Search on SLJ.com ....
Subscribe to SLJ
Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

MakerSpace: Paper Circuits, an inexpensive way to introduce electronics with almost instant gratification

As the end of the year approached, I became acutely aware of the fact that we have a one month period between December and January when we can’t really make any purchases because we have to balance the books. So my goal was simple: fill in supplies and find a couple of new activities that we could introduce to carry us through this time period in our Teen MakerSpace. I had been aware of paper circuits, but hadn’t done much with them. This seemed like a good time.

For one, paper circuits are less expensive then a lot of the things on my “things we want to try” list. Also, they don’t take up a lot of space. It’s a great introduction to the idea of circuits without a lot of tools, wires, and things like soldering. I know nothing of soldering.

Paper circuits use a battery, copper tape, LED lights and paper to create cool things. For example, you can make light up cards. Or you could make a paper piano.

Paper Circuits | The Tinkering Studio

To begin with, we bought this set:

papercircuits4

It cost $30.00 on Amazon and comes with copper tape, 12 LED stickers, 2 coin cell batteries, battery clips, and a “sketchbook”. Also, you can hack the box to make cool projects as well.

papercircuits2

The very first page tells you how to use the book and set up a circuit.

papercircuits3

Then when you turn the page, you light up a light bulb.

papercircuits1

The Great Big Guide to Paper Circuits – learn.sparkfun.com

It has the added benefit of seeing almost immediate results. Sometimes it’s nice to have something that is quick and rewarding.

Pros: Inexpensive, good starting place, easy introduction, easy to store, lots of possibilities

Cons: I does have consumables, but they are relatively inexpensive to replace

We are just starting our journey with paper circuits, but I liked this kit so much I bought The Teen one for Christmas. It’s a good introduction to the idea of circuits and there are lots of cool things you can do. Additional components can easily be bought online.

More Info:

Paper Circuits – Instructables

Paper Circuits For Makerspaces – Makerspaces.com

Simple Paper Circuit | Make:

1000+ images about Paper circuits on Pinterest | LED, Electronics

1000+ images about Paper Circuits on Pinterest | LED, Paper and Tape