Matchbox LED Lantern

A LED lantern made from a matchbox. More than easy soldering project where the object is a lantern hanging on two matches. It’s fed by some copper wire and a button battery.

Used materials:

  • copper tape 5mm
  • 2x neodymium magnet 3x2mm
  • 3mm RGB slow flash LED, 3v
  • cr2032 3v button battery
  • an (empty) matchbox, 2 matches
  • some wire
  • and of course a soldering iron with some solder, and other tools….


The copper tape conducts electricity from the battery to the LED. The battery has a positive and a negative side. Often the positive side is marked with a ‘+’ sign. The LED also has a positive leg (long) and negative leg (short). Two matches are used as poles. The battery is locked in between two neodymium magnets and some copper tape, so you can replace the battery when needed.

Step by step instructions

Basic soldering project: Matchbox LED Lantern
Empty the box, keep two matches
Place a neodymium magnet almost at the bottom
Fixate the magnet with copper tape. Let the tape run over the edge
Stop here
Get another piece of copper tape. Don’t peal all of the back off. Put the second neodymium magnet in the middle and wrap the tape on itself.
The magnet is now locked in the tape.
Place the battery on the first magnet in the box, negative side down
Place the second copper strip with the magnet inside on top of the battery. Stick the rest of the tape to the box, over the edge
It should look like this now
Add copper tape to the side of the box
Also on the other side
Solder the joint. It’ll make a conducting connection
Same on the other side
The LED has two legs, one short (negative) and one long (positive)
Strip the wire, get some long strains
Twine the long strains
Cut the legs of the LED
Prepare the wires, by soldering the end
Solder both wires to the LED
Wrap the wire around the top of the match, I made a little knot by going over and under the wire while wrapping.
Wrap some copper tape at the bottom of the match
Wrap the wire around the pole and end at the copper tape
Fixate the wire by soldering on the copper tape
Stick the matches between the inner and the outer box. Wiggle a bit to make sure the poles make a good connection to the inner copper lane. If it doesn’t work at all, try to switch the poles. The LED has a positive and negative side, it might be the wrong way around. Another trick is to place the battery up side down. If it still doesn’t work, check the soldered joint

Did you see the other matchbox project?
Or check my youtube channel.