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Happy birthday light up card project

Learn how to make these really fun Happy Birthday light up cards using paper circuits. This project will help you discover how circuits and electricity work while making a one of a kind card.

This is a great project for groups or individuals looking to celebrate a birthday in a unique way.

Included with this tutorial are (3) FREE Happy Birthday templates in PDF format. They come in black and white so they can be colored or decorated.

Project Time: 15 Minutes

happy birthday light up paper circuit cards
happy birthday light up paper circuit cards

Project Materials

happy birthday light up paper circuit cards

Need the materials for this project?  We have a paper circuit starter kit & ebook available.  The kit includes copper tape, LEDs and CR2032 batteries. Also included is a project ebook with 45 project templates.

paper circuits kit and book makerspace projects

Step 1 – Print Project Templates

To start this project, you will need to download and print the light up card template using the links below.

TIP – Check out our blog for other free holiday and paper circuit templates

Once you have selected your Happy Birthday card, print it on white or colored paper. These designs come in black and white outline and are great for coloring with crayons, pencils or markers.

happy birthday light up paper circuit cards

Each of the Happy Birthday templates is 2 pages in length and we recommend using two-sided printing if your printer is capable. This project will still work fine if you need to print on 2 separate sheets of paper.

print happy birthday cards 2 sided

In order to print 2-sided, open up your PDF template and select the print icon at the top of the page. This will open the printer dialog box and from there you can select “Properties”. Select “Print on Both Sides”.

print 2-sided

Step 2 – Color, Cut and Fold Template

Once you printed your template, you can now color and decorate the front of the card.

color happy birthday card template

After you’re done coloring the template you will need to cut an “X” where the LED will fit through. The last step is to fold your card in half.

cut the front of card for LED

Step 3 – Apply Copper Tape

Turn your template over so you can see the circuit lines on the back. Apply the copper tape to all of the circuit lines. We recommend you use copper tape that has conductive adhesive such as the kind we sell in our paper circuit kits.

apply conductive copper tape to template

Begin by applying the copper tape in a straight line to the corner.

apply conductive copper tape to template

Next, fold the tape at a 45 degree angle in the opposite direction in which you are going.

apply conductive copper tape to template

The last step is to fold the copper back along the circuit line. Do this with the rest of the circuits on the page. Smooth it down with your finger once complete.

apply conductive copper tape to template

Step 4 – Attach The LED

Now it’s time to attach your LED to the template. Make sure to note which leg is longer because this is the positive (+) side of the LED. The shorter leg is the negative side.

LED paper circuits projects

Bend both legs of the LED at a 90 degree angle and attach it to the circuit using copper tape. Make sure to attach the long leg to the side marked positive. Rub the copper tape to ensure everything is making solid contact.

attach LED to circuit

Step 5 – Attach Coin Cell Battery

Next it’s time to attach the coin cell battery. Roll up some copper tape in a ball with the adhesive facing out. Stick this to the copper tape inside the battery circle.

attach coin cell battery to template

Place (1) CR2032 battery on top of the copper ball with the negative (-) side of the battery facing down.

attach coin cell battery to template

Step 6 – Test Your Paper Circuit

The last step is to fold your card in half and push the LED through the cut you made earlier. Push down on the area marked “Press” to test your card.

paper circuit happy birthday card

Show Us Your Project

Follow us on Twitter at @Makerspaces_com and tweet us if you made this or another project.  We love seeing your makerspaces and the creations you’re making.

If you’re looking for more paper circuit projects, please check out our ebook which has 45 project templates along with our paper circuit starter kit.

paper circuits kit and book makerspace projects was built to help schools and libraries start and run their own makerspaces. We truly believe that adding a makerspace to a school or library can help students acquire the skills needed for the 21st century.