A DIY Light-up Fairy House

What you'll learn:

How to make a simple LED circuit to light up a fairy lantern or DIY fairy house.

Key takeaways:

LEDs are one way streets and must be connected to the battery in the right direction. Another key takeaway it that when building circuits you should test your circuit often.

It's easy to get kids on board to a building project, and this building project blends not only art and engineering, but also physics as kids will learn how to build a simple LED circuit. You can either build your own fairy house from scratch, or you can use a premade wood house of your choice. 

It is important to know what interests your kids the most, and play to those areas. So if your child has been creating a ton of fairy garden houses you can now add in a little bit of science and wonder into their crafty afternoons. Soon they will be wanting to make a fairy lantern so they can navigate the fairy garden houses at night!

making a DIY fairy house or fairy lantern that lights up

Project Ingredients:
Birdhouse (bonus if you assemble it yourself like this one)
Male to Female jumper wires
LED in a favorite color
CR2032 Battery
Hot glue gun and hot glue

DIY fairy house with LED lights

How to make a DIY Fairy house of Fairy lantern that lights up

  1. Build and decorate your fairy house or fairy lantern
  2. Put each leg of the LED into the female part of your male to female jumper cable
  3. Test the LED by putting the male parts around the CR2032 battery
  4. Use hot glue to secure the LED to the jumper cables
  5. Use a piece of tape to secure one jumper cable to the bottom of the CR2032 battery, finalize with some hot glue
  6. Hot glue your LED light in place
  7. Hot glue the jumper cables in place, secure the battery with hot glue as well
  8. Touch the remaining jumper cable to the top of the CR2032 battery to light up your fairy house or fairy lantern
painting and decorating our fairy garden houses that also light up with a simple LED circuit
decorating a diy fairy house or fairy lantern for circuit building fun
How to wire up a fairy house with LED lights or make a fairy lantern
Brighten your fairy garden houses and learn circuits with simple LED lights
using hot glue to secure the simple circuit LED to brighten your DIY fairy house
Connecting the battery to the fairy house light or fairy lantern making fun fairy garden houses
installing a simple circuit LED light into our DIY fairy house
Securing wires in a light up LED fairy house or fairy lantern
securing the battery in place for our DIY fairy house or fairy lantern that lights up

How to make a DIY Fairy house of Fairy lantern that lights up

1. Build and decorate your fairy house or fairy lantern

This is the big hook into circuit building. Kids adore building and decorating as long as you give them fairly free reign in the creative design process. We used premade birdhouses as our base, but we have another blog post that is a fairy house engineering challenge that is similar t our leprechaun traps challenge. If you have a full recycling bin and are biting at the chomps to get going I would suggest making your fairy houses out of what you have lying around. If you want a more finished project that can be a part of your fairy garden houses already made then definitely opt for the premade houses.

2. Put each leg of the LED into the female part of your male to female jumper cable

I really like using the male to female jumper cables in various circuit-building projects because you don’t need to solder anything together, but they make a great connection. To light up our DIY fairy houses we will need to have a longer wire than just the short legs of the LED. To extend the legs of the LED we will just put them on the female side of the jumper cables. It doesn’t matter which leg goes into which jumper cable since we can swap the leads on the battery if the LED doesn’t light the first time around.

3. Test the LED by putting the male parts around the CR2032 battery

Once you put the LED legs into one side of the jumper cable you want to test your circuit. When building circuits you want to test everything often. One of the wires needs to hit the top of the battery (with the writing), while the other lead needs to be touching the bottom of the battery. 

If your LED doesn’t light up immediately switch the leads (so the wire that was touching the top is now touching the bottom and vice versa). LEDs are like slides. When electrons slide down they get excited and light up (Weee!). Electrons are also very good rule followers, which means they will never go up the slide. The way you hook up your battery determines the direction of the slide, by flipping the wires you flip the slide direction.

If your LED doesn’t light up then you need to check your battery or your LED. If swapping out to a new battery and a new LED doesn’t work then there is something wrong with your jumper wires, so swap those to new ones.

4. Use hot glue to secure the LED to the jumper cables

This helps your LED stay in place so you can “hang” your LED light anywhere you want in your fairy house without worrying that it will fall out.

5. Use a piece of tape to secure one jumper cable to the bottom of the CR2032 battery, finalize with some hot glue

Thie makes your system more robust. If you want your wiring to stand up to the test of time you need to secure each component.

6. Hot glue the jumper cables in place, secure the battery with hot glue as well

Yet again, we want this simple circuit to work easily for kids. That means we need to secure all of the components. For a smaller fairy house, you might need to use a drill to create a hole for the LED to drop into. For larger fairy houses that have a removable roof, you can bend the jumper cables and glue the LED light to the desired location. Then glue the jumper cables to your fairy house so they can’t snag off.

7. Touch the remaining jumper cable to the top of the CR2032 battery to light up your fairy house or fairy lantern

It’s time to make your fairy house or fairy lantern light up! You have one jumper wire taped and then glued to the battery. If you touch the remaining wire to the top of the battery it will complete the circuit and the LED will light up. This acts as a very simple switch and allows kids to see the difference between an open and closed circuit. 

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