Scrappy Circuits

Scrappy Circuits is an innovative and scrappy way to learn about electrical circuits for less than $1 per person.

Teachers can build class sets that kids can easily take home for around $20.

Step 1:

    • Gather 11 binder clips (usually sold as a pack of 12) and 1 LED tealight (usually 2 for a dollar at the Dollar Store).
    • Gather a few other household items (cardboard, 2 paper clips, aluminium foil, glue, and a marker)

Step 2:

    • Make your five Core Bricks (Battery Brick, LED Brick, Binder Clip Switch, Pressure Switch, and Dial Switch)

Step 3:

    • Experiment! Connect your Core Bricks (with alligator clips or your own Scrappy Clips) and find different ways to make the LED light up.

Step 4:

    • More! Build some of the Other Bricks and design new circuits and create some amazing inventions.

Step 5:

For each Scrappy Circuit set of Core Bricks you are going to need only the following:


    • one LED tealight (2-packs can easily be found at the dollar store)
    • 11 small binder clips (It's easiest to buy a 12 pack)
    • 2 paper clips
    • some scrap cardboard
    • a small amount of aluminium foil


    • glue stick
    • marker
    • sandpaper (dollar store nail files or emery boards work great!)
    • scissors
    • pliers
    • small phillips-head screwdriver (sometimes)