Introduction: Snow Monkey!
First Prize in the
It is a well known fact that snowmen don't typically have feet. This however led their ancestors, the snowmonkeys, to become excellent tree climbers in their natural forest habitat. Sadly, since magical silk hats are in very short supply these days, it's not often that you get to see these majestic creatures swinging from tree to tree.
Fortunately, with a bit of effort we can recreate this scene ourselves!
What you'll need:
A sturdy, low-hanging tree branch
Step 1: Roll a Snowball
There's probably already an instructable somewhere about how to roll a big snowball, so I'm going to consider this prerequisite knowledge. Although we will be starting with the bottom-most snowball, start by making it a little smaller than you want the final product to look. We will be adding additional snow to it later.
Step 2: Fighting Gravity
Assuming you don't have an enchanted silk hat, this is where the magic really starts.
Depending on the size of your snowmonkey, you're going to want about 40' of rope. Starting in the middle, begin wrapping it around your bottom snowball. When the two strands meet up on the opposite side, cross them to double back in a new direction until you've wrapped around enough times to be sturdy.
Once you've gone around 3-4 times, knot your remaining rope on each side around the spot where all the other strands meet. This will provide a solid anchor point to lift the snowball without dragging the rope out of place.
Step 3: Into the Tree
Position your snowball under the branch you've selected to hang from, and toss the two sides of rope up and over. At this point you can either use the rope and branch as a pulley to hoist up the snowball, or you can probably just pick it up yourself. Get a friend to help, and lift with your knees; snow is surprisingly heavy!
However you decide to get it into the air, you're going to want something to set it on while you secure the rope. I just used a regular garbage bin, but depending on how high your branch is, and how tall your snowmonkey will be, you may need something different. It will be very difficult to go back and change how high it will hang after this point, so try to picture its final dimensions and plan ahead.
While the snowball is resting on its support, knot the rope around the same anchor point we used earlier. Take whatever length is left over and wrap it around the snowball some more. This will add a little extra support, but mostly it just gets the rope out of the way.
Take away whatever you have it resting on, and hopefully you'll be left with a snowball hanging from a tree.
Step 4: Hiding the Rope
This is where we'll bring the bottom snowball up to its final size.
To hide the rope, we just need to pack more snow on top of it. Add a layer around the snowball until the rope is no longer visible, and even out any big lumps to make it nicely round. Bear in mind that this outer layer of snow doesn't have any rope holding it up in the air, so try to only add as much as you need to conceal the rope and do a bit of shaping.
We can also add the middle snowball now. This is accomplished just like any other snowman, except in this case adding the second snowball tends to unbalance everything, and it will want to fall over spinning around the anchor points of the rope. Packing more snow around the rope at the middle snowball will solve this, and will also be necessary to hide the rope again. You may want a friend to help hold it steady while you do this though.
Step 5: Arms and Final Touches
The only rope that should still be visible is what's coming up from the top of the middle snowball, and looping up over the branch. Packing snow around it will hide the rope, and give our snowmonkey some arms.
Packing snow around the rope can be a little more difficult when there isn't another snowball underneath it. I find it works best to take a scoop of snow in each hand, and cup them together with the rope in the middle. I had to use my bare hands for this part, since the snow wasn't quite warm enough to stick together on its own. Repeat this process to slowly make your way up the entire rope.
Pack some extra snow around the branch at the top to give some shape to your snowmonkey's hands, and then the rope should be completely invisible. No one needs to know that he's been made out of anything but snow.
Add a final snowball for a head, and decorate a face however you like!
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