Quick Light Up Jack-o-Lantern

We kicked off Maker Mondays at the Catherine Dickson Hofman branch of the Warren County Library in Blairstown yesterday. I wanted a fun, Halloween themed craft for the kids that taught a bit of electronics. So I came up with this easy project!

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Here’s what you’ll need for this project:

  • A 7 inch paper dessert plate
  • orange paint and a brush
  • a black marker OR some black paper, scissors and glue
  • 2 5 mmLEDs (I used red)
  • a CR2032 3V coin cell battery
  • tape
  • an awl or sharp pencil
  • copper tape (optional, but handy)

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To make the jack-o-lantern, start by painting the plate orange and letting it dry. Then add the face using either the marker or paper.

Next, use the awl or pencil to poke holes for the LED eyes. Don’t make them too large, or the LEDs will slip through.

Thread the leads of the LEDs through the holes. Orient them so that the longer, positive leads are both towards the center. Bend the leads flat against the back of the plate. It can help to use a bit of tape under the leads to hold them in place, but don’t cover them! If you have copper tape available, add a bit on top of the two leads to keep them stuck together.

 

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Next, use the awl or pencil to poke holes for the LED eyes. Don’t make them too large, or the LEDs will slip through.

Thread the leads of the LEDs through the holes. Orient them so that the longer, positive leads are both towards the center. Bend the leads flat against the back of the plate. It can help to use a bit of tape under the leads to hold them in place, but don’t cover them! If you have copper tape available, add a bit on top of the two leads to keep them stuck together.

 

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Place the battery with the positive side down on top of the LED leads. Fold the negative leads over the top of the battery. Tape into place to sandwich the battery between the LEDs.

 

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That’s about it! Your eyes should light up. If they don’t check your leads to be sure negative and positive aren’t crossing anywhere. That will short the circuit.

So enjoy this fun little decoration. Make a bunch!

 

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