Introduction: Fish Bowl Snowman

About: Where there's a will, there's a way! Never give up, never give in...BE the good you want to see in the world. :)

Where I live, there's no snow this winter.

OK, let me rephrase...

There has been hardly any snow this winter. We have literally had two snowy days up to this point.

Having lived previously in Michigan, Canada, and northern Pennsylvania...snow in wintertime is second-fiddle only to breathing.

So, how can I compete in a snow challenge without any snow!?

Enter in the Fish Bowl Snowman!

If we can't have our snow and eat it too, then we might as well make do with a fun (and adorable!) alternative. :)


The supplies you will need to make your very own Snow-When-There-Is-No-Snow-Snowman are as follows...


  • 3 glass (or clear plastic) fish bowls that include one small, one medium, and one large (and they must be able to sit inside of each other, so try them before you buy them). Now, I say "fish bowl" but realistically I found my two smallest at Dollar Tree (the smallest one in the candle section and the medium one in the plant section), and I found the largest bowl at WalMart in the faux plant section. So, it just has to be the fish bowl shape (aka: a "bubble bowl").
  • Decorations for inside your bowls (if you want to follow my project exactly, you will need: 1 red truck from Dollar Tree, 1 three piece package of animals from Dollar Tree (fawn, bunny, and cardinal), 1 box orange-bodied Q-tips from Dollar Tree, 1 bag cotton balls from Dollar Tree, 1 bag black pebbles from Dollar Tree, 1 four piece package of mini chalkboard sign from Dollar Tree, 1 dark gray Fat Quarter from WalMart, 1 red Fat Quarter from WalMart, 1 fine tip chalkboard marker from WalMart, 2 super fine twig tips from nature, and 5+ snips of evergreen branches, or other greenery from nature)
  • Hot Glue & Glue Sticks
  • Scissors
  • Scarf


  • Empty container (I used a Cocoa Powder container)
  • Gray or black fabric (I purchased Fat Quarters from WalMart)
  • Red ribbon


  • Baking Soda
  • Cornstarch
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Spoon

Step 1: Soak the Labels

Add the three bowls to some warm, soapy water.

Allow them to soak a minute or two.

This will allow you to easily scrape off the labels on the bottom of the bowls.

Dry thoroughly.

Step 2: Repeat for the Can

Repeat the process of soaking and removing the label for the can, but be sure to clean it out really well.

If you have any cocoa powder left in the can, you will be making some chocolate snow (which isn't necessarily a bad thing!).

Dry thoroughly.

Step 3: Make the Snow

Combine equal parts baking soda and cornstarch for some quick snow.

I used 1 cup of each.

Mix together with a spoon.

NOTE: If you need "packing" snow, ever so slightly add a little water to the mixture until the consistency is achieved that you want. Be sure NOT to turn it in to sludge though! :D

Step 4: Bowl 1: Snowman Scene

Seeing that it's February and all, the stores are more apt to have bathing suits out for summer than Christmas decor out from the previous holiday, so I had to think of a creative way to make each decoration from out-of-season supplies.

For the biggest bowl, I wanted to create a snowy scene of a little snowman amidst a forest (because, let's face it, there aren't exactly penguins, mini sleds, and Rudolph figurines hanging around in the cheapo stores, and I have to stay true to my frugal nature LOL).

To start, I trimmed some little twigs from my yard (making sure that the tips had multiple branches for a snowman hand effect).

Then I trimmed these to the correct size for Mr. Snowman's arms.

Step 5: Create a Nose

Seeing as a carrot might get all moldy and such if used for the long haul, I opted for something more, shall we say, plastic.

But what can I use that will have a dual purpose? After all, I can't exactly buy a single plastic doodad for an itty bitty snowman nose. Nor can I justify buying said doodad in bulk and not having a way to use the remaining doodads.

So, while walking the Dollar Tree aisles, I came across these orange tubed Q-tips. We need Q-tips at the house, and Mr. Snowman needs a nose. Bada bing-bada boom. Win-win!

First, trim off the cotton end of the Q-tip. Then, trim off enough to make a nose out of. Lastly, trim one flat edge into a V-shape.

Step 6: Pre-Plan

Because snowman assembly is extremely tedious and complex (sarcasm intended), be sure to pre-plan where you want to adhere all the final pieces to.

NOTE: The "coal" I used for his eyes, smile, and buttons were black "pebbles" from Dollar Tree.

Step 7: Glue 'Er Down

Glue everything into place on Mr. Snowman.

  1. Glue his body together. I like the look of an imperfect snowman body (reminds me of my childhood days!)
  2. Glue on his twiggy arms.
  3. Glue on his eyes, nose, and mouth.
  4. Finally, add a couple buttons on his body.

Step 8: Snip a Scarf

I used a Fat Quarter of solid red fabric from WalMart to create a tiny little scarf for Mr. Snowman.

First, cut a little strip about 4" long.

Then add optional fringe to the ends of the scarf. I like the imperfection of the cuts here. It makes the snowman look more rustic, like he's been out in the forest awhile.

NOTE: The Fat Quarter will have a little square piece of thin cardboard inside of it.

KEEP THIS for a future step!

Step 9: Glue the Scarf Down

Glue the scarf around his "neck" to finish him off.

Awww! Isn't he cute!?

Step 10: Add Trees

Using snips from evergreen trees (OK, it is probably some kind of specific evergreen tree, but I don't know what it is exactly, so roll with me here), trim them in a generally tree-looking shape (ie: triangular cuts, smaller at the top and getting bigger as it extends toward the bottom).

Add a glob of hot glue to the base of each "tree" and press them directly on to the glass bottom.

Don't worry if there's a curvy tree here, or a funky-cut tree there. Remember what Bob Ross says, "There's no mistakes. Just happy accidents." :D

Step 11: Add Snow

Using a spoon, strategically add snow to the first bowl.

I like doing this AFTER everything that will be attached to the glass directly (ie: trees, signs) is attached, because then the snow looks like it has freshly fallen over the trees. And it covers up the glue globs.

Step 12: Add Mr. Snowman

Adding a glob to Mr. Snowman's derriere, gently press him down into the snow to secure him to the scene.

Add a dash of snow over his head and body to continue the look of "freshly fallen snow."

Feel free to add more trees or decor as you see fit! The snow doesn't prohibit you from adding on later.

Step 13: Bowl 2: Winter Wonderland

For the medium bowl, I wanted to make a happy little scene of animals surrounding a "Winter Wonderland" sign.

At Dollar Tree, they had a pack of these little chalkboard signs. Since they were waayyyy too long as-is, I cut the pole down to about 1 inch (cutting straight across).

Next, write your message on the sign using a Chalkboard Marker with a fine tip.

Lastly, glue it down to the glass bottom directly.

Step 14: Add Extra Decor & Snow

Add another tree (as seen here) or other decor that would need a permanent adhesion to the glass bottom, and then add in the snow.

Ahhh, it's beginning to look a lot like.....Snooowwww....

Step 15: Add Some Critters

I found these at Dollar Tree...little critters in the garden section. They came in a package together (score!).

So, I added a beautiful fawn...

An adorable bunny...

And a GINORMOUS cardinal! .... Because, why not?

Rolling with the Bob Ross theme here.

Happy accidents...

Step 16: Bowl 3: Top 'Er Off

For the top and final bowl, I wanted to do a simple homey scene.

Also at Dollar Tree (because why go anywhere else when you have it all here -- and for only a DOLLAR! Say whhaaattt??) I found this cute little red pickup truck.

I debated between this truck and a little blue house trailer (that you can see in the supplies picture). But this won because it matched my color scheme better.

Step 17: Deck It Out

Just like our mini snowman, this big snowman needs a scarf!

At Dollar Tree (I betchya didn't know I was going to say that!) there was this thin fleece scarf still hanging out in a pile of "please get these out of my store" things.

In order to make a properly sized scarf with fringe (because this scarf's length was too long to use as-is), you have to first cut a section off of the scarf. My section was about 12" long.

Next, cut a 2" wide strip out of this section by the length of the section (about 12").

Then, cut a second 2" wide strip in the same way. So you should have TWO strips, roughly the same width and length.

Glue the two raw short edges together with hot glue. Or, you can sew it together if you prefer.

Your new scarf is ready for action!

Step 18: Check It Out!

Stack the three bowls on top of each other, starting with the biggest bowl on the bottom, and working up to the smallest bowl on top.

NOTE: You can glue these bowls together if you wish to keep them permanently together. However, the baking soda and cornstarch will eventually spoil, so I left mine un-glued.

Try his scarf on for size. Trim and re-glue as needed.

Step 19: Make the Top Hat Brim

This snowman needs a hat! A top hat to be specific.

Using that cardboard piece you previously saved from the Fat Quarter fabric, place the empty can on top as close to center as possible.

Trace around the can adding about 1/2" to 1" excess all the way around.

Cut out the circle on the line you drew.

Step 20: Add Fabric to the Brim

Using the other Fat Quarter fabric you got (mine was dark gray), glue the cardboard circle to the center of an edge of the fabric (as shown in the pictures).

Next, add glue to the top of this and fold the fabric (either from the bottom-up or the top-down) over the cardboard and press to seal.

Lastly, cut out the circle (now covered in fabric on either side), and seal up the edges with glue to keep the fabric together around the cardboard.

Step 21: Add Fabric to the Body

To add fabric to the body of the top hat, first add glue to the center of the hole-less side of the can.

Opening the fabric up to the CENTER, press the center down over the top of the can (so the fabric drapes down over the sides of the can).

I'm sorry I couldn't get clear pictures of this part. There was a weird sort of twilight settling in (even though it wasn't sunset), which affected my lighting and screwed up the original pictures I took.

(Sure, blame the lighting. OK, then I will LOL!)

Step 22: Gather and Tuck

Gather the draped fabric in-hand and tuck it into the inside of the can.

NOTE: I didn't need to glue it in place to keep it tight. The fabric stayed tight on its own.

Step 23: Glue the Brim to the Body

To avoid being redundant, read the title of this step. :)

Step 24: Add a Ribbon & Then Some

Add a beautiful ribbon around the hat, gluing it in place at either cut edge.

Check out the hat on your snowman.

Then embellish the hat as desired. (Give him some swag!)

Glue the hat down to the top bowl if desired. Or just set it on top.

NOTE: You can create ANY kind of theme you want for this project. Summer, Fall, Spring...

Maybe make a beachy snowman -- ohhh the irony is irresistible!!! :D

Step 25: COMPLETE!

Deck the halls with balls of.....

Oh never mind. The moment's gone. Loooonnnggg gone....

But even though it's no longer Christmas time, you can still enjoy this adorable snowman for months to come!

Oh, who am I kidding, it's almost spring here! ;D

Snow Challenge

Runner Up in the
Snow Challenge