The history of Christmas ornaments begins in 15th century Germany with Christian churches using evergreen trees to teach illiterate parishioners biblical lessons, according to author Daniel Foley, in "The Christmas Tree." White candles represented innocence and twinkling stars, while apples represented trees in the Garden of Eden. Ornaments grew popular throughout Europe and by the 18th century German craftsmen were making them with wax, wire, paper and wood. Wax ornaments were made two ways: By pouring hot wax into molds and by dipping paper into hot wax.
Wax Paper Ornament
Cut two identical 4 inch stars from card-stock. Cut a 1/2-inch slit vertically up from the bottom center in one and a half inch vertical slit down from the top of the other. Poke two holes on each side of the slit on the star with the top slit.
Melt wax. If using a double boiler, make sure the inner pan is wide enough for the star to fit in.
Working on a protected surface, slip one star into the hot wax and coat. Remove star by top point with tweezers. Sprinkle glitter lightly on both sides. Wax will set up in less than a minute; set aside. Repeat with second star.
With scissors, open waxed slits in stars. Slide star with top slit into slit on other star. Star should stand on four points.
Thread needle and knot at one end. Poke through one top hole. Insert needle into other hole; create a 3-inch loop of thread and tie off. Hang on tree.
Use colored card-stock or magazine photos instead of plain card-stock. Trim edges with decorative scissors for variety. In lieu of thread, poke one hole in top and insert ornament hook.
Hot wax can cause burns and skin irritation. Young children should be supervised when dipping the stars in the the pan. Store waxed ornaments in a cool, dry place.