Introduction: How to Make a Backyard Igloo With Powdery Snow

If you have a lot of time on your hands, or if you just want an igloo to sit in, then this is an instructable for you. This works with a relatively small amount of powdery snow, and the igloo is strong enough to support a 115 pound kid standing on it. I buiilt his in Texas, so you guys down south could probably use this to build one. Lots of fun if you have the time and energy. Took 2 kids about 4 hours to build. (I think.) I'd like to know if you try my idea, and please post pictures!

featured on 2/3/11! thanks instructables!!
this is my first instructable,  so it's awesome i got it feaured!

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

First, you need to gather your materials. If you know that its going to freeze, leave your faucet dripping so that it doesnt freeze. Water's a big part of the process. Here's a list.

- bucket(s)
- running water (preferably outside)
- snow (duh. lol)
- WATERPROOF GLOVES. If you dont have these, be prepared for some extremely cold hands.   
       I dont advise building an igloo this way if you dont have waterproof gloves.
- wheelbarrow*
- shovel(s)*


Step 2: Draw an Outline in the Snow

The next step is to determine the size of the igloo. use a shovel or your heel (using your heel works best) to draw an outline to your igloo. Make sure to add a rectangle that will be the door arch.

Step 3: Begin Building the Wall

After you draw your outline, start building the walls. Get buckets of snow and then mix water in to make slush. Don't add too much or too little water, but too much is better than too little. You will have to use trial and error to get it down. To mix it, i find punching the snow easier to do than shoveling. Punch, shovel in the hole, and repeat. Then go to your circle and dump the bucket in there and mold the chunks of slush into  your wall.

However if you have a wheelbarrow, then get buckets of snow and pour it into the wheelbarrow. Then get a bucket or two of water and pour it in the middle. Its easier to use your shovel to mix on this part. After you mix it, then you can just grab the chunks of slush and then use on your igloo. Breaking up the slush makes it easier to grab chunks to put on the wall.

Step 4: Continue Building the Wall

As you continue to pack the snow, curve it  by changing the direction you pack it in (at an angle). Start from the back, then the sides, that way you dont have a hole in the top of the igloo. The entrance should be the last thing you build, so work towards it. Don't worry about the floor of the igloo, it will collect the extra fallen snow as you build. Make sure to scoop up the snow from the floor, as it will give you extra material.

Step 5:

After all of your work, pour water on the sides (very gently!) and pack down the holes. Then fill them up with more slush and let sit for about 30 minutes to an hour. This will give it time to freeze and harden. I was able to stand on the top and it didnt budge. (if you dont trust the igloo enough to sit on it, dont.) afterwards, get a bucket of snow to pour on top and spread for looks and you'll be done!

I also added a small circle of snow on top and filled it with bird seed, you can if you dont mind the mess on your igloo.

Snow Contest 2

Runner Up in the
Snow Contest 2