DIY Light-up Melting Snowman
This DIY light-up melting snowman is the perfect holiday decoration for those of us not “blessed” with snowstorms and blizzards!
I guess he took a wrong turn at Albuquerque!
Seriously, what kind snowman travels south for the winter? I mean, I get it and all. Once you’ve tasted summer sun in the depths of December, who the hell wants to stick around in the cold and dreary climes up north!
But c’mon, he’s made of snow fer cryin’ out loud!
Well, whatever the reason, poor Frosty came for a pre-Christmas visit, but due to his profound lack of foresight and judgment, it doesn’t look like he’ll be leaving anytime soon. In fact, this may very well be his final watery resting place.
But hey, one look at his face, and you know it’s not all bad. Just look at that smile!
He’d rather melt away in Florida than spend another miserable winter up north freezing his buttons off while snot-encrusted kids hurl snowballs at him and cram carrots into his face.
Yeesh, what a world, what a world!
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Okay, back to reality. This melting snowman was probably the most fun Christmas project we’ve made so far this year, and he’s certainly one of our favorites to look at each and every day.
But all this awesomeness comes at a cost.
Let’s just get the truth out before we dive in. This is not the cheapest DIY on the planet. In fact, if you make him exactly as we did, it’s north of $100, but by using a little less foam, you can do it for well under $100. And if you want to skip the lights and make a smaller indoor version, he’s actually quite affordable. Consider this a craft that can be tailored to suit your financial needs and space requirements.
DIY Light-up Melting Snowman SUPPLIES LIST
Affiliate links are provided below. Full disclosure here.
- DAP white craft foam or Loctite ultra bright insulation foam
- White laundry basket or wire basket (from Dollar Tree)
- 300-bulb warm white outdoor LED lights
- 2 hollow half-ball foams (from Michaels)
- White paint (mandatory if he’ll be exposed to sunlight)
- Foamboard adhesive
- Snowman decorating kit (includes a hat)
- 2 sticks (for the arms)
- Snowman basket hat (optional, from Michaels)
- Colorful outdoor LED lights (optional)
We love to see our craft projects out in the wild! If you try this seasonal craft project, take a picture and post it on Instagram, be sure to tag us @TheNavagePatch!
DIY Light-up Melting Snowman VIDEO Tutorial
Watch our short and fun video below for an overview of our DIY light-up melting snowman before you read the detailed step-by-step tutorial.
DIY Light-up Melting Snowman Tutorial
Step 1 – Wrap the lights
The reason for the laundry basket is to save time, money and weight. Rather than using lord-knows-how-many more cans of foam to make the snowman’s body, the basket takes up that space nicely and is a perfect place to wrap the lights.
We used two strings of white wire 100 LED lights we got from Michaels. You can go that route, but you can save a lot of money by buying them from Amazon or Walmart and going for green wire. It won’t make a difference to your final product. I’d also recommend buying a 200 or 300 light strand to save even more.
I wrapped the lights around the basket and kept enough to spread out in front. To save on foam costs, we have the snowman melting more towards the front instead of an equal pool of snow all around.
Step 2 – Foam
I sprayed the foam around the base first, and then I worked outward to form the puddle. Handan adjusted the lights as I foamed to keep an even distribution of them as I created his puddle area.
We felt this was big enough for Frosty’s puddle. As I mentioned before, you can certainly make this smaller and cheaper.
From this point, I built upward with the foam until I got it to this point.
Step 3 – Paint
The unfortunate reality with craft foam – even the bright white kind – is that it will yellow in sunlight.
There’s no escaping it and no getting around it. But, it’s easy to keep that brilliant white by painting it white! Now, it’s possible that a clear UV-protection sealant may work, too. I haven’t tried it though, so I can’t say for sure. Once I do try it, I will update this post.
Step 4 – Install the head
I sprayed more foam on top of the basket and then nestled one half of Frosty’s head into the foam.
I sprayed more foam into the neck area, and when it had hardened, I painted all the newly-sprayed foam to protect it from the sun.
If you’re using a regular top hat or one that comes with a snowman kit, you can glue the other half of Frosty’s head using foamboard adhesive. But since the hat we got was actually a decorative basket, it had a hole on top, but not where a head would normally fit.
This looked a little ridiculous. I mean, even more ridiculous than this project already was!
Since my babes wouldn’t allow me to destroy the basket by cutting a hole in it, I decided to lop off the top of Frosty’s head instead. Hey, it’s not like he was using it in the first place!
I then put foamboard adhesive around the bottom half of his head and glued the two halves together.
Step 5 – Add body parts
We bought a snowman kit from Amazon for the eyes, nose, mouth, pipe and buttons. It also had a hat and arms, but we wanted to use our basket hat, and I wanted to give him real stick arms from a brush pile out back.
Some people on social media took issue with the seam going around his face. Honestly, you don’t notice it from a distance (remember this is a yard decoration), and you certainly don’t notice it at night. But if it bothers you, then by all means, cover it up!
I ended up re-positioning the arms, so they’re actually higher up than seen in the picture below.
About that smile. Handan and I debated that. I wanted to give him a frown, but my babes insisted he remain smiling. Now that he’s done, I see her point. This is a fun holiday DIY made as much for the neighborhood kids as for us. A frowning Frosty would have been a bit of a downer, I think, lol!
Here’s our melting snowman on a cloudy day with temps in the 70s!
And here he is at night, all lit up!
Love it! Thanks for sharing!
Thank you, Mum! 🙂
What a fabulous snowman! Your DIY projects are always fantastic. But when the holiday decor has to be packed away at the end of the season, how will this one fit into storage? Perhaps in a future edition it could be engineered to separate into manageable segments?
It’s not small, that’s for sure, Deb. But that’s also why I mentioned that this project can be scaled up or down depending on finances and available space. Ours will go into a storage unit next month.
Wowsers, he’s so cool…. er I mean melty lol
Lol, thanks, Sara! 🙂
How cute!! I love this little guy! Very cute idea, thanks for sharing!! Merry Christmas!
Thank you, Jane! Merry Christmas to you!
I do believe this is my very favorite Christmas decoration you’ve made yet! He is awesome!!! I think we need one in warm Tennessee right now!
Thanks, Karen! He’s perfect for Tennessee!
He is AWESOME!
I do have an important question: Where/how do you store him?
Thank you, Jennifer! We have a storage unit for our seasonal decorations since we don’t have a basement here in FL 🙂
So adorable, creative and unique! You had too much fun making this! Merry Christmas!
Thank you so much, Gail! Merry Christmas to you and your family! 🙂
How clever!! It looks great! After admiring Frosty in all his frosted glory, my mind immediately jumped to the dreaded STORAGE. Are you going to dismantle it in any way? I think that would be very difficult, just sayin’. It seems that one would have to store it fully assembled; I am assuming that the foam goes with it, right? Just curious. So just keep doing what you two do best and continue to impress and amaze and save all mere mortals from wracking our brains to come up with inspirations – they are all on this website!!
Thank you, Carla! We’ll be storing him in a storage unit we rent for our seasonal decorations. With no basement here in FL, we’d be sunk without a storage unit!
How many cans of foam did you use? Just need an idea of starting point.
Hi Debi, I mentioned in the post that I used 10 cans, but you can make a smaller one with less! 🙂
Oops. Sorry must have missed that
I LOVE this! It’s a tie between this and the wreath as my favourite decor that you have created! So cute!
Thanks, Giselle! We love them both, too! 🙂
Cute! How much would you estimate he weighs? I’m guessing not much which would mean he’d be an airborne Frosty in our Iowa winds! ☃️
Not too much – he’s easy to carry around. The way he’s shaped let’s him stand up to some windstorms we’ve had here, but you could always put a stake through the foam to hold him down.
Awesome! Thank you for sharing!
Hello, Mr and Mrs N. I have followed the two of you for a long time now and don’t let much time pass between checking up on you. I see your creative natures are intact as is your joie de vivre ( had to kick Otto Kureckt in the pants to make him leave that one alone). I love the snowman and have no issue with the equator line in the face. It just looks like an evenly distributed snow melt to me. I am very happy to see another successful collaboration between the two of you and look forward to many more. Thanks for posting. Pam from Kansas
Hi Pam, thank you so much! We’ve got much more to come in the new year, so stayed tuned! 🙂
I loved your Frosty! I have made dollhouse sized ones with a puddle of clear glass stain, flatback black “beads”, air dry orange clay “carrot”, a wisp of fringed fleece for his scarf, a white pom pom for a head(with pink blush cheeks), and a black plastic top hat (maybe a bridal shower supply?). They translate to ornaments with the addition of a hanging gold cord. Once I accidentally used a glitter glass stain in the centers of the puddle; I told people it was Frosty’s magic! Hey, I wouldn’t hurry about taking him down–he’s winter, not Christmas!
I like the ornament idea, Kathy, and I’m sure glitter frosty looked fantastic, lol! 😀
What fun! You must be buying out the expanding foam stock at Home Depot this year.
Pretty much, Laurie! We’ve bought a ton of that stuff! 😀
Could I please ask what you used to paint the foam? Thank you
Hi Lauren, I brushed on latex paint, but I would receommend spray paint!
Brilliant thank you! I love it.