Making a Festive Greetings Card

With that season approaching, it might be time to get the little ones busy making cards to send to your nearest and dearest - and who doesn't love a shiny light!? At around 70p a card, it's even cheaper than the pound shop, and you get to make your own design.

Note that this project contains small parts. Not suitable for children 3 years or younger. This is not a toy. Keep coin cell batteries out of reach of children. If ingested, seek medical help immediately.

make a card

stuff you need

First, you'll need some card - we just folded some A4 in half. You'll need some paper for decorating and for making the battery holder. Scissors, glue, glitter, and a pen are also useful.

For our card, we made a glittering snowflake with a blue LED in, but you could let your imagination run riot and have a shark with lasers, a warm bonfire, or even a birthday cake with an LED candle!

some ideas

First, draw or glue your design onto a piece of thick paper or card. This will be the thing that hides the actual LED on the front of the card. We used a snowflake sticker on some blue card, and then cut it out.

snowflake cutting out

Next, place the cut out decoration on the front of your card, and mark where you want the LED to be.

does it fit

mark centre

Put some Blu Tack or an old eraser behind the mark, and use a pencil to push a hole in the card where the LED will go. SPOINK!

spoink

Now we have a space for the LED, push the legs through from the front of the card. You can bend the top of the legs to make the bulb lie flat if you like.

leg-a-rama bend-a-roo

On the back of the card, you should see the legs of the LED poking through. Bend them out sideways so they lie flat and then twist the LED so that the long leg (positive side) is on the RIGHT.

bend legs flat

Now we have to connect the LED to the battery, but make a switch so that it isn't always on.

What we want to do is to make a breakable loop.

circuit sketch

If we make the part that touches the positive (top) side of the battery able to flap on and off it, we can use it as a switch.

Cut out a little rectangle of paper and glue one half of it to the card under where the LED legs are, so the other half is sticking up.

battery switch

Now, use copper tape to tape the short leg to the left side of the flap, so we can sit the battery on top of it.

tape circuit

tape circuit

Tape the long leg over the top of the flap (side marked on), open up the flap, and carry it on around the flap (side marked off).

on off

Make sure the tape doesn't join in the middle of the paper.

We used paper tape to hold the battery on the card, leaving the middle bare so that the copper tape switch can touch it.

tape the battery in

Check the circuit works. Sometimes the copper tape will need smoothing down, or you might have to check your battery is in the right way around.

check it

Now, all that remains is to cover up the LED on the outside with your design.

We used sticky foam pads from the craft shop, but you can glue the edges of the design and press it over the LED.

sticky pads

Use the switch you made to turn it on, and admire your glowy card!

glowy

Go crazy with the glitter and sequins!

festive card

Shopping basket

Need something for this project? You can use the links below to add products to your Pimoroni Shop basket for easy checkout.

LED - 3mm - pack of 10
Green £1.00
LED - 3mm - pack of 10
Yellow £1.00
LED - 3mm - pack of 10
Orange £1.00
LED - 3mm - pack of 10
Red £1.00
LED - 5mm - pack of 10
Red £1.00
LED - 5mm - pack of 10
Blue £1.00
LED - 5mm - pack of 10
Green £1.00
LED - 5mm - pack of 10
Yellow £1.00
CLN Lithium 3V Coin Cell CR2032 - Pack of 5
£2.50
Copper Tape
£3.00
Want to checkout or change something? Click here to view your cart.

Tutorial
Beginner
Kids, LEDs, Festive Makes

Tanya Fish

tanya@pimoroni.com
@tanurai
http://tanyafishmakes.wordpress.com
Formerly, Tanya worked in various Sheffield schools, teaching maths and physics and shouting loudly at paperwork. Now a crew member at Pimoroni - working on learning materials for schools, workshops, and lasering anything she can get her hands on. Gets very giddy at most things STEAM.