Holiday Chemistry

Chemistry Ornaments
Lakeland High School, Lakeland, FL

Prepare a chemistry-related ornament for your own tree or for a classroom “chemis-tree,” or try other holiday science fun such as marbling paper for gift wrap, singing a chemistry carol, or deciding if you’d like to eat a “variegated disaccharide ‘J’ tube.”


  • Redox Ornament
    Kick off the holidays at the hardware store? Yes! Start with a sheet of galvanized iron, finish with a unique copper-plated ornament.
  • Silvered Test Tube Ornament
    Test tubes aren’t just for the lab anymore—they’re for the tree too. Silver the inside of the glass using redox reactions, add a ribbon, and it’s ready to go.
  • Borax Snowflake Ornament
    Don’t buy your ornaments—grow them yourself instead! All it takes is borax, water, pipe cleaners, and a little time.
  • Christmas Bulb Chromatography Ornaments
    “Deck the hall with bulbs of color. Fa la la la la la la la la. Made with ink and a solvent water. Fa la la la la la la la la.”
  • ElementsCubed
    It’s elements—cubed! Check out this Etsy store for an ornament idea. See what each clear and colorless cube-shaped ornament contains.
  • Crystal Snowflake Ornaments
    Forget brewing coffee with those filters—make a beautiful crystal snowflake instead. Now, where’d I put the borax?
  • Elemental Ornaments
    Elements turn into ornaments! See how these students interpreted the properties of their element.

Vimeo ID: 8217840

  • Lab Equipment Chemis-tree
    Ring stands? Utility clamps? Erlenmeyer flasks? Test tubes? No, they’re chemis-tree ornaments!
  • A Chemical Christmas Tree
    Even “grown-up” chemists can get into decorating a chemis-tree. Check out this research center’s trees.
  • Christmas Tree Elephant Toothpaste
    The elephant toothpaste demo goes green—Christmas-tree-green, that is. Learn how to color and shape the demo’s foam to look like holiday greenery.
  • Chemis-Tree Project
    Decorating a chemis-tree doesn’t have to be just a filler activity. See how one teacher uses it as a classroom assignment.
  • Festive Christmas Chemis-trees
    Have you made a chemis-tree? You’re not alone! Check out this collection of tweeted trees.

Youtube ID: X0hDX7LtSxk

  • Partial Thermal Degradation of Mixed Saccharides with Protein Inclusions
    Partial thermal what?? It’s “science speak” for a tasty holiday treat. Translate the recipe and figure out what you’ll be making.
  • Construction of Variegated Disaccharide "J" Tubes
    Everybody loves a good disaccharide “J” tube, right? Make your own with this recipe—can you guess what it is?
  • What's Special About Fudge?
    Pssst… Let me tell you a secret. The secret of perfect fudge, that is. Find out the chemistry behind the candy, then make your own.
  • Candy Glass Icicle Decorations
    Make sugar “glass” icicles as a decoration (or as a snack!).
  • Peppermint Cream Wafers
    Add these to your holiday sweets recipe box. Chemistry never tasted so good!

Youtube ID: ujBA_C_mgnk

  • Santa Slime Recipe
    Why settle for ordinary slime when you can make holiday slime? Try these recipes for Santa, Grinch, Gingerbread, and Candy Cane Slimes.
  • Case #1225: Case of the Christmas Cookie Mystery
    Help out the North Pole Bureau of Investigations by identifying the mixed-up white powders Mrs. Claus needs to bake her sugar cookies.
  • Magic Crystal Christmas Tree
    “Grow” a small chemical tree using this variation on the classic charcoal crystal garden.
  • The Littlest Christmas Tree
    Create a tiny Christmas tree with beautiful silver branches—all on a microscope slide.
  • Poinsettia pH Paper
    Tired of plain old pH paper? Make your own (holiday style!) using a solution made from poinsettia plants.
  • Crystal Frost Window Paint
    Either Jack Frost came to visit, or you’ve found this recipe for crystal frost window paint. Grab some Epsom salt and get started!
  • Snow Globe Lab
    Making a snow globe is a great way to learn about solubility! Try this lab and make your own.

Youtube ID: VYrF3sFBY20