How to make: Paper Circuit Flowers



In this tutorial we will be combining a basic circuit with paper craft exploring how a circuit works while applying this to a physical design idea.  This is a hands-on problem solving activity as learners need to think about how the circuit is connected so that the flower that lights up ensuring there are no short circuits.

Where possible use this type of activity to support current inquiry or learning rather than a stand alone activity. I created a basic flower shape but depending on the age/level of learner this activity can be adapted in the following ways:


  • Use a range of pre printed options for the flower petals or pre-cut petals
  • Foam shapes could be used instead of card for easier handling
  • Remove the leaves and just work with the pipe cleaners as a stem
  • Pipe cleaners could be pre-stripped at the top and end


  • Learners could create their own flower designs or be challenged to create a hybrid flower
  • Multiples can be connected to the battery holder creating a bunch of flowers – ensure they are connected in parallel not series
  • Insects or bugs can be created and added into the circuit

What we're learning

arrow_forward Electricity moves in a circuit from the negative to the positive side.

arrow_forward Electricity will only move through materials that are conductive.

arrow_forward LEDs and batteries have a positive and a negative side. This is called polarity.

arrow_forward When a negative and positive path touch it creates a short circuit, this means the circuit will not work.


Coloured Card


Pipe Cleaners

Cell Battery holder

Cell Battery

Needle nose pliers

Masking tape

Lets do this


Draw 2 circles the same size and three slightly smaller. Divide each into 6 sections and use these to create the scalloped edge.

Cut out the scalloped circles and remove one of the scalloped sections on each petal.



Bring the two cut edges together and tape to create a cone like shape.

Using a sharp pencil poke two holes in the centre approximately 1cm apart (this will keep the positive and negative legs of the LED from touching).



Stack the petals on top of one another and push the legs of the LED through the pre-done holes.


Using pliers untwist the top and end of two pipe cleaners to remove the fluff.

Then twist one pipe cleaner to the end of each leg of the LED. Then cover with tape to keep the join insulated when they touch.



Twist the stem of the flower for 2cm.

Take two more pipe cleaners and strip both ends, twist ends together to create a petal shape.

Using pliers remove a small section of fluff 1/4 down the stem and connect the petal.

Connect the second petal slightly higher or lower than the first.  If they are identical the exposed wires could touch creating a short circuit.



If wires of the pipe cleaners are exposed to prevent a possible short circuit use tape to insulate them stopping the positive and negative sides touching.


Twist the stem together leaving 2-3cm at the bottom.

Check the polarity of the pipe cleaners by touching them to the cell battery.
Take the negative side and tuck it under the piece of metal on the battery holder then put the battery in – positive side (shiny) up.


If the LED does not light up when testing try turning the battery over and check that no exposed wires are touching possibly creating a short circuit.