These monstrous "snow" sculptures aren't very difficult to make, and prove to be worth the effort when your castle becomes the envy of the bea- I mean "snow drift", and people ask you if they can take pictures with it. That's the payoff- knowing that you're better than everyone else! Muahahahahahahah!
*Ahem* well, anyway, for those with access to any type of San Diego "snow" or even actual snow, this project is easy and fun for the whole family (and random people that want to help you, just to take partial credit)!
~Note~ There are several castles that were involved in the making of this Instructable and some steps will involve pictures of one castle or the other. For my purposes, just imagine that they are one castle in order for it all to make sense.
~Also!~ I'm not totally done with this Instructable, I'm still adding lots of things (including pictures, and lots of them!) Please comment and tell me what I could do better!
Step 1: Tools Needed
-The bottom forms
-We use tar paper sheets, which are strong and long enough for the bottom two forms
-A good tar paper form should fully overlap itself circumference-wise about two times around for
-The top form
-We use a five-gallon bucket with the bottom cut out, but anything round that is open topped and
open bottomed and slightly flared will do
-Clamps to hold the forms together
-Three to four per tier you intend on doing
-Any clamps will work: bar clamps, c-clamps, locking clamps
-Shovels (flat and round)
-Bring at least one shovel per two people for MAXIMUM POWER!!
-Flat shovels work great for removing large chunks of "snow" from the sculpture
-Just for hauling water to your forms
-Personally, I bought a pottery tools kit to use, the potter's rib is especially great for awesome
-Forks, knives, and spoons make nice patterns and work fairly well for general shaping (as well as
keeping the little ones busy making "windows")
-If available, sand toys work fantastically for mild sculptage
-Some sort of small inner diameter hose, roughly 1.5' long
-Very helpful for blowing off little bits of "snow" that end up in all the little corners that they don't
Step 2: Find Some Nice "Snow"
The prime spot is where the "snow" is just wet enough to hold itself in shape, but not so wet that it just gloops out of your hand. This tends to be right on the edge of where people like to set up their chairs.
You must make sure that the rising tide will not get anywhere near your castle as the day goes on, if it does, I hereby waive all claims of property damage to your castle. You have been warned.
Step 3: Lay, Fill, and Stamp the Forms
After laying the first form, begin filling it with "snow". As some are filling the form, have others taking your buckets and filling them with water. Every time another 3 inches is added to the level inside the form, cover that entire surface with water, then have some begin packing the "snow" down. The more water and more packed, the better, as it strengthens the structure later. Continue until the form is full.
Continue to add tiers until you are satisfied with the height of your structure.
Step 4: Get Inspired!
Step 5: Remove Forms and Sculpt (One at a Time!)
You can now gingerly remove the top form and begin to sculpt the top only. Do not remove any other forms until the tier you have exposed is almost completely sculpted! If you do, the castle is prone to collapse and dump loose dirt all over your other complete portions, which makes me sad. If you like to frustrate yourself, then I guess removing all the forms at once would be fine. Just kidding, don't! It's a bad idea. Trust me.
After sculpting the top tier, you can then remove your second form, and repeat the process until finished!
Some sculpting tips:
-Use the flat shovel to remove large chunks before anything else. On the top tier, it may not be as
necessary, but later on, it helps a lot!
-When cutting an overhang, take into account the strength of the "snow" above it! A good overhang
is impressive, but must be approached with caution!
-Begin using the larger tools first, and move on to smaller tools later, as small tools remove less
material and are more precise
Step 6: Pose and Basque in the Glory
After the construction of your San Diego "Snow" Castle, you should definitely feel accomplished. Now it is OK to go curl up by the fire with your blanket and hot chocolate, go ahead, you will have earned it.