Learn how to make gems that glow when they come in contact!
What You'll Need
Paper, 1 LED, 1 magnetic reed switch, 1 magnet, 1 Batteryboard, 1 coin cell battery, 2 paper fasteners, & Conductive fabric tape
Scissors & Glue or Tape
Step 1: Prep
Print the provided templates, onto the paper you would like to use. Cut out one large gem and one small gem along the solid lines only.
Cut conductive fabric tape into 6 pieces each 1 inch long.
Next you will bend the legs of the LED. Start with the short leg of the LED, also known as the cathode. This is the negative side of the LED which will connect “-” side of the Batteryboard. Bend this leg at a 90 degree angle to the bulb of the LED.
Step 2: Positive Side
Repeat step 1 with the long leg of the LED, also known as the anode. This is the positive side which will connect to the “+” side of the Batteryboard. Bend the anode again in the middle of the leg 90 degrees so that it looks like the diagram below.
How It Works:
Our circuit contains an LED, a battery, and a magnetic reed switch. The reed switch is triggered by magnets. From the outside the switch looks like a plastic box, but inside there are two pieces of metal sitting slightly apart. When a magnet is nearby, the metal pieces move and make contact, completing the circuit.
Step 3: Plan the Circuit
In the large gem we will connect the reed switch to an LED and our Batteryboard. The small gem will contain a magnet. Touching the gems together will trigger the LED.
Step 4: Attach Conductive Tape
Lay your circuit out on the inside of your large gem. Your conductive tape may lay across the folds indicated by the dotted lines, but do not place components on the dotted lines or your gem will not fold correctly. Attach the first layer of conductive tape by peeling the back and placing it under where the component will go.
Make sure these pieces do not touch each other. Do not tape down the components yet.
Step 5: Attach Your Components
Attach your Batteryboard to the conductive tape using tape.
Place your LED on top of the conductive tape. Make sure the bent anode of the LED is connected to the side of the battery board marked “+”. Attach a new piece of conductive tape so that the bent leg of the LED is sandwiched between conductive tape.
Place your reed switch so that it’s on top of the conductive tape and in between the “-” side of the Batteryboard and the cathode of the LED. On the side connected to the Batteryboard, place a new piece of conductive tape so that the leg of the reed switch is sandwiched in between conductive tape.
Then place the last piece of conductive tape over the remaining legs of the LED and reed switch.
Step 6: Test your Circuit!
At this point you can insert your battery into the Batteryboard. Make sure the “+” faces up to match the “+” on the Batteryboard. Hold your magnet next to the reed switch. Your LED should light up!
If your LED does not light up:
Check that your battery has enough charge to power the LED! If you have a voltmeter you can make sure the battery is above 2.5 volts.Check that the correct leg of your LED is connected to the battery.Check that your positive and negative connections do not cross or touch. Check that your components are secured in place by the conductive tape and paper fasteners.
You may want to add more conductive tape to fix weak connections.
Step 7: Fold your gems
On the template fold along the dotted lines. Use glue or tape to hold the gem together. Before closing your gem up, glue your magnet to the inside of the small gem. When the glue is dry, mark an “x” on the outside of the gem so that you’ll know where it is once the gem is closed.