Winter is all about snowman for my kids, but this year we didn’t have snowman snow yet. We compensate by doing lots of snowman crafts. I have told you earlier about my love of papier-mâché (paper-mache) projects, so it only stands to reason that when I saw an empty apple juice bottle I immediately visualized it covered with paper and turned into a cute paper-mache snowman. And once we made snowman we decided to add a snow-woman and throw in some snow-kids for good measure.
Three ingredients take center stage in this fun project: (1) newspaper, (2) glue and (3) plastic bottle. Tear up some newspaper and glue it to the plastic bottle. Voila! For a smoother finish you can make the final layer out of printer paper, but I only recommend it, if you are making a snowman as a present and want it to look store-bought perfect. For decoration you can paint with white color, add eyes, hat, scarf and buttons.
This project is great for artistic expression. My kids had a lot of fun designing their snowman babies and making them. There is a lot going on: tearing, gluing, making decisions about where each piece is going, smoothing it out, imagining the final product. In addition, if you are using hands for scooping up glue (and not a spoon), it’s a great sensory experience. We love sticking our hands in glue and smoothing out the wrinkles. We can do it all day! I like that the final product is a sturdy 3D toy. In fact, kids will be playing with it until next winter.
What you need for papier-mâché Snowman
Empty plastic bottle
Glue (flour, water and salt)
Printer paper (optional)
White paint (for body)
Black paint (for eyes and buttons)
Scarf and hat (I crocheted ours with leftover yarns)
How to make papier-mache glue (for 1 snowman)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup water
1 TBSP salt
Stir together until smooth, bump-free mixture is formed. If it seems to thick to you, add an additional drop of water.
How to make a paper-mache snowman
- Tear a small piece of newspaper.
- Cover it with glue.
- Stick paper to the plastic bottle and smooth it out.
- Cover the bottle completely.
- Let it dry over night.
- Repeat with more layers, if desired.
Note: if you don’t let it dry completely between layers, snowman will get moldy.
Note 2: depending on the quality of newspaper edges sometimes don’t blend as well as the middle sections.
Note 3: Repeat the layers, if needed. One layer makes a fine snowman, but more layers mean sturdier, drop-resistant exhibit. My 7-year old loves doing it so much, he said, I need to make at least five layers. And he did just that!
Note 4: Any time your glue gets too thick, just add a drop of water to thin it out.
Copy our decorations or invent your own. I think our snowmen are awfully cute, if I can say so myself. Baby turned out a bit grumpy perhaps.
How to decorate a paper-mache snowman
Here you are in the land of endless possibilities. This is what we did:
- Painted snowmen white and let them dry overnight.
- The next day we painted on eyes, mouth and buttons. Some buttons were made using glitter glue.
- Added crocheted hats and scarfs.
- Added a red nose: red construction paper triangle bent in half and glued on with regular school glue.
Oh no! It’s snowing especially hard today!
Watch our video for inspiration!