Your Step-by-Step Guide to Building the Best Snowman on Your Block, According to a Snowman Expert
Despite the cold weather, there is so much to look forward to during winter—think hot chocolate, cozy blankets, the holiday season, and snow days (the latter is the most exciting of them all!). Kids and adults will agree that few things compare to the unbridled joy of looking outside your window and finding a fresh blanket of powder. On days like this, there is only one thing to do: Build a snowman, of course.
While everyone appreciates the standard carrot nose and button eye decorations, we're encouraging you to go above and beyond when rolling and building Frosty this year. Whether that means adding an extra tier to his body or getting creative with his wardrobe, there are plenty of ways you can make your snowman the best one on the block. You'll love the challenge—and your kids will love spending quality time with you.
The Best Snow for Making a Snowman
While there is no wrong way to make a snowman, some conditions lend themselves better to forming the joyful winter motifs than others. According to Bob Eckstein, snowman expert and author, there is a certain snow type that is ideal for snowman building. "Snowfall should be pliable and workable," he says, noting that it should not be too dry (it won't stick!) or frozen solid.
How to Make the Body of a Snowman
Rolling the body of your snowman is easy. "Just make a larger snowball and begin rolling it until the base is the size you want," Eckstein says. "The next ball [will be] the same, but smaller." While many people opt for three tiers when building a snowman, yours can be as small or as tall as you wish.
"All and any size snowmen are good," Eckstein says, adding that your kids will appreciate tiny guys that look like them (they'll be more creative when they decorate, too!). Challenge your kids to make "self-portraits" by building a snowman of a similar height. "Making a two-foot-tall snowman is just as good as the world's records," Eckstein affirms.
How to Make Your Snowman Last Longer
The downside to snowmen? They melt. But there are a couple ways you can make yours last longer. Although the size of your snowman doesn't matter from a visual perspective, how big or small it is actually contributes to its longevity (or lack thereof). "The larger is, the slower it will melt," Eckstein says. You should also choose a spot in your yard that doesn't get much direct sunlight. "Beautiful snowmen are often built on slopes," he says.
How to Make Your Snowman Stand Out
While it may seem like an activity for children, making a snowman is one of the best ways to let out your inner artist. For that reason, Eckstein recommends against purchasing a snowman kit—which typically comes with a scarf, nose, eyes, and hat—since it doesn't promote out-of-the-box-thinking. Instead, get more creative with your design. "Anything goes," Eckstein says. Consider buckets, cookie cutters, balls, or "anything found in the garage that's not valuable."
Consider a Theme
Look to your interests and hobbies when ideating your snowman scene: Avid green thumbs might choose to make a snow garden bed filled with icy shrubs or nuanced topiaries, while DIY enthusiasts might look to handy tools and hard hats. You can turn to your vocation for inspiration, too—teachers might give their creations a pair of glasses and a tie. And if you're a pet lover? Switch it up entirely and make snowpuppies, instead.
Choose a Unique Position
When you think of a snowman, your mind likely goes to a three-tired, upright creation, but there's so much more you can do when it comes its structure. "Build the snowman in a position that is unusual," Eckstein says. "It can be built around something, sitting at a table, or even lying down." Want to really make your neighbors laugh? Build an upside-down iteration and put some legs where the hat should be (yes, that means the face goes on the bottom tier!).
Skip the usual black top hat and simple red scarf and opt for something brighter. "Adding a colorful hat or scarf is like adding color to a room," Eckstein says. You can even use a pop of color for your snowman's eyes—green or blue buttons will add realistic character. Bonus points if you make a family of snowmen with eye colors that match your own clan's.
This also might be a chance to show off your knitting skills—so why not make something special for Mr. Snowman that you can wear later? A simple crocheted shawl in a color palette that speaks to your home façade, for example, would add a splash of vibrancy to the stark white background and tie your wintertime creation to your exterior's design. Just be sure to use durable, waterproof yarn so it can withstand the elements for a short period of time.
Add a Facial Expression
Make your snowman feel even more realistic by giving it a facial expression. "A smile goes a long way," Eckstein says. "All of a sudden, you'll find yourself compelled to give him or her a name—so spend time giving your snowman an expressive face."