10 Ways to Use Magnets with Paper Circuits

Whether you are an educator, artist, or maker (or any combination of the three) magnets are one of the most useful supplies in a paper crafter’s toolbox!  Adhesive backed sheet magnets, ceramic magnets, and rare earth (neodymium) magnets are all useful when creating paper circuits.

Here are 10 of our favorite ways to use magnets with paper circuits!

Adhesive-backed sheet magnets
Ceramic magnet
Rare earth/ neodymium magnet & reed switch

Tips, Tricks & Call-outs
While magnets are useful for a variety of projects, and come in many shapes, sizes, and strengths, they should always be handled with care to prevent small children from ingesting them.

1. Tiny Battery Holder

Use a magnet to trigger a switch in a tiny battery holder that lights a single LED. Use it to create repositionable decorations for cards, 3D art installations, and even wearables! 

See Tiny Ladybug Battery Holder

Magnets may be used as switches for a bunch of creative uses.

2. Variable Voltage Battery Holder

Magnets paired with alligator clips can help you make a variable voltage battery holder that is super useful for prototyping.

See Battery Power with Variable Voltage Using Magnets.

Magnets may be used with alligator clips to help you change the voltage!

3. Holding Conductive Thread

When creating an electronic spinner card, or working with conductive thread, magnets are useful for securing the springy thread to a coin battery to test your circuits.

See Spinner Card with Conductive Threads.

Magnets work well for prototyping with conductive thread!

4. Magic Wand

A magnet added to a wand can help create the illusion of magic, when paired with a reed switch!

See Magical Magnetic Wand.

Magnets add interactivity when paired with a reed switch!

5. Mixable Switch

A magnet adhered to another conductor, such as copper tape or conductive fabric tape, can be used to create repositionable, interchangeable switches.

See Magnetic Switch Tutorial

Magnetic switches may be designed to be interchangeable!

6. Accordion Book

Sheet magnets, cut into small pieces and adhered to the top edge of an electrified accordion book, are useful for securing an art layer on top of a circuit layer.

See Paper Circuit Accordion Book

Magnets are useful for holding books together!

7. Setting a Scene

As part of an interactive project, magnets are useful for helping to set a scene or tell a story (with changeable magnetic characters or text bubbles). 

See  Happy Halloween Night!  Make Your Scene with Magnetic Parts

Magnets can help set a scene for story telling!

8. Securing Components

Magnets may be used to secure repositionable components (so that you don’t lose them) such as a buzzing bee that triggers a hidden reed switch. 

See  Bee Amazing With Chibitronics LED Stickers

Hidden magnets can secure movable pieces in your projects.

9. Decorative Battery Holder

Magnets are useful as part of a decorative battery holder, with shapes you cut out and glue on.  

See Sheet Magnet Battery Holder      

Sheet magnets may be easily covered with your own artwork.

10. Quick Battery Holder

For prototyping, magnets are useful as part of a quick paper battery holder.

See  Paper Battery Holder with Magnets

A quick paper battery holder may be made with magnets.

11. BONUS: Interactive Switch

Concealed magnets are useful for creating interactive switches.

See  How to Make a Light Up Hive Five Tag

A hidden magnet will serve as an interactive switch.

How do you use magnets in your paper circuit projects?

We’d love to hear your ideas!
10 Ways to Use Magnets with Paper Circuits
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