Do You Want to Build a Snowman?

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Can you believe it’s halfway through January!?  2017 is off to a fast start.  So, truth be known, I hate January.  The Christmas decorations are gone.  It’s supposed to be cold.  I live in south east Texas, so it’s not.  It was 83 degrees 2 days ago.  So yeah, no snow here.  The only way your getting a snowman here is to make it out of something besides snow.  So that’s what I do.  I’ve been collecting them for years.  They never melt and I can keep them out long after Christmas is over!  My obsession this year is sock snowmen.  There are many variations, but once you get the technique down you can be quite creative.  I learned my basic technique from this YouTube video.

What you’ll need:

  • White Socks – For the bodies you can toddler socks (I used these) or cut the tops off mens crew cut socks, depending on what size you want to make.
  • Colorful Socks – for the hats and scarves, I used both little girl socks and women’s socks.  Find what you like and just modify as necessary.  I made several using the palm of those super cheap stretchy gloves.  Cut the finger off (use them for these mini snowman) and sew or hot glue the thumb hole shut.  I even did a couple of extra large ones using a pair of little girls leotards and a pair of socks for the hat and scarf (here’s the tutorial for that).  There is no wrong way to do this.  Have fun!  If you have girls it’s a great use for the seemingly endless socks and gloves with no mate.  Since I only have a 6yo boy and did not want spiderman or ninja turtle socks, I had to go by some.  Also, I seen some people write that they used these for the snowman body, but I didn’t want dirty looking snowmen either.  Again with the boy thing, think I lost my shoes in the red clay mudhole but good news Momma!  I didn’t lose my socks!  I’m sorry, but not even clorox battery acid is taking that out!
  • plain white rice
  • string, baker’s twine or embroidery floss (I used cotton string and baker’s twine because it’s what I had on hand!)
  • black puff paint
  • assorted buttons
  • bamboo skewers
  • orange sharpie or orange paint
  • embelishments – rhinestones, pom poms, various snowflakes (I used confetti and some that I found by the buttons at Walmart because that’s I could find;)

To start, fill your sock with rice.  These socks are surprisingly stretchy.  I found that the fuller they were, the easier they were to mold and kept their shape better.  It works well to fill and pack, fill and pack by holding the top and kind of plopping it down. If you are using the tops of men’s crew socks, you’ll want to turn them inside out, tie off the bottom, then turn back right side out before filling them.  Fill the sock completely, then tie off the top by encircling it a couple times then tying a few sewing knots.

 

Once you’re sock is full and tied off, you can form the head.  About 1/3 of the way down from the top, wrap the string around 2-3 times then pull tight.  You don’t want to pull it too tight as the head will just flop around.  Again, the fuller and tighter the sock is filled, the more form and shape you will have.  I did it wrong enough, take my word for it!

 

Now you have the body made you can start giving your snowman a designer look!  Cut the sock just above the heel.  If your sock has a different color heel as many of the ones that I made did, you’ll probably want to have a little of each color on both the scarf and hat.

 

Taking the bottom end of the sock, cut the very tip of the toe off.  This gives you a hole so the snowman/girl has it’s very own stylish infinity scarf!  Put the scarf over the snowman’s head and adjust it to your liking.

 

Now your are ready for the hat using the top of the sock.  If you are using socks with a nice band on the top, you can just slip it on, tie some twine or floss around the tip, and let it hang like a stocking type hat.  If you are using a smaller ankle type sock or another toddler sock, you’ll need one for the hat and one for the scarf.  Fuzzy socks usually require a spot or two of hot glue or some stick pins to secure the hat.

 

Now, use puff paint to make the eyes and mouth.  It’s good to give the paint a few hard taps with the cap side down before using.  This will keep the glue from “spitting” paint onto your snowman’s face because an air bubble popped.  After you paint the face, lay it down flat to dry.  I suggest letting it dry overnight.  If your anything like me, you want.  And you’ll smear it’s face.  If that happens, no worries.   Let it dry (Wait!  Didn’t I tell you to do that already?!?) then turn your hat around to the other side and make a new face.  The old one will be covered up by the back of the hat.  Just be sure to secure it with a dab of hot glue so you don’t traumatize your 6yo.  So what if I gave him the ones from the learning curve?  He didn’t care if their heads were a little floppy and scarves not so stylish.  To him they were stuffed animals!………….That is until he pulled the wrong hat off!  It’s ok, I don’t think he’s going to need therapy…….at least not for that anyway.

 

So while you’re waiting for the paint to dry……..You are waiting aren’t you?  Well, I’m guessing you are now.  Paint the tip of some skewers orange with paint or an orange sharpie (PS Sharpies dry almost immediately).  Cut the tip off with scissors or pruning shears or whatever you have that you won’t cut your finger off with.  When the paint is completely dry, put a bit of hot glue on the cut end push it into the face really hard.  This kind of buries it into the sock and anchors it into the face.

 

From there you only have to pick out your embelishments and hot glue them on.  Voila!  You have a few friends to help you make it through the rest of January!  And oh by the way, your kid’s teacher would probably love a mid January pick me up.  In fact, I purposely waited to give these out instead of Christmas gifts.  I think those teacher, co-worker, hairdresser gifts sometimes just get lost in the masses.  This way your are sure to stand out.  Besides, who doesn’t need a little pick-me-up mid January?

 

One final thought.  Make sure you or the recipient stores these in a plastic container when you are ready to put them up for the season.  Mice love a free rice meal and would think nothing of chewing through a little ol sock to get some.  Take some picks of your creations.  I’d love to see what you come up with!

 

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