finger lighting up paper circuit LED

How to Make a Lightsaber

Joe Wolf STEM Projects

A long time ago in a galaxy far far away…

We showed you how to make a lightsaber!

That’s right, with a bit of innovative engineering, you can create something akin to the infamous blade of light. Don’t expect to be slicing through Darth Maul or going head-to-head with Darth Vader anytime soon, though…

…you need the force for that.

Ready to get started? Turn on the movies and read through our paper circuit lightsaber-making tutorial!

What You Need


*Copper tape

*Normal tape (duct tape will work)



*Paper clip

*Coin battery

*Drinking straw

*Bantha milk

Okay, okay – you don’t need the Bantha milk (though you know you’ve always wondered what it tasted like…).

As you can see, most of the listed materials are pretty common. But let’s review a few that might have you scratching your head like Jar Jar Binks.


This stands for “light-emitting diode;” essentially, an LED is a source of light (or, in this case, the power behind your lightsaber-in-progress). You can find an LED at your local craft or hobby store. Trust us – it’s a lot cheaper than kyber crystals and much easier to find than plasma!

Be weary of the color differences among LEDs – will you walk the path of the light side or give into the dark side and join the Sith Order?

Copper tape

There’s no doubt that Han and Chewie put copper tape to good use aboard the Millennium Falcon. Copper tape is exactly as it sounds – a thin strip of copper with an adhesive attached to it. You can find it at your local hardware store.

Coin battery

You’ve probably seen a coin battery before even if you haven’t used one. Just like copper tape, a coin battery is what it sounds like – a coin-shaped battery. It’s also sometimes called a button cell; its bottom half is positive and top half negative. You can purchase it at your hobby shop or hardware store.


What to Do

No, this isn’t podracing. It’s a paper circuit. That’s what you’re building; the result is one cool looking lightsaber.

1. Print our template

paper circuit LED

Thimble has made this project a cinch! Start by printing our templated instructions. Ideally, your printer can handle double-sided material. However, no worries if it can’t – you can print both sides separately and tape, staple, or glue together.

2. Lay the copper tape

lightsaber LED circuit on paper

Once you have your template printed, it’s time to begin building. Tear off copper tape and place it over the brown lines along the template.

Note that this is trickier than it might seem. You want to use only one piece of taper per line if possible. For angles, bend and fold the tape as needed. This tape will serve as your conductor.

 3. Activate the LED

Next, turn over the template and grab your LED. It’ll have two components: a short leg and a long LED.

Stick it through the paper at the top of the lightsaber, then flip over to the back again. Here, you’ll bend each leg over the copper tape. Then peel just a little of the copper tape over the legs.

Throw a piece of your normal, non-Jedi tape over this to make sure there’s a strong connection. Master Yoda would be proud.

4. Connect the battery

Ready to power up? You need your battery. Place it positive side-down. Wrap the corner of the template over it and use your paper clip to make sure it stays in place.

5. Use the force, Luke

glowing light saber LED paper circuit

You’ve done it, young jedi! If all is well, you can now fold the paper in half and press down on the switch. The LED should light up; cut a section from your drinking straw and attach it to the LED. There’s your very own custom lightsaber!

It’s That Simple

We’re not trying to throw any shade on Luke Skywalker, but you don’t need to seek out a 900-year-old Yoda on Dagobah or get your hand chopped off by your father in order to be a jedi. Instead, you just need to channel your inner-engineer!

Ready to make more cool stuff? Check out Thimble’s kits and live classes today!