Education Technology
Beginner Electronics Project: The TapeTricity Card

The TapeTricity Card, from MAKE pal Chris Connors, is a great first electronics project for kids. It’s quick, cheap, easy, and fun to make. Not only does it teach how to make a simple circuit, but it engages the maker’s creativity: they design and draw the card, and then they decide how many and which color LEDs to include.

The build is simple:

  • Draw create a picture in the medium of your choice: crayon, pen, pencil, or even collage.
  • Figure out where you want your LED, and punch small side-by-side holes for the legs in that spot.
  • On the back side, attach parallel strips of aluminum tape on either side of the holes.
  • Push the LED legs through the holes, and then bend the legs in opposite directions: negative (short leg) on one side, positive (long leg) on the other.
  • Tape the negative on one strip of aluminum and the positive on the other strip.
  • Tape a coin cell battery on the end of the negative aluminum tape side, negative side down.
  • Tape some aluminum from the positive aluminum strip to the positive side of the coin cell battery.
  • That’s it — when your LEDs light up, you’ve created a working circuit for about 25 cents worth of parts!

Chris brought this project to Maker Faire Bay Area this year, and it was a a big hit. Above are some of the fun TapeTricity cards that Fairegoers made.

opener tapetricity

If you make a TapeTricity Card of your own, please take photos and share them in the MAKE Flickr Pool!


"To oppose something is to maintain it." –Ursula Le Guin

Currently: NEO.LIFE Alum: Instructables and MAKE

View more articles by Laura Cochrane