1.06.2011

2x4 Snowman Family

What would you do if you had a bunch of small 2x4 pieces leftover from a project?  Would you throw them away?   Maybe.  Would you choose to save them?   Possibly.  It's hard to predict when or how inspiration will come.  Who knew when I salvaged these little wood blocks that they would first become little Fall Pumpkins, and then tall, skinny, posable snowmen that turn into puzzle pieces... certainly not me!  


Inspiration comes when and how it wants.  Sometimes, like in this case, it comes VERY slowly over several months.  I nearly gave up on this project...twice.  This is the little Snowman Family that nearly never was. 

If you keep the creative channels open, you'll be surprised at what ideas will come to you.

*I used three pretty unusual items to make these snowmen.  Look at the picture above and see if you can guess what they might be, then read below and look for the items in bold to see if you're right!


How To Make A 2x4 Snowman Family 

  • Cut out 8-2x4 blocks (2" x 3 1/2")
  • Sand the edges with an electric sander, giving them a chunky look.
  • Paint the blocks.  Vanilla from JoAnn Fabrics is a nice color. 

  • Sand the edges to give them a distressed look.
  • On three of the blocks, tape off the top section for the hat.  (I mixed dark brown and black paint together for the hat color.)  Right after they are painted, peel the tape off.  After the paint is dry, sand the edges to let some of the white paint through.

  • For the lower sections, choose scrapbook paper that you like and Mod Podge it to the front of the remaining 5 blocks.  Follow the same directions as in steps 7 and 8 used here to apply the paper.  


  • Drill two holes for the twig arms in the center of each side (of the center block) for each snowman.  Start the drill straight up and down to get it started and then as your drilling move the drill to a downward 45 degree angle.  Drill a hole about 1 1/4" deep. 
  • Drill a hole about 1 1/4" deep in the bottom of the block that will be the head, both ends of the middle block, and in the top of the bottom block of the snowman.

  • Take 1 or 2 bamboo skewers and cut them into 5-2" pieces.  Put these pieces in the holes to connect the blocks.

  • Drill two holes in the center blocks (pictured above).  Thread a piece of wire through them and then use needle nose pliers to curl the wire for the buttons.

  • Mom's Hat:  Cut a strip of burlap, roll it, and hot glue it together along the sides (pictured above). Wrap it around the block at the base of the brown paint and glue it in place.  For the embellishments, take the top part of a pine cone and lightly spray it with ivory spray paint.  You can add some foam berries, a curly twig, and a small artificial leaf or use whatever you can find around your house.

  •  Dad's Hat:  To make the brim I used a handle from an old foam paint brush.   Using an electric sander, carefully sand the sides flat.  Cut the length down, paint it, distress it, and hot glue it in place (pictured above). 
  •  Little Junior's Hat:  Take 4 strands of jute, twist them together, wrap them around the block and glue it in place (pictured above).  


  • For the nose I took 3 short pieces of a bamboo skewer, sanded them to a dull point, painted them orange, and then used a sharpie marker to draw lines on them to give them a carrot look.  
  • Drill a hole at an angle where you want the carrot nose (practice on a scrap block first), add some hot glue to the bottom of the 'carrot' and then glue it in place. 
  • Originally I planned on using vinyl for the face, but I wanted it to have more of a realistic look.  I was trying to think of something that was round, but was also flat on one side.  Wouldn't you know that split peas happen to be round and flat on one side and that's what popped into my mind, so that's just what I used...split peas!  They worked perfectly.  I sorted through them and used the peas that were lumpy and coal-like.



  • Here's a little tip:  stick the peas to a piece of tape to hold them in place and then use a sharpie marker to color them black.  The marker can rub off, so you'll want to spray them with a clear sealer.  Glue them in place with a clear drying craft glue.  I applied the glue to the pea using the end of a pin, and used the same pin to add 2 small white dots to each of the eyes to give them that little sparkle.



  • To Paint the Cheeks:  Wrap a scrap piece of fabric around your finger and dab it into some paint (burgundy and dark brown mixed together).  Blot it out on a paper plate or towel until nearly all of the paint is gone.  Gently rub the paint on in a circular motion.  ( This took some practice, keep a damp paper towel close by to wash the paint off and try it again if you don't like how it looks.)


  • Dad's scarf:   Tie a piece of jute in a knot, leaving a loop to place over the stick that holds the head on. 
  • Mom's scarf:   Cut a strip of burlap, fray the edges on the sides and overlap it leaving a loop.  Hot glue it in place. 
  • Little Junior's scarf:   Tie a jute bow with a loop left for the neck. 


  • The snowmen are hooked together with pieces of bamboo skewers.  Half of the skewer fits inside each block.  This allows the blocks to move around making the snowmen posable.
  • Find some sticks from your yard to use for the arms. 

All three snowmen can be completely taken apart and then put back together over and over, making a fun puzzle for young children.  My four year old has really enjoyed playing with them.  He likes to mix and match the pieces and also stacks them on top of eachother to make one really big 'monster snowman'.  Of course that's what a 4 year old boy would make with them. :)  As he builds them he has to think about how each of the pieces will fit together. (For more stacking options, drill a hole in each end of the bottom piece of the snowman so that piece can be stacked as well.)

 
If you have a project that's got you stumped, set it aside, think about it, and wait for the inspiration to come.  I never would have guessed that I'd be able to make this craft with only items that I already had, by using an old foam brush, bamboo skewers, and most surprisingly...split peas!  Remember, you never know how or when the inspiration will come, so keep those channels open.


 

Today's Fabulous Find...2x4 Snowman Family

 

 
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45 comments:

melismama said...

WOW that is soo cute! Thanks for sharing that project!

squishsmom said...

love.love.love.

lynn said...

adorable!

Cori said...

These are absolutely adorable!!

Lindy said...

Oh how cute! Great idea for a girls night craft party!

His girl said...

Great project, and so cute. Blessings!

Handy Man, Crafty Woman said...

These are really, really cute!

Heather at Dragonfly Designs said...

I'm glad you didn't give up. These are so cute! I'm a new follower ~ please stop by and visit sometime.

The British Homemaker said...

this is just awesome! definitely on my to-do list ready for the next christmas!! :)

Lisa said...

Very cute! And we do have a ton of scrap wood in our garage just waiting to be used on a project! Great idea!

Karen said...

Janet-
These are absolutely fabulous! I love them. You did such a great job. Thanks for sharing! It's great everything you used you had on hand! So awesome!

L.A.L. said...

That is actually really artistic! SOOO cute. I love your ideas. ☺

Mel said...

what fun. Thanks for the tutorial.

Kristy@MyPretties said...

Thanks for the detailed tutorial. I will def be making these next Fall. I'm following now!

I hope you'll come enter my contest for a Thirty One Tote at www.illgetyoumypretties.blogspot.com

Its So Very Cheri said...

I am visiting from the CSI project. I am numbers 86,87,88, and 89.

Cheri from www.itssoverycheri.com and www.thediyclub.com

Life In The Thrifty Lane said...

What a cute little snowman family!! And great tutorial too, thanks for sharing. Visiting from Tatertots & Jello

she wears flowers said...

(Visiting from Under the Table and Dreaming) These are so dang cute! Thanks for sharing the how-to!

Kristy said...

They look great!

Jenn said...

These guys are so cute! I will be adding them to my To Do List for sure! Loved your smore kits too! Following you now :)

Lindsey @ Confessions Of A Marine Wife said...

Adorable. I love snowmen, and these made me smile.
Visiting from I <3 Naptime.
<3/Lindsey @ Confessions of a Marine Wife
(www.linzeh.blogspot.com)

huana said...

They are so cute! And make me want one!

TeenaBugg38 said...

this is super cute!! And I love that you slide these down dowel rod so you could actually change them out for whatever season too.....and I ahve the wood to make em cuz we picked some up on the side of the road before Christms because I had found another snowman tut I wanted to do but never did....I guess fate stepped in cuz this one is way cuter!!!

Michelle@Somedaycrafts said...

These are so perfect for Winter decor. And they are made out of 2x4's!!!! My favorite. I will feature these today at somedaycrafts.blogspot.com

Maggie said...

Fabulous - thanks for the great tutorial.

Amanda said...

Janet, these are truly adorable! I love all the adorable details... and split peas?? Brilliant! I have featured this on Craft Gossip here http://homeandgarden.craftgossip.com/wood-block-snowman-family/

:)

ButterYum said...

totally adorable, but I don't have the patience for such a project. Too bad, because I really like them.

You are very talented.

:)
ButterYum

Kristin said...

Wow! Those snowmen are great! I like how you took everyday objects to give them some personality... very creative. You have a great blog too!

Mahogany Furniture said...

Nice handicraft tutorial, I like your above post, simple and great.


Regards
Indonesia Furniture

Tammy said...

This is just way too cute!

Mod Podge Amy said...

Precious! I love the top hat. :D

Stephanie W said...

such a great idea. I'm loving all the creative stuff people are doing with just a 2X4.

WhoWhatLogos said...

These are super, super cute...great job and wonderful inspiration!

Vicky said...

Very cute!!

Krystal said...

Cutest idea ever! I'm featuring these on my blog tomorrow if you'd like to check it out.

Thanks!
sassysanctaury.blogspot.com

Jerri said...

Great tutorial! These guys are so cute!

positivepolly said...

OMG - Adorable!
I definitely am going to try making these!
Thanks for sharing

Aubrey@My Forever House said...

I am so mad at myself for throwing away a box of wood blocks that was left in my attic! I will never make that mistake again! So cute!

Kirsten @ Mushki Loves said...

I LOVE these! Thank you for sharing this idea!

Life with the Ellwoods said...

So cute! Thanks for the inspiration! http://lifewiththeellwoods.blogspot.com/2011/08/blocks-snowman-family.html

Eveline said...

Hi, I found your snowmen on pinterest. I adore them. Such a great project and they turned out lovely.
Eveline.

Candace said...

Thank you for sharing this amazing tutorial. I found you on Pinterest and now wanna try it myself! I can't wait to feature it on my blog for my trending Thursday segment of Snowmen. Please come check it out this coming Thursday at http://moosenmelts.blogspot.com/

Linda said...

Loving these. Wish I had time to make them this year but I'm keeping the project ready for next year if not!
Thanks for sharing!

Amy C said...

These are adorable!! I found them via pinterest, and I can't wait to make some now. Thank you for sharing!
Amy @ The Happy Scraps

Brittney said...

I made some of my own but changed them up a bit. You can check them out here http://www.thethingsimake.blogspot.com/2012/01/busy-bee.html

Thanks for sharing your idea!

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