While our home was being built, I would periodically check out the dumpster to see what I could find. Lots and lots of scrap 2x4's. The great thing about a 2x4 is that when you cut out a small shape, it will stand on its own. I've made snowmen, birds, fish, and small pumpkin jack-o-lanterns.
The cost of this project is pennies, so it makes a great craft for Children's camps or Scout meetings. It is easy painting and decorating so less artistic children can do it and you end up with something you will want to keep from year to year. All you need is someone handy with a jigsaw.
Scrap piece of 2x4
Sand paper and electric sander
White acrylic paint
orange pipe cleaner
Old buttons, felt, fabric pieces, anything to dress up your snowman
Optional - Drill and broken branch pieces
Sharpie marker (black)
Pink craft paint
Step 1: THE PATTERN:
I like to make a pattern for every project that I do. It makes it easier to recreate since I often end up making more than one.
For a more permanent pattern, I use an old for sale sign. A couple of drinking glasses and instant snowman.
Step 2: CUTTING THE SNOWMAN OUT & SANDING:
2x4s are always in the scrap bin at local home improvement centers for very little money, but my favorite place to get 2x4s is from Freecycle. Just send out a "wanted" post, and you will have all you need. Don't forget to reciprocate with an "offer" post.
To cut the snowman out, I use my small utility table. Clamp down the 2x4 so it won't move. Take all safety precautions and cut away. Let the jigsaw do all the work. If you push too hard, the blade will bend as you are cutting and you want to have straight cuts.
Make sure to pick a good section of the wood. Sometimes 2x4's can warp or have a knot. Also, make sure to cut the bottom of the snowman straight so it will stand up straight.
Give it a good sanding so that there are no rough edges or splinters.
Step 3: PAINTING:
Give your snowman a quick coat of white, don't worry about streaks or if some of the wood grain shows through. Let that dry and then come back with a sea sponge and sponge on another coat of white. This will give your snowman some texture and will make it look more like snow. You can use glitter paint or speciality paints as well.
Another good look is if you put some white paint on a paper plate and let it dry for a little bit, until it gets thick, and then sponge it on the snowman. This adds depth and has a good snow look to it.
Paint is another item you can easily find on Freecycle. People always have leftover paint and are happy to give it away instead of throwing it out. I would place a post for white trim paint wanted.
Step 4: THE FACE:
To add little rosy cheeks, just use a very small amount of pink paint on your finger and rub it into the cheek area. If you put on too much, it is easy to rub off with a little water.
The rest of the face is drawn on with a black Sharpie.
Step 5: CARROT NOSE:
For the carrot nose, I twisted an orange pipe cleaner into the shape of a cone.
I really like using Crayola Model Magic clay to sculpt the carrot nose. This clay will air dry and can be hot glued right to your snowman. Model Magic clay is sold at craft stores and can be difficult to find.
Whatever works :o)
Step 6: DRESSING YOUR LITTLE MAN:
For this snowman, I use an old flannel shirt for the scarf and some buttons.
The little top hat is from another Instructable called Frosty's Top Hat Ornament. It is just a recycled laundry cap, but adds a nice touch.
Step 7: ADDING BRANCHES FOR ARMS
You can easily add branches to your project by drilling two holes, one on each side of the snowman. Drill in a slightly downward angle. Just a little hot glue is all you need to hold them in place.
One more thing, this is also a good fund raising project that I helped a friend put together at a local Christmas Craft Fair. We had all the wood pieces cut, noses made, and hot glue guns at the ready.
For $5.00 children could stay at our booth and create while the parents walked through the fair. We made 100 snowmen and sold out. It was an easy $500.00 and the money made went to help fund a trip to the Shedd Aquarium for a group of children from the Milwaukee area. The following year we made 200 and sold out again.
First we submitted a post on Freecycle asking for 2x4s, primer, white paint, buttons, and old flannel shirts. We received everything we needed.
We had some fathers volunteer to cut and sand and some mothers to help the day of the craft fair. We had already primed the wood and were very careful to only give the children a small amount of white paint. Otherwise it would take all day to dry. We also had a couple of hair dryers on hand. While the paint dried, children would cut out scarves and twist pipe cleaners into noses. Noses were pre-made for smaller children. Parents helped with the hot glue. All in all it was fun and successful.
BIRD: The 2x4 bird was for the Go Green Art Camp that my local recreation department held over the summer. The wings and tail feathers were made from old food takeout containers. Old ceiling paint that we tinted and some bent wire.