Winter is here! The snow has fallen, and now it's time to enjoy the outdoor activities that we have learned to love in order to live in the Northland. Making snowmen is a creative way to do something productive with this blanket of white. We are at the beginning of the season so we don’t mind our frosty friends staying upright in the yard … but by the end of the season, there is a thrill when our snowmen melt away into springtime.

Would you like to enjoy a melting snowman right now, one that you can make inside?

We have perfected the instructions for making a melting snowman kit. There is something strangely satisfying in building this over and over, watching him sink into a blob on your counter. My son and daughter helped me make many different recipes of slime and goo in order to find the perfect material that would act in this way. Note that this is a playtime activity, not a craft that will sit out forever.

Putty materials

One 4 oz. bottle of white school glue

1 bottle of shaving cream

Medium size bowl

Mixing spoon

Borax

Water

Pyrex glass measuring cup

Measuring cups and spoons

Small airtight container

Putty instructions

  • Start by pouring the whole bottle of school glue into a medium size bowl.
  • Spray the shaving cream over the glue until it covers the glue’s surface.
  • Mix the two ingredients together until well blended.
  • Pour 1 cup of water into the glass-measuring cup.
  • Add ½ tsp. of Borax into the water and mix together.
  • Slowly pour a small amount of the Borax-water combination into the glue and shaving cream as an activator.
  • Mix the ingredients together, eventually working the material with your hands. If you need a less sticky consistency, add a little more activator.

Snowman accessory materials

Sculpey Clay (polymer clay) in orange, brown, black

Toothpick

Cookie baking sheet

Aluminum foil

Oven

Start by rolling a small carrot out of orange clay for the nose. In order to make the cone fit into the putty, roll a thin cylinder to act as a peg on the back of the nose. Use a toothpick to create a hole, placing the cylinder peg deep into the nose. Be sure to blend the two pieces together in order to create a strong bond.

Form the coal eyes by rolling two small balls out of black clay. Gently apply pressure to each and pinch the sides to create subtle edges.

Roll three more small balls from the brown clay. Again, gently apply pressure to each, flattening them slightly. With your toothpick, poke four holes in each ball to make them look like buttons.

Roll the brown clay into a thin snake. Cut the clay into three sections. Two of the sections will be arms. Take the last section and cut it into four small parts. These are the fingers. Blend the connecting points of these fingers into the two arms to create hands.

Create the hat by making two larger balls out of black clay. Flatten one out to create the brim. Slightly flatten the top and bottom of the other ball to create the crown of the top hat. Trim the brim of the hat to an appropriate size. Blend the two pieces to create a strong bond.

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Spread a piece of aluminum foil on your pan and gently place your pieces on top.

According to the instructions, bake the clay for 15 minutes per quarter inch of thickness. Learn from my mistake: don’t bake for too long! You will end up with a smoking carrot nose, and all of your pieces will look like they were made from black clay. As your clay cools, it will harden.

Now it's time to build your snowman! Act fast because his job is to melt! Separate the putty into two or three sections, depending how you prefer to build your frosty bodies. Add your accessories and watch the snowman melt before your eyes.

This snowman is OK to stay on your counter for a couple of hours, however, place the putty in an airtight container for any extended period of time to avoid Frosty drying out.

Mary Rasch is a Duluth artist, mother of two and author of "Fleece Hat Friends and Playful Hoodies."