Let’s Build Some Snow Forts!

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and "lazy person's memoir," called Borg Like Me.

3991 Articles

By Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and "lazy person's memoir," called Borg Like Me.

3991 Articles

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snowFort_4Image via Fatherly

With Snowmageddon 2016 in full, devastating swing, we makers suddenly have a new building material to play with: snow. Tons and tons of snow. If you live in one of the areas affected, since you’re likely going to be moving a lot of that snow around, why not do something fun with it? Here are some ideas from the Make: archives and around the web for building in the snow.

build-basic_igloo_block_mold_02
To create bricks for building igloos, you need a mold to create strong building blocks. This post on Make: from last winter, DIY Igloo Blocks, shows you how to create a simple wooden block mold.

snowFort_3On the site Fatherly, they asked a “polar engineer” to share tips on creating the two main types of snow huts, the “quinzee,” the hollowed-out mound type of structure seen in the above illustration, and the igloo, made of snow/ice blocks.

snowFort_2Over on Instructables, a community member who goes by the handle “When in doubt, duct tape!,” managed to build a three-story snow fort. He used blocks pressed into a large plastic storage bin.

snowFort_5Check out this amazing rainbow igloo that was built in Edmonton, Canada a few winters ago. Five hundred rainbow-colored ice blocks and 150 hours later…

snowhand
If your interest in snow is as more of an art medium than a building material for a shelter, check out this project where a guy built a giant sculpture of a hand in his yard.

It goes without saying that building snow forts can be dangerous. Kids (of all ages) shouldn’t do it alone and there are safety measures you’ll want to consider for any snow construction. The Appalachian Mountain Club has a list of tips for building snow caves with kids.

If you build a snow structure or sculpture, we’d love to see it. Please post it in the comments below.