the Paperclip toward the end at 90 Degrees.

Step 27: Double Crimp Method - Crimped to Component Leg

We POSITION our Hook Shape onto the Resistors Leg.

We will then USE Needle Nose Pliers to CRIMP the Hook Shape, as shown in the next step.

Step 28: Double Crimp Method - CRIMP TO COMPONENT LEG

We CRIMP the Hook Shape to the Components Leg USING Needle Nose Pliers.

We SQUEEZE the Needle Nose Pliers VERY HARD.

If you are very strong, do not squeeze as hard as possible, for that pressure would possibly exceed the durability of the Component Leg.

This is a very STRONG connection, both for mechanical strength and for conductivity.

Step 29: Double Crimp Method - BEND THE PAPERCLIP LEG at 90 Degrees Downward

We ISOLATE the Paperclip Leg NEAR the Crimp point.

We BEND the Paperclip Legs Downwards at 90 Degrees.

Our Resistor is now ready to apply to our Paperclip Rails.

Step 30: Double Crimp Applied to Rail & Crimped

We POSITION the Electronic Component Paperclip Connector Hook Shapes Under the Rails of the Breadboard.

We USE Needle Nose Pliers to CRIMP the Hook Shapes TOGETHER forming a SECURE Connection.

Step 31: Transistor CRIMPED With Paperclips & Bent Into Hook Shapes for Rails

We CRIMP Paperclips around each Leg of the Transistor.

We BEND the End of those Paperclips into Hook Shapes.

We CONNECT those Hook Shapes to the Paperclip Rails.

Step 32: Double Hook Shoes for Transitors - Bending the Shoe

We BEND toward the End of the Paperclip to make the Double Hook SHOE.

This Shoe is made small, in order to place it easily under Rails.

This Small Shoe also works EXCELLENT for Resistors, Capacitors, LEDS, and all other components as well.

Step 33: Double Hook Shoes for Transitors - Bending the Top Hook

This Small Double Hook Shoe, allows EASY placement under Rails.

For Transistors, we BEND the Top Hook, TOWARD the Double Hook Shoe, as shown in the picture.

This allows us to FACE the Shoe, in the Same direction as the Top Hook.

Step 34: CRIMP Applied With Needle Nose Pliers

While we Hold the Transistor in our Left Hand, and have it level, and

while HANGING the Hook on the 1st Transistor Leg, we USE Needle Nose Pliers, with our Right Hand, to CRIMP the Hook into place.

We SQUEEZE very hard to make the CRIMP.

Step 35: Double Hook Shoes Orientation

We FACE the 1st & 2nd Legs to the LEFT.

The 3rd Leg FACES to the Right.

We orient them this way, to enable easy placement under the Rails.

Step 36: Transistor Placement Leg Order

We PLACE the Middle Leg first, and then the Left Leg, and finally the Right Leg.

This allows us to place the Legs with ease under the Rails.

Step 37: Single Crimp Method - Paperclip Connectors

The Single Shoe Method is NOT as effective as the Double Shoe Method, but we have archived it in this step, for anyone interested in utilizing it for later soldering, or other adhesion techniques.

But, KEEP IN MIND, that we do NOT encourage anyone to use solder, because it is NOT needed anymore and is very dangerous to humans.

Instead we use the Double Shoe Method.

Step 38: Make a Homemade Breadboard Using Paperclips - VERY STRONG & PERMANENT CIRCUIT DESIGN METHOD

WATCH the Video Tutorial here to Follow along step-by-step.

Step 39: LED Light Circuit - Papercliptronics Example

We MAKE an LED Light Circuit on our Paperclip Breadboard.

  • (1) 150 Ohm Resistor
  • (2) D Batteries
  • (1) Green LED
  • Speaker Wire for Battery Connection
  • Paperclips or Speaker Wire for Power Rail Connectors

We could use a 100 Ohm Resistor instead, but would be slightly overpowering the LED by 10 mA.

In the next step we will show you how to calculate the correct Resistor for your LED's.

Step 40: LED Current Calculation - CHOOSING THE CORRECT RESISTOR

The Green LED we are using wants a max current of 0.20 mA. (milli Amps)

If we use a 3 Volt Power Supply and a 150 Ohm Resistor, we will achieve this 0.20 mA.

We could choose to use a 100 Ohm Resistor, but would be overpowering the LED by 10 mA.

The LED won't be damaged right away by the extra 10 mA, but, it is being damaged and reducing the life of the component!

CHOOSING THE RIGHT RESISTOR for our 3 Volt Power Supply:

Current = Volts / Resistance
Amps = 3 Volts / 150 Ohms = 0.02 Amps
mA = 0.02 Amps X 1000
Current = 20 mA

Thus, the Correct Resistor to use for a 3 Volts Power Supply is a 150 Ohm Resistor.


When Converting from Amps to milli Amps, you don't have to multiply using a calculator.

Instead you can just move the decimal point three places to the right.

Thus, 0.02 Amps becomes, 20 mA.

Step 41: RESISTORS IN SERIES - Increases Total Resistance Value

What if we don't have a 150 Ohm Resistor?

That's okay. We can use multiple smaller Resistors together instead, to achieve the correct value.

We can place two 75 Ohm Resistors in Series and they will Add Together to become 150 Ohms.

The Series Formula for Resistors is very simple:

Resistor Total = Resistor1 + Resistor2 + ... ResistorN

(ResistorN means, however many Resistors you have, you add them all together with simple addition)

Step 42: RESISTORS in PARALLEL - Decreases Total Resistance Value - Formula for When ONLY 2 Resistors Used

What if we don't have two smaller value Resistors either, but instead, we have two larger size Resistors?

That's okay. We can use multiple bigger Resistors together instead, to achieve the correct value.

We can place two 300 Ohm Resistors in Parallel and they will Decrease the Total Resistance Value to become 150 Ohms.

The Parallel Formula for when ONLY 2 Resistors are used:

Resistor Total = (Resistor1 x Resistor2) / (Resistor1 + Resistor2)


Let's put our values in the formula:

Resistor Total = (300 x 300) / (300 + 300)

Resistor Total = 90,000 / 600

Resistor Total = 150 Ohm



The Parallel Formula for 3 or more Resistors IS DIFFERENT and will be shown in a moment.

Step 43: RESISTORS in PARALLEL - Decreases Total Resistance Value - Formula for When 3 or More Resistors Used

What if we only have 3 larger sized Resistors and we want the value to equal less, such as 100 Ohms?

The Parallel Formula for 3 or more Resistors:

1 / ResistorTotal = 1 / Resistor1 + 1 / Resistor 2 + 1 / Resistor3


Let's say we choose to use three 300 Ohm Resistors in Parallel.


Let's put our value of 300 Ohm in the formula:

1 / ResistorTotal = 1 / 300 + 1 / 300 + 1 / 300


We divide 1 by 300, for each of the values:

1 / 300 = 0.0033

1 / 300 = 0.0033

1 / 300 = 0.0033


We then add these values together:

0.0033 + 0.0033 + 0.0033 = 0.009933


And now, 1 Divided by 0.009933

1 / 0.009933 = 100.67


ResistanceTotal = 100.67 Ohms


The above might seem complicated, that is, until you do it on your calculator.

Let's walk through the steps on the calculator:

Step1: Press 1
Step 2: Press / division symbol

Step 3: Press 300

Step 4: Press = equal symbol

FirstAnswer: 0.009933 It is okay if your calculator only shows 0.0099. It is close enough for efficiency.

Step 5: Press 1

Step 6: Press / division symbol

Step 7: Press 0.009933

Step 8: Press = equal symbol

Answer: 100.67

Thus, if you use three 300 Ohm Resistors in Parallel, the total resistance value is 100.67 Ohm.

Step 44: Capacitor & LED Circuit - (FADES LED OUT)

When we REMOVE power from the Circuit, the LED will Turn Off Slowly.

The reason for this is simple: The Capacitor is Discharging (LED Turns Off Slowly).

We USE a 470 micro Farad Capacitor.

If we used a bigger capacitor, the FADE OUT time would INCREASE. (longer discharge time)

If we used a smaller capacitor, the FADE OUT time would DECREASE. (shorter discharge time)

Step 45: Capacitors in PARALLEL - INCREASES Capacitance Value

Step 46: Capacitors in SERIES - DECREASES Capacitance Value - Formula When Only 2 Capacitors Used

Step 47: Capacitors in SERIES - DECREASES Capacitance Value - Formula When 3 or More Used

Step 48: LED Light Circuit - (White LED) Volt Meter

We do the math for the White LED with 3 Volts in mind.

Since it is 3 Volts, we chose a 100 Ohm Resistor to supply our White LED 0.30 Amps (30 mA).

Step 49: Volt Meter

We have EASY ACCESS to the Rails for Multi-Meter Testing!

When we measure each of our D Batteries we get two different values.
One of our D Batteries is 1.41 Volts. The other D Battery is 1.52 Volts. In Series, these 2 D Batteries add together, to give us 2.90 Volts in our circuit.

We PLACE our PROBE LEADS on the A & B locations, shown in the chart above. We confirm that 2.90 Volts is being read. Keep in mind, that your value will differ, since your batteries will be at a different charge at the time of use. We have to plan on the person using 3 Volts. The batteries we are using are less than 1.5 Volts each, BUT, the user of our circuits might use well made batteries that achieve the correct voltage.

Step 50: Light Detector Circuit- Papercliptronics Example

We MAKE a Light Detector Circuit using:

  • 150 Ohm Resistor- for the LED
  • 120 Ohm Resistor OR 8.2 kOhm Resistor - Base of Transistor
  • pnp 3906 Transistor
  • LDR (Light Dependent Resistor)
  • LED
  • 2 D Batteries
  • Speaker Wire Connectors
  • Paperclip Connectors

CLICK to WATCH the Video to SEE the Light Detector Circuit in action.

Step 51: Dark Detector Circuit - Papercliptronics Example (Night Light)

We MAKE a Dark Detector Circuit using:

  • 100 Ohm Resistor
  • 8.2 kOhm Resistor
  • npn 3904 Transistor
  • LDR (Light Dependent Resistor)
  • LED
  • 2 D Batteries
  • Speaker Wire Connectors
  • Paperclip Connectors

Step 52: Water Detector Circuit - Papercliptronics Example - Works As Touch Sensor As Well

We MAKE a Water Detector Circuit using:

  • 270 Ohm Resistor
  • 1 kOhm Resistor
  • npn 3904 Transistor
  • 2 D Batteries
  • LED
  • Speaker Wire Connectors
  • Paperclip Connectors

This circuit will also sense when a human touches both of the leads.

Step 53: Dual LED Blinking Circuit - Papercliptronics Example

We MAKE a Dual LED Blinking Circuit using:

  • (2) pnp 3906 Transistors
  • (2) 180 Ohm Resistors
  • (2) 100 kOhm Resistors
  • (2) 470 uF Capacitors
  • (2) LED's
  • (2) D Batteries
  • Speaker Wire
  • Paperclips

Step 54: LED Circuit - 6 LEDs

We MAKE an LED Light USING 6 White LED

  • (1) 100 Ohm Resistor
  • (6) White LED
  • Paperclip Connectors
  • (2) D Batteries

Step 55: Switch - Using Magnet (Neodymium)

We ADD a small Paperclip Rail to our Breadboard.

We PLACE our Positive Power Supply Connection onto this new small Paperclip Rail.

We POSITION a normal Paperclip under the small Paperclip Rail.

We USE a Neodymium Magnet on the Positive Rail to MAKE the Connection.

Thus, the power now goes from the small Rail to the Positive Rail at the top, from our new Switch.

NOTE: We used Electrical Tape to hold down our new small Rail. Electrical Tape is very good for temporary designs, but we can also add Elmer's Glue around the edges of the tape to make it more permanent.

Step 56: Paperclip Solar Panel - 2 Volts (Paperclip Leads)

We Took Apart a Solar Lawn Light, that we bought from the Dollar Store.

This 2 Volt Solar panel is very easy to harvest.

We USE Paperclips as the LEAD legs to the Terminals of the Solar Panel.

We Hold Each Paperclip Lead in place for 2 minutes AS WE ARE APPLYING THE HOT GLUE.




Each Solar Panel can be found for 1 dollar each at the Dollar Store.

Step 57: Paperclip Rail for Solar Panels - PARALLEL - Current Increases - Volts Stay the Same

We USE a Paperclip Rail to Connect the 4 POSITIVE Wires TOGETHER!

We USE a Paperclip Rail to Connect the 4 NEGATIVE Wires TOGETHER!

In Parallel, the Solar Panels will INCREASE ONLY the CURRENT, while, the Voltage stays the same.

Step 58: Solar Panels - in SERIES - Increases ONLY Voltage - Current Stays the Same


In SERIES, the Solar Panels will INCREASE ONLY the VOLTAGE, while, the Current stays the same.

Step 59: Solar Panels - Parallel Connected in Series

We CONNECT our Parallel Solar Panels, USING a Copper Wire.

Step 60: Paperclip Battery - Copper Wire + Paperclips + Vinegar + Ice Cube Tray

We CONNECT our Paperclip/Copper Wire in Series.

We USE Vinegar in each Ice Cube Tray Slot.

The Speaker Wire is Wound Around the End of the Paperclip and CRIMPED Tightly.

The Paperclip has one leg bent backward, to ensure that only the copper touches the other slot.

We MAKE 4.10 Volts using this method.

WE POWER this White LED using this method.

NOTE: You can get the LED to turn on with 4 Slots. The More Slots used, the more volts generated.

Step 61: Paperclip FIXING Components With Short Leads

We can SAVE any Electronic Component using Paperclip Crimping.

We simply CRIMP a Paperclip onto the Short Legs of the Component.

In this example, we MAKE Double Hook Shoe style for the legs, but, if we wanted to use this piece in a breadboard, we would just KEEP the Paperclip Legs straight.

Small Paperclips FIT in Breadboards!

NOW YOU CAN SAVE THOSE 'BROKEN' Electronic Components, using Paperclip Crimping :-)

Step 62: Microchip Crimping With Paperclips - Natural Leg Shape Method

We CRIMP Hook Shapes around each Leg of the Microchip.

In this case, we are using a 555 Timer.

We Keep Space between the legs, so that they NEVER touch.

There are many ways to achieve this spacing.

Step 63: Microchip Crimping With Paperclips - Straight Leg Shape Method

We can call this the Straight Spacing Method, because it does NOT bend
the Legs of the Microchip, in order to create the spacing.

In addition, a person might choose to BEND each Leg of the Microchip, so that the
Legs are alternately bent up and down, to enable easier spacing between Legs.

Whichever what is most comfortable for you to crimp.

I personally like the Natural Leg Method, which for myself, is the easiest to make the 8 crimps.

Step 64: 555 Timer - Pin Layout

This Diagram Shows what each Pin is called, and which number it is refered to.

Step 65: Paperclip Spiral Slots Method - Easy Inserting/Removing Components

We MAKE Paperclip Breadboards with Paperclip Spiral Slots

Now we can Insert and Remove our Electronic components easily.

We make SPIRAL SLOTS from Paperclips, that we WRAP onto our paperclip Rails.

The Spiral Slots are Easy to make.

We WRAP a Straight Small Paperclip, around another Straight Small Paperclilp, which we hold with Needle Nose pliers, while we wind the paperclip around and around, with our right hand, to form a spiral slot.

That spiral slot is then wound around the Paperclip Rail, which is a large paperclip.

Step 66: Paperclip Spiral Slots - Power Rails

We USE a Paperclip Spiral Slot WRAPPED around the Power Rail, which CONNECTS to the D Battery.

Step 67: Paperclip Spiral Slot - Homemade Breadboard Conductive Slots

We TWIST a Small Paperclip into a Spiral Slot Shape, by TWISTING it around another Small Paperclip.

Notice that we leave a nice long extension leg, to be able to WRAP around the Large Paperclip Rails.

Step 68: Paperclip Spiral Slots - Step-by-Step Instruction

We UNFOLD 2 Small Paperclips.

We HOLD the 2 Straight Paperclips with our Left Hand.

We TWIST the Top Paperclip with our Right Hand, very tightly, around the other Paperclip, which is acting as a Form.

Step 69: Paperclip Spiral Slots - Step-by-Step Instruction

We USE Needle Nose Pliers, to Hold the Junction of the 2 Paperclips, to enable us more control, in TWISTING the other Paperclip with our Right Hand.

BE CAREFUL!!! The Ends of the Paperclips are Sharp!

Step 70: Paperclip Spiral Slots - Step-by-Step Instruction

We WRAP the Paperclip Spiral Slot's Leg BACKWARD Toward US, Around the Large Straight Paperclip Rail.

Keep Wrapping it until the very end of the length.

Step 71: Paperclip Spiral Coupling - Component to Component Connections

Breadboard Circuits are Fun.

But sometimes we want CONNECT Components DIRECTLY to other Components.

We USE a Paperclip Spiral Coupling, that we make from a small paperclip, to JOIN the LED to the Resistor.

Step 72: Paperclip Spiral Coupling - Component to Component Connections

We USE Paperclips to CONNECT our Batteries to our Circuit.

We TEST the Connections, by TOUCHING the Spirals to the Positive and Negative leads, from the Battery.

Step 73: Paperclip Spiral Coupling - Component to Component Connections

We USE 90 Degree Paperclip Spiral Slots, for the Angles that our Circuit requires.

Step 74: Paperclip Spiral Coupling - Component to Component Connectors

Using Needle Nose Pliers & Normal Pliers, a person can become very efficient at MAKING Paperclip Spiral Couplings.

We MAKE Paperclip Spiral Couplings while watching Electronics video tutorials on youtube :-)

You can Connect any Electronic Component to any other using this method.

On Both ENDS of the Paperclip Spiral Couplings, you can TWIST them, to TIGHTEN or LOOSEN the Spiral Coupling.

Step 75: Paperclip Spiral Couplings - Component to Component Circuit Design - Transistor

We CRIMP Paperclip Connectors to each leg of the Transistor.

We do this to later PLACE Sprial Couplings on each one snuggly.

There are many ways to UTILIZE these Spiral Couplings for Transistors.

Step 76: Paperclip Spiral Coupling - Component to Component Circuit Design - Transistor ANGLES

Circuits often require multiple connections to a leg of a Transistor.

Circuits also often require multiple ANGLES to achieve the design.

We can accomplish both goals, by using the Spiral Couplings, and Bending them where needed.

Step 77: Paperclip Sprial Couplings - Circuit Design Method - Dark Detector

We MAKE a Dark Detector Circuit USING our Paperclip Spiral Couplings.

Watch the Video by Clicking on the Play Button.

Step 78: Tools

Tools Used:

  • Needle Nose Pliers
  • Shears (Heavy Duty)
  • Wire Strippers (Light Duty)
  • Flush Cutters

Step 79: Materials


  • Cardboard Box
  • Large Paperclips
  • Small Paperclips
  • Elmer's Glue-All
  • Duct Tape
  • D Batteries
  • Resistors
  • NPN Transistor 3904
  • PNP Transistor 3906
  • LED's

Step 80: HAVE FUN & BE SAFE - Happy Circuiting

Papercliptronics is designed for kids and adults.
By using Paperclips instead of Solder, we avoid the fumes!!! Solder fumes are toxic and cause damage to humans. I invented Papercliptronics to avoid the dangers of solder and the high costs of buying hundreds of Breadboards.

Papercliptronics is a permanent circuit design method

as well as a prototyping environment:

Invented by Keystoner March of College of Scripting Music & Science.

We can now make hundreds and hundreds of electronic circuits for pennies!

Paperclip Crimping is a Safe Alternative to Solder, because there are no fumes or heat.

However, here is a list of things to keep in mind.


When you make the breadboard by inserting Paperclip Ends into the Cardboard, the bottom of the box will have many Paperclip Ends exposed, and therefore, should be considered as sharp and dangerous.

These exposed Paper Clip Ends Need to be covered. A person may choose to place multiple layers of Duct Tape over the exposed Paperclip Ends, and then Elmer's Glue the Duct Tape Ends to keep the Duct Tape in place.

OR Alternatively, a person can use Hot Glue to cover the ends.

Also, if a person bends the Paperclip Ends less, it will expose less of the Ends on the bottom.

We might choose also to Elmer's Glue, or Hot Glue, another piece of cardboard, underneath our breadboard, to Cover over the Paperclip Ends that are exposed.


  • Adult Supervision is recommended, when cutting Paperclip Connector Legs.
  • Make sure to cut the Paperclips in a straight line, other wise a diagonal sharp-piece would result.
  • Adult Supervision is recommended, for these are small pieces, and therefore represent a choking hazard.
  • Be Careful for any of the sharp Speaker Wire Ends, for they represent a puncture danger.
  • If using Hot Glue, instead of Elmer's Glue, BE VERY CAREFUL for Fumes and Heat.

Hot Glue is non-toxic, but even so, make sure that you have extremely good ventilation, such as a strong fan near a window. In addition, make sure to be extremely careful from the HEAT of the Hot Glue Gun Tip!


The longer you allow the Elmer's Glue to Dry the STRONGER the Bond will be. But, if a piece is moved before the drying is complete, then the bond will not be as secure.

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