Light Up St. Patrick’s Day Card

Today’s post is the follow-up to my Light Up Circuit Valentines.  It’s a Light Up St. Patrick’s Day Card.  New holiday, new light up card :)  I cannot get enough of this electric paint so the St. Patrick’s day steam projects keep coming.  This post contains affiliate links.

Learn about electricity with these light up St. Patrick's Day cards made with electric paint and a free printable. STEM / STEAM play & learn fun!

Safety Note:  Coin cell batteries are hazardous if swallowed.  Please keep away from children that still put things in their mouth.

Light Up St. Patrick’s Day Supplies Needed

Light Up St Patricks Day Supplies Card Left Brain Craft Brain

Light Up St. Patrick’s Day Instructions

  1. Print and cut the card: Print out this free Light Up St. Patrick’s Day Card.  Cut along the dotted line to make two cards.
  2. Insert the LEDs into the pot of gold: Decide how many lights you would like. For each LED,  poke two holes into  the card with a push pin approximately 1 mm apart. Then insert the LED, making sure to note which is the longer contact (this is the positive contact).  Fold the wires flat on the back of the card.

Insert LEDs Left Brain Craft Brain

  1. Add the batteries and paint the circuits:  Place the batteries on the back of the card, lining up the positive contacts on the LEDs and batteries.  Squeeze out the electric paint in the pattern in the picture below.  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.  Leave a small gap in each line so that the switch you’ll be making in the next step works.  I used one battery for each LED because I was in a rush, but you might be able to put a couple of lights in series to save on batteries.

Paint Circuits Left Brain Craft Brain

  1. Make the switch:  Cut a piece of white card stock about 2″ long and 1/2″ wide.  Tape one end to the back of the card to the left of the LED wires.  Fold it over so that you can make sure the switch is long enough to cross all of the lines between the wires and the batteries.  Fill in the entire switch with electric paint.  Use just enough to cover the paper 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.  If you’re really impatient, you can put the card in the oven on the lowest setting you have for about 5-10 minutes. I recommend putting in a glass or other smooth oven-safe dish to protect the card.
  3. Light it up:  To turn on the card, fold switch over so that it completes the circuit.  The LED’s will glow.

Light Up St Patricks Day Card Left Brain Craft Brain FB

A Word on the Batteries

A lot of questions came up about the batteries with the Light Up Valentines, so here are a few answers.

  • 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.
  • You may notice that I have some slightly different batteries noted between Amazon and Mouser.  Be sure to get a 3V pin style battery of at least 40 mAh.  A higher mAh may give you slightly longer battery life, but may be more expensive.
  • To help the batteries stick, you can bend the pins closer to the paper.

St. Patrick’s day STEAM Fun

I have to throw some love to Amanda from The Educator’s Spin On It.  She sent me a message after seeing my Valentines saying you really ought to make a pot of gold light up card, so I did :) She is a STEAM master educator and has a wonderful e-book for preschoolers.  Check it out if you have the chance… {affiliate}

Rainbows Rainbows Rainbows!

Need some more rainbow fun?  Here are a few…

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