Last month, Maker Corps member Jeff led a series of workshops working with Corel Draw software and an Epilog Laser cutting instrument to create working cardboard lanterns!
Jeff recalls that this fun, creative project was good one for the Maker Corps members and the kids as well. “We had the privilege of showing off and explaining to guests how exactly a laser-cutter works while, at the same time, giving the guests a hand on experience when it was time to put the lantern together”, Jeff says.
Supplies for this workshop included: cardboard (chip board), one piece of velum paper, a series of LEDs (we used Christmas lights), a 9Volt battery with leads, a binder clip to act as a switch, and glue or tape to close the box.
Jeff continues, “After the initial meet and greet with the guest we proceed by explaining that the lantern needs 5 faces with any type of design or logo on them. We then (the Maker Corps Members) cut out this design on our laser cutter. After the pieces exited the laser cutter the students continued by covering the 5 designs with velum paper. They then assembled the pieces by using glue (I personally used the Elmer’s clear drying glue) and continued by inserting the 3 Christmas lights inside. They then make a simple circuit and attached to it to a cardboard switch and when everything is all done the result is a pretty cool night lamp.”
This project can easily be replicated at home, without the use of a Laser-cutting Instrument. With the CAREFUL use of an exact-o knife, designs can be cut out of cardboard as well. To create a “switch”, we cut two pieces of cardboard and attached the positive battery leads to one piece and the negative leads to the other.
Two slits at the base of the lantern were cut and the leads were taken through. Once the leads were pressed together, the lights inside the lantern turned on. To keep these lights aglow, the binder clip was used to keep the two cardboard tabs together. The use of the binder clip is quick and easy, however, it is admittedly a bit messy.
Voila! A completed lantern looks GREAT!