Introduction: Crayon Swirl Christmas Ornaments

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For a fun Holiday activity, get out your arts and crafts box to make some Christmas Tree Ornaments!

For this project, we'll use crayons to decorate clear glass ornaments, but maybe not in the way you think.
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Lets get started by looking at the tools and materials we'll need.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

To get started, we'll need...

Hair Dryer (for melting wax)
Clothes pin or cork and chopstick
Paper egg carton
Knife or scissors

Clear glass Christmas tree ornaments (available from craft stores or seasonally with decorations)
crayons - metallic are especially nice - old broken ones are fine
wire or pipe cleaners

This project is a great craft to try with children. However, keep in mind that knives, scissors, hair-dryers, and hot wax can all be dangerous. The nice thing about this project is that you can let a child do as much or as little as is appropriate for that child. I was amazed at how much of this project my three-year-old did. Of course, the more your child does, the more proud they will be of the finished project.
Be careful not to drop the ornaments, as the fragile glass can break easily.

Step 2: Prep

Peel back the paper on the crayons. Next, break up bits of crayon by hand or cut with a knife or scissors. The pieces should be relatively small, maybe about 1/2 inch or 1 centimeter long.

Sort out your pieces of crayons by color in the egg carton. 

Remove the spring-loaded caps from the clear glass ornaments. Set them aside. 

Next, put TWO pieces of crayon (one each of two different colors) inside an ornament.

Grab the ornament with the clothes pin. Alternatively, you could poke a chopstick into a cork, and push the cork into the opening in the ornament for an extra-long handle.

Step 3: Heat and Swirl

Now comes the fun part!

Hold the ornament by the clothes pin or chopstick, so that your hand is away from where the ornament will be heated.

Point the hairdryer at the ornament. Turn on the hairdryer to the HEAT setting.

Slowly rotate the ornament so that the entire glass globe heats up. As it does, the wax crayon pieces inside will start to melt. Rotate the ornament in different directions so as to shape and direct the colored wax.

The two different colors will mix together in fun ways. When the ornament is colored how you would like it, turn off the hair-dryer. Set the ornament down on an empty spot on the egg carton to cool. The carton prevents the round object from rolling away.

Step 4: Reassemble

After the ornament has cooled for a few minutes, you can insert the spring-loaded cap.

We didn't have any wire ornament hangers, but we did have pipe cleaners. Cut a pipe cleaner in half. Insert one end through the top of the ornament and twist to hold it in place. Bend the other end into a hook.

For extra fun, keep in mind that the ornament is hollow. It's easy to add a note inside. Just cut paper up a a size shorter than the ornament, roll it up, and insert it. You could write down your child's Christmas wish list and the year or "Made by Ben and Sophie, X-mas 2013" (Of course, you would use YOUR names…)

Either way, it's a great little keepsake to look at in the future.

Step 5: Hang Them Up!

Hang up the ornaments and admire your beautiful tree!

This really is a nice little family craft. Take a few minutes and try it out.
Have fun! If you make some, please post a picture here!

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