Send a Secret Santa Note or Write a Secret Message to Santa

Does your child write letters to Santa? Or are you a Secret Santa that wants to leave clues or confuse your gift recipient? Here are a few different ways to send a secret message to Santa, an elf or anyone. Just keep in mind you will probably need to help decode your message.

Invisible Ink Message

  • Invisible pen (One you can see, but it has invisible ink)
  • Black light
  • White paper

Write a note on a white piece of paper. Just keep track of where you are writing. It may be best to turn off the lights, turn on the black light and write out your message. The secret lies in the fluorescent material in the ink. This material is invisible under normal light conditions but lights up under ultraviolet light. Don’t stop at secret messages, draw pictures, make signs or create posters – anything you draw will show up under the black light.  Invisible marker ink can be removed with soap and water.

Teflon Tape Secret Message

We love polymers at Steve Spangler Science, but we aren’t the only ones. Did you know that plumbers use special polymers almost every day? It’s true! A key polymer that plumbers practically can’t live without is commonly known as Teflon. It may sound familiar, but when Teflon is used as tape, it has some pretty incredible properties that may surprise you. This includes making some pretty awesome secret messages.


  • Sharpie Pens
  • Teflon Tape
  • Scissors
  • Paper
  • Adult Supervision
1. Cut a piece of Teflon tape.
2. Put tape on a piece of paper so the marker won’t bleed through.
3. Write your message on the tape.
4. Remove the tape from the paper and pull on it in different directions to distort the tape.
5. Pull the tape from opposite ends to reveal the message.

FriXion Pens

  •  Friction pen (found where office supplies are sold)
  • Paper
  • Candle or heat source
  • Freezer
Friction pens write like regular pens, until you want to erase them. The thermo-sensitive ink magically disappears from friction heat caused from the eraser. You can also put the paper by a heat source like a candle or light bulb. Just don’t set the paper on fire. Adult supervision is suggested if you use the heat source direction. The ink disappears, but is the message really gone? Place the paper in the freezer. The message reappears!

Lemon Juice Ink
  • Lemon juice
  • White paper
  • Paint brush or Q-Tip
Pour non-diluted lemon juice into a cup or bowl. Dip paint brush into the juice and paint message on your paper. Wait for the paper to dry. The message doesn’t need to be soaked to show up. To reveal your secret message – place the paper near a heat source, like a candle or light bulb. You can also place the paper in-between a few sheets of newspaper and have an adult iron the paper. The heat source will heat the lemon juice on the paper. The sugar in the juice will start to burn the paper just a little and turn into a brown carbon substance. Try some other juices and liquids to see what else will work.

Reappearing White Crayon
  • White crayon or white candle
  • Paint
  • Paint brush or Q-Tip
  • Water
  • White paper
Write your secret message with the white crayon or candle on the paper. To reveal, mix a little water with poster paint. Paint over the paper and the message appears!

Biocarb Secret Message
  • 2 Tbsp of baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
  • 2 Tbsp of water
  • Undiluted grape juice concentrate
  • Paint brush or Q-Tip
  • White paper
Mix the water and baking soda to make the ink. Dip the paint brush into the ink and paint your message. Wait for the paper to dry. To reveal the message, paint over the paper with the grape juice.


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