DIY 3D Cards: LED Pop Up Hearts

Grade School

Dec 31

What you'll learn:

How to create 3D cards from a pop up card template, and basic paper circuits.

Key takeaways:

2D cards can turn into 3D cards with a little cutting and folding. You can make circuits with a few simple ingredients: copper tape, LEDs, and a battery.

DIY pop up cards are always a fun adventure to break out on Saturday mornings. I love pop up cards since they give kids a chance to see how things can move and bend in space. Plus, an added bonus is that you only need some paper and scissors to make an easy pop up card. 

Of course, for us, regular DIY pop up cards is not enough. Not when you can add LEDs to them and learn about circuits. LED paper cards can add a great kick to your card giving this Valentine’s day as well as a little bit of fun educational time to your crafting time.

If you have been following us, you know what I’ll say next, I love it when activities teach real science while blending in art and creating fun science. Paper circuits really fit the bill when it comes to real, fun science. So gather up your supplies, print the pop up card templates, and get started. Don’t forget, if you are having trouble, or just want to see how it’s done before embarking on this 3D cards adventure, watch me on YouTube!

There is also a whole section below helping you with the science of our DIY LED paper cards!

Are you wondering which of the LED pop up card templates is right for you?

The LED heart paper circuit is a little bit easier. I would suggest mastering your paper circuit building skills with card first. It is simpler because the switch is more easily identifiable – in this DIY pop up card the switch is just the completion of the circuit with pressure. When you press on the fold holding the battery in place the circuit is completed and the LED lights up.

The pop up beating heart template is a great way to increase the depth of this activity. In this LED card, the heart will beat as you swipe your finger across it. This switch is a little more difficult to visualize for young learners since it is not just an open/close situation. In this pop-up card template, the swipe of your finger connects two copper strips. One strip goes only to the battery, while the other strip goes to the long leg of the LED. When a separate segment of copper connects these two strips the long leg of the LED is connected to the battery, the circuit is closed, and the LED is on. 

By adding two pieces of the vertical copper tape near each other you can make the heart beat as your finger slides from one to the other. This additional wiring is what makes this version of the LED pop up cards a bit more difficult. Although, the payoff from the added difficulty is huge since now you can make your heart beat!

Need help? Watch Dr. Erica make the pop up heart LED card!

Check out our other fun Valentine's projects!

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