Magnificent Marshmallow Palisade





Introduction: Magnificent Marshmallow Palisade

About: I am a maker. As founder of MakerBlog, I enjoy sharing my creations with others.


.  Ice cream bucket/round container (for making the giant marshmallow shapes)
.  Snow shovel (for mounding snow together to make scooping into the bucket easier)
.  Water spray bottle (for spraying the walls)
.  Large bucket of water, probably best kept in the garage (for refilling the spray bottle)
.  Two to four boards, each board 1 inch  x 8 inches and each 3 to 4 feet long 
   (These boards are optional for those who would like to have doorways with a lintel or "roof" over each. 
   We outfitted only two of our doorways with lintels because we had only two boards.)


.  About 25 "manhours" (three boys worked after school on Friday and again on Saturday)

Step 1: Making Marshmallow Building Blocks

Start making snow "marshmallows."   As demonstrated in the pictures shown above, pack snow into ice cream bucket.  Be sure to press snow in well, packing down with your fists, then refilling and packing again until you have achieved a dense marshmallow.  Dense marshmallows hold together and make better building blocks.

After you have packed the bucket well, wipe the top until level.  Invert the bucket and release the marshmallow (you may have to shake the bucket a bit to cause the marshmallow block to release).  Voila!  You have a marshmallow building block.  If the marshmallow block does not release from the bucket, either your snow is too wet or you have packed a bit too tightly. 

Step 2: Making Your Pattern and Beginning to Build

The sketch shown in the purple inset (above right) gives a view from the top of the Magnificent Marshmallow Palisade.  The outer circle represents the outer walls, and the break in the circle represents the exterior doorway.  The two inner circles show where interior walls are, and the breaks in the circle show interior doorways.  Having interior walls add strength to the structure, but you could omit the interior walls, if desired. 

Trace with your boot or with a stick a large circle in the snow to establish the pattern you will follow for laying out the first level of the palisade's walls, both interior and exterior.  After you have laid out the first level, be sure to stagger the blocks (alternating like the layers of brick in a brick wall) on the second level and on each subsequent level.  Above is a picture of the staggered marshmallow blocks.  

Step 3: Solidifying Your Walls

As you make each individual level, spray each level with a water bottle.  This spraying will help solidify and hold things together. (Warning: If you spray the marshmallow blocks while they are still in the ice cream bucket/container, the marshmallow may crumble as it comes out of the bucket/mold.) If possible, wait until you have finished and positioned a complete level/layer of your palisade before you spray it with water.  If you have two people helping build, it may be better for one person to spray the walls while the other person creates more blocks.

When you need to refill your water bottle, trek to the garage and refill from your large bucket of water.  Depending on how cold it is outside, you might be able to do the refilling outside right at your building site.  In any case, be careful not to your clothes wet while refilling your water bottle.   

Step 4: Making Doorway Lintels (Optional)

When you have decided how tall you are going to build your fort (how many levels of marshmallows), if you would like to have a lintel (a board across the top of the doorway), put the board on the wall at the desired spot where you want your doorway and spray water around the marshmallow supports.  This helps make the supporting marshmallows more solid.  After you have let things sit for a while, you can start building on top and around your doorway as desired.  Above is a picture of our lintel which is approximately 3 1/2 feet long.

Step 5: Having Fun to the Finish

Build to your heart's desire!!  We would have built the Taj Mahal, but we didn't have enough snow. :) 

The Magnificent Marshmallow Palisade required at least a ton of snow, but provided even more tons of fun.  Next snowstorm, try it yourself!  Don't be surprised if all the adults in the neighborhood drop by, smiling with glee at your progress and wishing they had time to pitch in and be a part of the fun!  

If you like our Marshmallow Palisade, please vote for us!

Snow Challenge

Finalist in the
Snow Challenge



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    14 Discussions

    Somebody must have eaten all of our marshmallows. I guess we'll have to make some more next winter!


    We have begun wondering if the bigger bucket would be extremely hard to get out once it is well packed. We thought it might be extremely hard to shake the big, heavier bucket to get the snow to release. What was your experience?

    well, just look on the Ible' to see what I did. I got two buckets, and slit the side of one. The slit bucket I used for snow, and put that bucket in the uncut bucket. It's all in the how-to.

    Too bad we didn't snag on to those five-gallon buckets. It would have gone faster! We will have to do that next year. Thanks for the suggestion.

    I love this!!!

    To save time and energy, I think I'd use a heavy meat mallet to beat the snow into the buckets.>;-D

    1 reply

    The practical use of this project was to expend boyish time and energy, while having fun and building muscles. We slept well afterwards!

    It's refreshing to see boys being creative and getting outside in their spare time! Guys, I think this looks really neat, and it seems to fit the contest theme very well. I hope you win!

    1 reply