Light Up Circuit Valentines

Did you know that you can paint on an electrical circuit?  Neither did I until I stumbled across some electric paint a few months ago. And it’s as easy to use as glitter glue.  Really.  Ever since I found it, I’ve been dreaming up projects, projects like these Light-Up Circuit Valentines.  They’re conversation hearts with their very own LED & battery, made just for the light of your life. This post contains affiliate links.

Build a light-up Valentine with this free conversation heart printable, electric paint & LED's. Great STEM activity for aspiring electrical engineers.

DIY Light-Up Valentines

OK, I’m going to be honest here.  This is one of my absolute favorite projects that we’ve done at Left Brain Craft Brain. I always joke that if something is shiny, I want it.  If it lights up, even better.  My daughter gathers light-up toys and glow sticks at an alarming rate simply because I love them too.  So when I had the chance to do a technology project that lights up, I was all over it.

Painting the Circuits Left Brain Craft Brain

It’s often hard to find simple technology projects to round out STEM / STEAM learning, but this one is truly easy enough for a kiddo to do.  My preschooler needed a lot of hand holding, but an early elementary aged child could do this all by themselves.

Light-Up Valentines Supplies Needed

Valentine Circuits Supplies Left Brain Craft Brain 2

  1. Print and cut the Valentines: Print out this free Light Up Valentine Circuits Printable. Cut out hearts along the black outer heart shaped line, making sure to cut out the square part on the lower right as well.  This will be the switch for the Valentine.

Valentine Circuit Printable Left Brain Craft Brain

  1. Insert the LED: First poke two holes in the card with a push pin, one at each black dot near the circle with an x in it.  This is the symbol for the light.  Then insert the LED, making sure that the long pin is inserted into the hole with the + sign.  Fold the wires flat on the back of the card.
  2. Add the battery and paint the heart circuit: Place battery as shown on the Valentine with the positive pin aligned with the plus sign.  Please note, coin cell batteries are hazardous if swallowed so be sure to keep these away from kiddos that still put things in their mouth.

Start painting the electric paint {affiliate} along the pink inner heart line.  You don’t need a super heavy line (this isn’t puffy paint), but be sure you get a continuous line of the paint that’s about as wide as the pink line.  If the line is too thin, the LED’s don’t get enough power.  Do not fill in the area where the battery or LED go, or the blank spot by the switch.

Apply Electric Paint Left Brain Craft Brain 2

  1. Paint the switch:  Fill in the pink square with electric paint.  Use just enough to cover the square with a light layer.  It’s really easy to use too much here which makes it take forever to dry.
  2. Let it dry:  Let the conductive paint dry.  The paint instructions said 15 minutes, but I must have applied a heavier layer so it took a few hours.  The paint becomes fully conductive only when it’s completely dry.

Electric Paint Drying Left Brain Craft Brain

  1. Light it up:  To turn on the Valentine, fold switch over so that it completes the circuit.  The LED will glow.

Light up Valentines Left Brain Craft Brain

Circuit Valentines Left Brain Craft Brain FB FinalYou know why else I love this project?  My daughter definitely lights up my life :)

Holding Valentine Left Brain Craft Brain

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UPDATE:  A few people have asked me about where to get the batteries.  I’ve linked above to Amazon because it’s the easiest way to get all of the supplies together (and I’m an affiliate), but it’s not the most cost effective place to get them.  I purchased my batteries at Mouser Electronics for under $2 a piece because I bought more than one.  Click here for a battery that works with this tutorial.


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