How to Build the Perfect Snowman + 31 Epic Snowman Designs

“Snowman! Snowman! Snowman!” If your kids are anything like mine, they have been glued to the window since the first snowflake hit the ground, and they haven’t shut up about making their very own Olaf ever since. Easy, right? Just grab the carrot and the button eyes and — wait. Here’s the thing. There’s actually some nuance to building a snowman and some legit ways of making it better. So, before your snowday fun turns into a Lampoon’s-style disaster, read these tips and find out how to make a killer snowman that your family will love (and then check out the slideshow for even more inspiration!).howbuildperfsnowman_sized

Step 1:

Choose the right snow. No, seriously. If the snow is too powdery it will sift through your fingers like sand. Snowman snow must be packable — think moist, not flaky – in order to hold together.  Fresh snow that has fallen when temps are around 32° F (0° C) is ideal. If your snow doesn’t pass muster, never fear: Just spray it with a little water.

snow packed in to a snowball

Step 2:

Start packing. Now that you’ve got the grade-A packable stuff, take a handful and start shaping the snow into a ball. Keep packing. Don’t stop yet. In fact, keep packing the ball with snow until a.) it’s super big, or b.) frostbite has kicked in.

rolling the base of the snowman
Step 3:

Put your back into it. See all the rest of the snow on your lawn or sidewalk? Do a few quick leg stretches, because now it’s time to crouch down and roll the ball away from you, across all that white, powdered goodness. It’s a pain in the butt, but it’s actually kind of fun, and it works! All the other snowflakes want to come to the party, and your first ball should be getting large enough to serve as the base for your snowman.

Step 4:

Rinse and repeat. Remember everything you just did? Well, do it again. Twice. Your second ball should be a bit smaller (for the waist). Your third ball will be slightly smaller still, and serve as the head.

Step 5:

Stack ‘em. For your basic, bottom-heavy snowman, you’ll now want to stack your snowballs from largest to smallest. If you made them super big (good job!) you might want to use a shovel to lift the midsection and head in place. Pack additional snow between the balls to help hold them together.

how to snack the snowman body


Step 6:

Accessorize. Now comes the fun part – give your snowman some ‘tude! Get creative with fruit, veggies, stuff from your craft box or utensils drawer, and give your snowman eyes, a nose, a mouth, and maybe a hat, scarf, or jewels. Come up with a name for him (or her) too, if you like, and decide if you’re accessorizing a Kim Snow-dashian or maybe a Will Smith-cicle.

finished snowman

And, you’re done! You deserve a hot chocolate!

If packing and rolling seems like too much work (I don’t blame you), you could always use the less traditional method of piling up a large mound of snow and carving out the shape of a snowman. It’ll still look awesome, and either way your fam will have a blast. Happy snowman-making!

More Ideas for Winter Fun:


Photos: Getty