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3 Beautiful ornaments you can easily make with science


3 Beautiful ornaments you can easily make with science

Before Christmas is here, you can use these three science experiments to add a few beautiful ornaments to your tree!

This year decorate your Christmas tree with science! Come see the directions for making chromatography balls, crystal candy canes, and nature viewers.

#1 - Chromatography balls

To make your own chromatography ornaments, you will need:

  • Coffee filters and Rubbing alcohol
  • A wide-mouthed jar or bowl
  • Permanent markers in a variety of colors
  • Laminating sheet or contact paper
  • String and a hole punch

Draw a design with different colored dots in the center of the absorbent material you have chosen. (Note - The designs will spread out quite a bit, so keep it close to the center.)

Next, pour a thin layer of rubbing alcohol into the bottom of a jar. Then, fold the coffee filter in quarters and place the tip into the rubbing alcohol. Watch the design spread out. Remove the filter when it reaches the desired effect.

Let the creation dry, cut out the design, laminate it, and hang the ornament on the tree!

#2 - Crystal Candy Canes

To make your crystal candy canes, you will need:

  • A wide mouthed jar
  • A pencil
  • 2 pipe cleaners, one red and one white
  • String
  • Borax Laundry Booster

Take the red and white pipe cleaners and fold them in half. Then, twist and shape them into a candy cane shape. Tie a string to your candy cane and attach the string to the pencil so that the pencil to be able to rest on the edge of your jar without having your candy cane touch the sides or bottom of the jar.

Now, add hot water until it almost fills the jar, noting how many cups of water it takes to fill the jar. Then, add the Borax, one tablespoon at a time, taking care each time to stir until the Borax is dissolved. You want to add about 3 tablespoons of Borax for every cup of water you have added. Finally, hang your candy cane in the jar so that it is completely covered by the liquid.

Allow the jar to sit undisturbed overnight. The next morning, you should see your design covered in beautiful crystals. 

#3 - Nature viewers

To make your nature viewers, you will need: 

  • Objects from nature, such as air plants, berries, small nuts, leaves, or lichen
  • Clear, plastic ball ornaments with removable tops

Head outside to collect objects from nature that will fit into the hole at the top of your ornament. Things like air plants, berries, small nuts, leaves, pine needles, and lichens are all good options.

Open up the top of the clear, plastic ball ornament and add the objects that were collected. You can shake or swirl the ornament around a bit to get the nature objects into the places you want. 

Then, carefully put the tops back on and hang the ornaments on the tree.

Additional Resources

Check out the following posts for more help with adding holiday science to your homeschool!


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  • Paige Hudson
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