A Christmas Pyramid is a rotating pyramid-shaped structure that is usually powered by the heat of candles around the pyramid’s base. (Take a look at the link above to see some pictures.) The heat from the candles causes blades at the top of the pyramid to rotate, which causes platforms of figurines to rotate around the pyramid. Christmas pyramids are usually made of wood (and are rather expensive). However, I wanted to make one using paper. Why paper? Because then other people could easily print and cut out a design and make their very own! After lots of troubleshooting, I was able to make a paper version, which I show how to make here – I’m calling it a candle-powered paper carousel because that’s basically what it is (although it's really being powered by the heat of the candles).

If you’d like to make your own candle-powered paper carousel, then this Instructables project is for you! Mine has a Minecraft theme (because it’s a great game that I enjoy playing) but I’ve included blank templates so you could make any themed paper carousel you want!

Warning: Paper is flammable. Keep paper parts a safe distance away from candles when lit (I positioned my blades about 12 cm above the flames and this seemed fine). This project should only be operated with adult supervision. Never leave the candles burning when you are not watching them. Light the candles on a surface that is not flammable, and keep them away from flammable objects. Also be careful about putting your hands above the candles when lit because the air will be very hot.

Step 1: Materials You’ll Need

You just need some simple, common household materials to make your very own heat-powered paper carousel:

  • Cardstock paper, 110 lb, or 199 g/m2. This is for making the blades.
  • Color printer
  • Scissors
  • Glue. You could use a similar adhesive, such as rubber cement, but normal white school glue worked well for me.
  • Metal bottle cap
  • Nail
  • Hammer
  • Play doh or modeling clay
  • Skewer. Use one that’s as straight as possible and at least 20 cm tall. This will be the axle.
  • Four small candles. I used candles that were about 6 cm tall and 6 cm in diameter. I wouldn’t recommend using candles taller than about 7 cm unless you make a taller axle. Also, I could get the carousel to run using only two candles, but it isn’t as impressive as when using four candles.
  • Matches or a lighter
  • Printer paper. This is for making the rotating platform, figurines, and axle.
  • Permanent marker (optional)
  • Scotch tape
<p>Haha! This is great :-)</p>
<p>Thanks for checking it out, hunter999!</p>
<p>No problem! Voted also :-)</p>
<p>Yay, thanks! :)</p>
<p>Haha, no problem (again) :D</p>
So cool! I love this :)
<p>Thanks, Mielameri!</p>
I like it, keep up the good ideas :)
<p>Thanks for checking out the project, amature creator! :) And I will try to!</p>
Saying its not actually candle powered is like saying i drove my gas to work today xD :)
<p>Yeah, I suppose so. I'd originally called it a &quot;heat-powered paper carousel&quot; because I was worried people wouldn't want to see &quot;candle&quot; and &quot;paper&quot; next to each other, but including the word &quot;candle&quot; in the title is more descriptive. Thanks for checking it out!</p>
Like it
Like it

About This Instructable


176 favorites


Bio: I am a scientist, professional science writer, and science educator. I'm also author of the Biology Bytes books: http://www.biology-bytes.com/book/.
More by Teisha: Automate Your Shopping! Mini Paper Mache Light-Up Christmas Tree Minecraft Snow Golem Ornament
Add instructable to: