How to Make a Snowman
Winter must be a magical time for those of you that get to regularly experience snow. Living in Texas, it's entirely possible I won't even see a flurry of snow all winter.
We do sometimes have a bit of snow, but it rarely sticks around (pun intended). It usually arrives when the ground is too warm so it doesn't even stick at all, or we're expecting a warming trend the following day and whatever stuck now quickly melts away.
The best snowfall I can remember during my lifetime was in February 1982. We had 16 inches of snowfall with a few drifts around the back of our house that were close to 3 feet deep. It was amazing to see snow like that. The interstate that normally provided a steady roar of traffic was at a complete standstill. The stillness amplified the beauty around us.
Snowfall in Texas means everything closes than can close. No school. No work. Putting thousands of drivers behind the wheel in conditions they have no clue how to drive in is a hazard situation that no one wants to be responsible for. We hunker down and enjoy it because we know it won't last long.
What to Wear to Build a Snowman:
One of the biggest obstacles we seem to experience in Texas, besides the lack of snow, is having the proper attire for snowman building. It's extremely important to bundle up wearing layers of clothing and to wear something over your ears and to wear waterproof gloves. Most of our gloves are knitted and not very good for snowman building. You want to protect your fingers. It doesn't take long for them to get wet when playing in the snow. You won't be able to stay outdoors long with cold wet fingers.
Decide what kind of snowman you're going to build. This may largely depend on the supplies you have available. They make some really awesome Snowman kits that contain everything you'll need. Assuming you don't have a kit, I'm going to give you a list of possibilities for each item you'll need. Have fun coming up with your own or mix and matching these. The possibilities are endless.
- Hat-every snowman or snow woman needs a hat of some sort. You'll need to have the hat in mind when building the snowball you'll be using for the head. You will want the hat to fit on the head you build. You can use a toboggan, a cowboy hat, a ladies' garden hat, or any type of hat you have around the house.
- Scarf-you can use any type of scarf or a piece of material for this. A scarf really helps define the snowman. Use one that is very colorful.
- Arms-your snowman will need arms. Look around for sticks, limbs, or any type of dowel rod or broomstick handle. There is no need for them to be straight. Crooked ones give a snowman lots of character.
- Facial features-You can use all sorts of things for the eyes and mouth of the snowman. You can use buttons, rocks, balls, fruit,, etc. For the nose, it is quite common to use a carrot, but you can also use a small stick for the nose as well if you don't have a carrot.
- Body features-lots of people use buttons or rocks to make buttons down the front of the snowman. Some people even place a shirt on the snowman when putting the arms on. If you plan to use clothing you need to consider this when making the ball for the body. Your snowman can quickly outgrown the clothing.
How to Build a Snowman
Ideally, you'll want snow containing a good amount of moisture rather than dry powdery snow.
- You begin by making a firmly packed snowball. Keep adding snow to the ball until it becomes difficult to hold.
- Next, roll the snowball along the snow-covered ground so that more snow is picked up by the snowball.
- Continue rolling the snowball until you have a ball big enough for the base.
- Place the base snowball where you want the snowman to stand. Ideally, you'll want to place him in a shady location that doesn't get much sun so that he lasts longer.
- Create at least two more balls in a similar fashion for the middle of the body and the head. Some people use four balls to get the snowman to the height they want him to be.
- Stack the balls and add snow where the balls meet to help stabilize each snowball.
- Begin adding the facial, body and clothing features we discussed above. Make adjustments to the snow as necessary.
- To help set your snowman so that he lasts longer, coat him with a small amount of water to create a layer of ice. You can do this by patting water on with your gloved hand or you can take a 2 inch paint brush and brush it on by dipping the brush in a cup of water then brushing the surface of the snowman.
- Take photos. In Texas, all your hard work will be gone by the next day.
Let It Snow by Dean Martin
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