Welcome to my festive pallet project! I’ve DIYed a friendly freestanding snowman to adorn your lawn and the best part is that he doubles-up as a family game. You can score points for throwing snowballs (or sparkly pom-poms!) through his buttons and mouth, making it a great game for all the family to play when it snows. I’ve teamed up with online home improvement experts ManoMano to show you how to make this dapper snowman for yourself:
In previous years I’ve turned pallet wood into alternative, space-saving Christmas trees (you can see my Christmas tree shelves project on The Handy Mano blog) but this year I’ve decided to go for a snowy theme. We already had a pallet in the garden that we’d rescued from builders when they were working on the house next door, so there was no stopping us. We sketched out a cute snowman design and got to work!
This is a great game to entertain your family and friends during outdoor visits this year. You can all have fun in the garden, get a bit competitive and it stops kids from getting too soggy when it snows, as they can aim their snowballs at the snowman instead of each other!
YOU WILL NEED
- Wrecking bar
- Hand saw
- Wood screws
- Paints and brushes
- Marker pen, pencil and pots to draw around
Using a wrecking bar take a pallet apart. Be careful not to damage the wood as you’ll need most of the planks for the front surface of the snowman. Use a hammer to remove all the nails from the wood.
Lay the pallet wood together without any gaps between the planks. Decide on the shape of your snowman and then cut down four pieces of pallet wood to join the planks together across the back. Use wood screws to attach the wood to the planks.
Draw the snowman shape onto the pallet wood and then cut out the shape using a jigsaw. Please take care while cutting with a power tool and wear a mask and protective goggles.
Position some pots or plates of various sizes on the front of the snowman shape and trace around to create the ‘goal’ holes. Use another pot as a template to draw a half-moon mouth on the snowman’s face.
Use a jigsaw to cut out the circles and mouth. You can drill a hole into the centre to create a space where you can insert the jigsaw blade to cut out the holes.
Wearing a mask and goggles, sand the rough edges and surface of the snowman shape. Keep sanding until the wood is smooth and there’s no chance of splinters.
Give the snowman a couple of coats of white paint. If your snowman is going to be outside, choose a suitable paint for outdoor use, such as a shed or fence paint.
Paint on the snowman’s top hat and carrot nose. Once the paint has dried you can use a market pen to draw an outline around the nose and add eyes.
Either paint scoring numbers onto the body of the snowman or cut out small blocks of wood to paint and number with 10 points for the bigger easier hole and 25 points for the smaller hole. We decided to cut out a bow-tie shape and painted on the score in white – 50 points for getting a snowball ‘goal’ in his mouth!
Use the leftover pallet bearers to make two stakes. Attach to the back of the snowman with wood screws and use a mallet to firmly stake him into the ground before playing the game. Always take care to ensure that the snowman is solidly fixed to the ground and can’t fall over, no matter how hard you throw snowballs at him!
What do you think of our dapper snowman? You could skip cutting out the holes if you just want to use him as a garden decoration – but be sure to keep him out of reach of visitors (who might be keen to take a snowman selfie!) as you wouldn’t want him to topple over and cause an accident.
Otherwise, you can just bring him out when it snows and securely stake him into the garden to play a fun outdoors game with your family. The trick to playing the game in the snow is to roll the right size snowball to fit through the hole you’re aiming for – it’s a real skill to get the density and size of snowball right to shoot it through the goals successfully!
If there’s no snow, don’t let that stop you from playing a game outdoors with your family. Simply make some pom-poms, or buy some faux snowballs, or use tennis balls (you can even paint them white if you like) to throw through the snowman’s holes. Or try a variety of different sized balls to suit the smaller sized ‘goals’ – again the skill is judging what size and weight of ball is best suited to the goal you’re attempting to score through.
Let me know if you have a go at making this festive snowman game and I’d love to see photos of your creations so please tag me in photos of your projects on Instagram @Cassiefairy. Merry Christmas!
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