How to build a lighthouse that lights up

Written by tad cronn
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How to build a lighthouse that lights up
Your lighthouse model doesn't have to be too sophisticated. (SDenson/iStock/Getty Images)

Lighthouses warn ships at sea away from dangerous coastlines and help guide them safely into harbour. A lighthouse model can evoke images of wind-swept shores and ocean adventures. You can make your own lighthouse model that lights up with a few simple materials.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • LED
  • Insulated copper wire
  • AA battery
  • Battery holder with contacts
  • Card stock
  • Craft glue
  • Craft knife
  • Duct tape
  • Straight edge
  • Pencil
  • Coloured felt pens

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  1. 1

    Draw six walls for the lighthouse on card stock using the pencil and a straight edge. Make each wall 5 cm (2 inches) wide at the base, 12.5 cm (5 inches) tall and 5 cm (1 inch) wide at the top. Draw two tabs 6 mm (1/4 inch) wide and 2.5 cm (1 inch) tall on the right side of each wall.

  2. 2

    Cut out the walls and attach them by putting craft glue on the tabs and sticking them to the back of another wall. When fully assembled, the walls should form a hexagonal tower.

  3. 3

    Draw two hexagons with 2.5 cm (1 inch) sides on card stock. You can flip the tower upside down on top of a piece of stock and trace the outline. Add a 6 mm by 2.5 cm (1/4 by 1 inch) tab on each edge. These will be the lighthouse decks.

  4. 4

    Cut out the lighthouse decks and set one on top of the tower. Attach by folding the tabs down and applying some craft glue.

  5. 5

    Draw a 15 by 5 cm (6 by 2 inch) rectangle on card stock. Include a 6 mm by 2.5 cm (1/4 by 1 inch) tab on the right edge. With the straight edge, divide the rectangle into six 2.5 by 5 cm (1 by 2 inch) rectangles by marking with a pencil. In each small rectangle, draw an even smaller 1.2 by 2.5 cm (1/2 by 1 inch) rectangle, centred.

  6. 6

    Cut out the large rectangle and fold it neatly along the lines you drew into six sections. Cut out the smaller rectangles for windows. Assemble the lighthouse observatory by applying craft glue to the tab and attaching it to the opposite edge. The observatory should look like a hexagonal column.

  7. 7

    Attach the other lighthouse deck to the top of the observatory by folding down the deck tabs and applying glue.

  8. 8

    Attach two 15 cm (6 inch) pieces of wire to the battery holder by twisting the bare copper ends around the contacts. Cover the connections with small pieces of duct tape.

  9. 9

    Connect the other ends of the wires to the LED by twisting the wires around the contacts. Use duct tape to cover each connection.

  10. 10

    Glue the battery holder to the inside of one of the lighthouse tower walls. Carefully poke a small hole in the lighthouse tower deck.

  11. 11

    Push the LED through the hole in the deck.

  12. 12

    Insert a AA battery and put the observatory on top of the lighthouse tower. The LED should shine through the windows of the observatory.

  13. 13

    Decorate your lighthouse with the felt markers.

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