As the weather turns frosty and the snow begins to fall, families all over the country will be gearing up to build a snowman. And following the Academy Award nominee The Snowman, which has captured the hearts and imaginations of a generation of families across the globe, now is the perfect time to brush up on your snowman building skills. 

Parenting on Female First

Parenting on Female First

To celebrate, master snow sculptor Duncan Hamilton from Hamilton ice sculptures shares his top tips to help you create your very own snowman.

Duncan said: The traditional way to build a snowman is to pack snow together by hand, roll it to form balls and pat snow on to the surface to make the shape. This is quite limiting in terms of design and is not how the pros do it! To make a really strong snowman with lots of extra detail, why not try the following?"

1. Get four equal sized sheets of wood. Arrange them to make a box with an open top and run a strong rope around them to keep them steady.

2. Now shovel fresh snow into the box.

3. Stamp or push it down carefully to compact it and carry on until you have filled the whole box.

4. Leave it to stand for at least a couple of hours.

5.Now remove the rope and the sheets of wood to reveal a perfectly compacted block of snow.

6. You are now ready to carve your snow. Use any tools you have to hand – knives, saws, even spoons. You should find the snow quite easy to sculpt.

7. Think carefully about your design and make sure that it is heavy at the base to prevent it collapsing or falling over.

8. Be ambitious and have a good time!

Useful Hint:

In cold weather leave a tray with 1cm of water in it outside overnight to freeze. In the morning break the frozen sheets of ice up into bits and drill a small hole in each one, run string through the hole, then hang them from a tree to make a hanging ice installation.

Some Facts:

- Compacted snow has approx ½ the density of water, so a 1m cube will weigh about 500kg.

- Snow melts more slowly than ice.

- You can easily colour snow with food colouring and add it in layers to get different effects.

- Michelangelo is reported to have sculpted Hercules in snow in Florence one winter for the Medicis.

Advice from Duncan Hamilton of Hamilton Ice Sculptors can be found at

Now, the timeless classic, The Snowman, is available on Blu-Ray and DVD for the first time ever in high definition as The Snowman: 30th Anniversary Edition. Click here to buy.

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