Do you struggle with wanting to create amazing crafts for every season, but feel like you just don’t have the time or space? Well, today I am going to show you how to create an adorable minimalist snowman using IKEA nesting baskets.
Best of all, when winter is over this little cutie snowman can return to being a nesting basket set!
How to make a minimalist snowman from IKEA baskets
Who doesn’t love IKEA?
We actually own two sets of these sweet lidded nesting baskets, woven from seagrass. I got them ages ago from IKEA because I knew they would be super handy when trying to organize small toys and bathroom items.
It’s always cheapest to buy the baskets in person from IKEA; however, I realize that often people don’t have an IKEA very close to them.
If you don’t have these baskets already and are not within driving distance of IKEA you can luckily find them on Amazon.
Using my method these baskets can be repurposed easily for organizing when winter is over and you are ready to take down your holiday decor.
When it comes to decorating your snowman, think outside of the box!
Most of the items used to make this snowman were scavenged from leftover crafts or clutter I had just lying around.
In fact, this snowman’s jaunty flannel scarf was repurposed from a pair of my husband’s old discarded pajama pants.
I cut off one of the pants legs, cut a strip to the correct length, and frayed the edges a bit to give it a rustic feel.
Use your imagination!
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*A note about steps 1-6
If you don’t have kids and/or don’t plan on moving this snowman around a lot, you may choose to skip steps 1-6.
Alternatively, if you don’t care about reusing the baskets after the holidays you could just hot glue the baskets together instead of using my method!
The choice is up to you – I have given directions for both. 🙂
How to make this minimalist snowman
#1. Gather your items
Gather the items you need. (I forgot to include a couple of things in the picture, so make sure you check the list – oops)!
For this snowman craft you will need:
- IKEA Fryken seagrass nesting baskets (if you don’t have an IKEA close, here is the Amazon link)
- Fishing line (this is cheaper than the one I purchased, for some reason)
- Black foam sheet (bought from Michael’s)
- Orange premium felt (also Michael’s)
- Needle, black, and orange thread
- Glue gun and lots of glue sticks
- Nice fabric scrap for the scarf (I used some flannel, cut wrist-to-arm length)
- Two small, black buttons
- Parchment paper
- Painter’s tape
You will not use the smallest and the medium-sized lids, you can set those aside, or hide them inside the largest basket that will make up the snowman’s bottom.
#2. Thread the fishing line
Measure the fishing line the length of your arm span twice and cut.
Thread the fishing line through a medium-sized needle and tie the line so it is doubled with the knot at one end.
#3. Start at the top basket
The top and smallest basket will be the head.
Take the fishing line with the needle and sew from the inside of the thread to the outside of the basket so that the knot locks on the interior of the small basket.
Then, take the needle and thread it back through the hole at the bottom of the basket. (I know it’s hard to see, I did my very best trying to photograph and explain it.)
#4. Attach all the baskets together
Keeping the fishing line taut, thread the line through all of the holes in the baskets.
#5. Attach the large lid to the bottom of the snowman
Place the lid on the bottom of the large basket and thread the fishing line through the hole there.
Now take the thread and use the little loopy parts at the side of the lid and the basket and sew them together using the fishing line. Check the picture below to see the barely-visible fishing line.
You basically just want to sew the lid to the bottom of the basket using the fishing line so that the three baskets and the lid fit snuggly together.
#6. Stand the snowman up
Place your snowman with the largest basket at the bottom and the smallest at the top. He is ready to be decorated!
#7. Cut out the hat
I used the largest lid and the smallest lid to measure a template for a hat; you will need to cut out two circles.
The biggest circle will be the bottom of the hat and the smallest will be the top of the hat.
Then I had to do some actual math to figure out a good size for the crown of the hat (the part that connects the top and bottom circles.
Math is a painful (but sometimes necessary) evil.
You can either just wing it by cutting out your black foam circles and adjusting as you go using the basket lids like I did OR you can save yourself the pain and get the template that I created specifically for this project.
Sign up using the form below to get instant access to your printable snowman hat template (and more) in my free printables library.
#8. Glue the sides of the hat to the small top circle
Place parchment paper down on the table or work surface, taping it with painter’s tape so that it will not move.
Using the hot glue gun and working in small sections at a time, glue the sides of the hat to the top circle on the inside seams.
The best way is to lay the circle flat and use your fingers to keep the seams pressed together while you glue the sides to the top.
Don’t worry about any leakage of glue!
You can totally mask leaks when we create the melting ice effect on top of the hat.
The KEY to this step is to press the sides firmly to the edges of the circle while it is drying and HOLD IT until it is completely dry.
Once one section is dry, move to the next and repeat until all the sides are glued to the circle.
#9. Cut off the excess on the crown
Cut off the excess foam of the hat’s crown. There should be a small amount of overlap.
Glue the overlapping parts together in a circle to form the tubular part of the hat.
DON’T WORRY that the seam is showing! We will be using a melting ice effect on the top hat to completely cover that seam.
10. Glue the hat seam
*If you skipped step 9 you can skip this step as well.
If necessary, use painter’s tape to secure the outside of the hat’s sides and then glue the inside of the hat together, running glue all up and down the hat seam.
We want both the inside and the outside of the seam to be securely glued.
#11. Create the “melting ice” for the hat
This step was an absolute stroke of genius if I do say so myself.
I did not originally plan to make this, but once I saw how pretty the effect of the clear glue was dripping down the sides of the hat, inspiration struck.
Take the small hat crown and trace gently around the circle on the parchment paper with a pencil.
Then, take the glue gun and trace the circled pencil mark to make a glue circle, empty in the center. Allow the circle to dry completely.
#12. Attach the top of the hat to the bottom
While your glue circle is drying, now is a good time to attach the crown of the hat to the bottom.
Put some glue on the underneath edges of the top hat (the empty side of the crown) and press it quickly to the very center of the larger black foam circle. Hold until dry.
If you are slightly off-center, don’t panic and try to move it! You can just trim the edges of the LARGE black circle to make the bottom a nice, even circle around the top.
#13. Add the glue circle to the top of the hat
Use the hot glue gun to glue the circle that you made of glue to the top of the hat (so much glue, I know). Allow that to dry.
#14. Add more glue to look like melting snow
Place the glue gun tip under the crown of the hat and allow it to build up enough that it starts to drip in large droplets down the sides of the hat.
Start small; you can always add more drops!
Do a little at a time and blow on the drops as they slide towards the bottom of the hat to make them dry faster and prevent from dropping all the way to the bottom (unless you want that effect)!
I also glued the back of the seam to cover where it joined together with a nice big droplet.
#17. Add the buttons
Using the needle and black thread, sew one button onto one of the little wicker loops that run along the sides of the basket.
Place one button on each basket and sew it just like you would a regular button. (You can also choose to use hot glue if you don’t want to reuse the baskets.)
#18. Add the eyes and nose (step 18)
Cut out a tiny little triangle of orange felt and using orange thread attach it to the middle of the smallest basket for the nose.
Use a Sharpie marker to color two black eyes onto painter’s tape and then cut them out and stick them onto the smallest baskets for the eyes (or you can use smaller buttons, use a Sharpie marker, or fabric).
#19. Dress up your snowman
You are all finished!
All you have to do now is tie your snowman’s scarf around his neck gently and place the hat upon his head.
Now he is all ready to bring his cheerful minimalist snowman charm to your home!
After the holidays are over, just snip all fishing line and remove the decorations to turn him BACK into a set of baskets!