Holiday cheer begins here!
It won’t be long before we’re decking the halls for Christmas! And that means it’s also time to think about special handmade gifts for family and friends, like this easy to make snowman! You can make a number of these inexpensively and at the same time, so let’s get started!
The snowman is made with oven bake clay, and the brand I like is Sculpey. It’s easy to use and very durable. I buy the large box and it remains workable until you’re ready to use it! Just keep it wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in a cool place.
The measurements of the clay pieces above make a snowman about 3 inches tall-without his hat!
Work on a wax paper or foil covered surface to protect your furniture. Start with the simple clay shapes for the body, head and arms. Roll the body between your palms until you elongate the shape as shown below. Sit it firmly on your work surface to flatten the bottom so it will stand without falling over! Then roll the head until it’s round, making sure it’s the size you want in relation to the body. I try to tilt the head a bit when I add it to the body for animation and expression. Smooth the body and head together to join the pieces. Pinch out a nose and form cheeks if you wish. If you’d prefer to make a separate carrot nose and glue it on after it’s baked that works too.
Form the arms into similar sized tubes and add them to the body by smoothing them together at the shoulders. It’s okay if the areas where the body and neck are adjoined aren’t perfect, because the scarf will cover them when you’re finished!
If you’d like to add little buttons to the front of the snowman, roll tiny pieces of clay into circles, flatten and add them. Using the end of a toothpick, you can poke little button holes into them. You can also paint on buttons later if you prefer.
There are many ways to personalize your snowman! You can add a small clay square in his hands and paint it as a gift after it’s baked, or he can hold a miniature wreath, initial or stocking. I used a tree for this snowman, and stuck the wire tree “trunk” into his hand to make a small hole to glue the tree into later. Make sure and remove the tree before baking!
Smooth any rough edges on the clay with your fingers or a sculpting tool and your snowman is ready to bake. I use a small baking sheet covered with parchment paper or foil. Just make sure and follow the directions on the package and let it cool completely before painting. While you’re waiting, decorate your tree and make the hat!
This miniature bottlebrush tree started out green, which works fine too! I wanted a vintage look so I placed the green tree in a glass jar filled with enough bleach to submerge the tree. And within 25 minutes the tree was ivory! I bleached several trees at the same time, and left some of them with a pale green tint. The final color is up to you. When the tree was thoroughly dry, I brushed it with glue as shown and sprinkled it with clear and gold glitter. I also added little beads and pearls as tree ornaments, using tweezers to make the job easier!
The tree can be as simple or as decorative as you wish! Set the tree aside to dry while making the snowman’s felt top hat. Here’s how!
If your snowman is baked and thoroughly cooled, it’s ready to paint. Baked Sculpey can be sanded if you’d like a smoother surface, and then painted with 100% acrylic or water-based acrylic paints. I used antique white and added a little blush of pink on his cheeks. When the paint is dry, tie on a little strip of felt, fabric or wired ribbon in the color of your choice to make a scarf. Fringe the ends of the felt with scissors.
The finishing touch is to add a thin coat of matte Mod Podge overall and dust the snowman and scarf with glitter. The Mod Podge will stiffen the felt scarf a little, so if you’d like it to look like it’s blowing in the wind, make sure it’s in that position as it dries.
When the clear coat and glitter has dried, it’s time to glue the hat and tree in place! I used a cool glue gun but you can use the glue of your choice. Make sure and sign the bottom of your snowman to personalize it!
I purchased inexpensive kraft paper boxes to use as gift boxes. And they will be great for storing the snowman after the holidays! I added a label that I printed and cut out, or you can sign the inside of the lid with a greeting and your gift is ready to share.
Make sure to make an extra snowman for you!
I love using snowmen under a glass cloche or in winter wonderland vignettes. I made the trees from twigs stuck into Sculpey bases and added touches of white acrylic paint for snow on the limbs.
Handmade and from the heart for a merry little Christmas!