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How to Make a Sugar Cube Igloo

How to make a sugar cube igloo

How to make a sugar cube igloo

How to Make an Igloo Out of Sugar Cubes

Up here in Canada, the snow has started to fall, and the days have grown colder and shorter. It's time to pull our winter boots on, bundle up in our heavy parkas and head out into the frozen tundra to build snow homes strong enough to survive the cold, harsh Canadian winter. Of course, I am just joking, but hundreds of years ago, people actually did live in igloos.

The igloo, or snow house, is a widely recognized Canadian icon. Aside from the good-humored jokes about Canadians living in igloos, they play an integral role in Canadian history. The Inuit people invented the igloo hundreds of years ago to provide temporary shelter from the cold climate and winter tundra of the Arctic while on fishing and hunting expeditions.

In this fun crafting activity, learn how to make an igloo without having to leave the warmth and comfort of your own home.

Instead, I will show you how to make an igloo using sugar cubes, styrofoam craft balls, and a hot glue gun. There is no need to bundle up and go outside in the cold for this fun Canadian activity.

This is an easy interactive craft that is helpful in teaching students about the Inuit people of Canada and the basic structures of igloos. Not only are they great for school, but they also make great decorations for a holiday-themed display or as unique Canadian party favors.

They are super durable and will keep indefinitely. Wrap them up in tissue paper and store them in a shoe box until you are ready to use them again. Decorate your North Pole village for Christmas and then use them as table decorations during Canada Day festivities.

Sugar cube igloo supplies

Sugar cube igloo supplies

Each Styrofoam Ball Yields Two Sugar Cube Snow Houses

Supplies Needed

  • 2.5 styrofoam balls
  • Sugar cubes
  • Glue gun
  • Glue sticks

A Few Tips Before You Start

  • Because sugar cubes are square and uniform in size, you will not be able to make a perfectly formed igloo. There will be gaps, cracks and holes and the cubes won't line up evenly all the way around, but that only adds to the charm of these little snow homes.
  • Hot glue is very forgiving, so if you make a mistake or don't like the look of the arrangement, you can gently peel the sugar cube off the styrofoam and start again. Don't fuss over it too much though!
  • To get the curved, round shape of the dome, I start building the igloo from the top and work my way down. If you build the snow house from the bottom up, you will end up with a more angular-shaped igloo.
Step 1

Step 1

Step 1: Cut the Styrofoam Ball

Cut the styrofoam ball in half using a sharp knife. A dull knife may cause the ball to crumble or leave uneven edges. Each ball makes two igloos.

Step 2

Step 2

Step 2: Lay Styrofoam Ball Flat Side Down

Begin building your igloo by laying half a styrofoam ball flat-side down on the table and placing a small dollop of hot glue on the top center of the dome.

Step 3

Step 3

Step 3: Place First Sugar Cube

Place one sugar cube on top of the glue and press down gently.

Step 4

Step 4

Step 4: Make the Next Layer of Sugar Cubes

Make your next layer by gluing a ring of sugar cubes around the center block resembling the shape of a flower.

Step 5

Step 5

Step 5: Make the Third Layer of Sugar Cubes

Start the third layer by gluing a cube underneath and in the middle of two cubes from the second layer.

Step 6

Step 6

Step 6: Continue Gluing Sugar Cubes

Continue gluing the blocks around the ball to form a complete circle.

Step 7

Step 7

Step 7: Make the Fourth Layer of Sugar Cubes

To make the fourth layer, repeat the instructions above, only this time, the cubes should line up with the bottom edge of the ball.

Step 8

Step 8

Step 8: Add a Base

Next, we will be adding a base. Glue a ring of sugar cubes to the bottom of the fourth layer since we no longer have any styrofoam left to attach them to.

Step 9

Step 9

Step 9: Make a Doorway

Make a doorway by gently prying off two cubes that are vertically stacked together. Now we can see right inside the igloo.

Step 10

Step 10

Step 10: Make an Arch for the Doorway

Next, we will make an arch for the doorway. Lay the cubes on the table and one by one, glue the edges of the sugar cubes together like so, making sure to angle.

Step 11

Step 11

Step 11: Apply Hot Glue to the Arch

Squeeze a line of hot glue around the arch and position it in the doorway of the igloo.

Step 12

Step 12

Step 12: Pull Off Strings of Glue

Pull off all the strings of glue, and we are done! This sugar cube igloo craft is super easy, and each snow home takes only about 5 minutes to make.

You can even make a sugar cube fire pit and a couple of Inukshuk statues to go along with the igloos

You can even make a sugar cube fire pit and a couple of Inukshuk statues to go along with the igloos

Uniquely Canadian Decorations

Extra Fun Features

  • To make the sugar cube fire pit, I painted a metal jar lid white. After it dried, I glued sugar cubes around the outer rim of the lid, being careful to leave enough space between the candle and the cubes so the sugar wouldn't melt. I used a mixture of red and white tealight candles.
  • To add even more Canadian charm to the igloos, look through your kid's trinkets or your Christmas decorations for some cute polar bears, penguins or some fake snow to set the scene.
  • For the inuksuks, I just stacked a few sugar cubes on top of one another in statue-like poses. You could even make some edible candy Inuksuks to go along with your igloo.
  • Of course, every igloo needs a Canadian flag. Poke a flag food pick into the top of the styrofoam ball between one of the spaces of the sugar cubes. I also added a small Canadian pin to the front door for a welcoming touch.
Finished igloos

Finished igloos

© 2013 Corrinna Johnson

What Do YOU Think? Do Canadians Sleep In Snow Houses?

Megan on February 14, 2016:

How many cubes did one igloo take? Thinking of making a larger one for a 100 day of school project.

Qiviq Monster on June 28, 2015:

Ugh. Shouldn't you have at least posted a video of an Inuk building the perfect igloo?

Corrinna Johnson (author) from BC, Canada on December 06, 2014:

Thank you @Sylvestermouse! We had a lot of fun designing and building the igloos :)

Corrinna Johnson (author) from BC, Canada on December 06, 2014:

Thank you @Hezekiah! It is a wonderful project to do with kids.

Corrinna Johnson (author) from BC, Canada on December 06, 2014:

Thank you @georgescifo! They were a lot of fun to make.

Cynthia Sylvestermouse from United States on December 03, 2014:

Beautiful! What a really neat craft and great instructions! Very clever indeed.

Hezekiah from Japan on November 20, 2014:

Cool Hub, something to make with my daughter on our time togethera alone.

georgescifo from India on November 19, 2014:

really amazing piece of creativity and loved the way you made these Igloos...keep up the good work..

Corrinna Johnson (author) from BC, Canada on September 28, 2014:

Thank you @SheGetsCreative! Very much appreciated :)

Angela F from Seattle, WA on September 24, 2014:

Very clever! Pinning to my craft board

Shelly Sellers from Midwest U.S.A. on July 01, 2014:

These sugar cube Igloos are so adorable! I will have to remember your craft page for Christmas craft ideas.

Shinichi Mine from Tokyo, Japan on February 06, 2014:

Ohhh, that's really cool. What a great way to use sugar cubes!

Renaissance Woman from Colorado on January 31, 2014:

I loved this craft. Would enjoy making a real igloo, too. Excellent tutorial and pics. Thx!

TheEnglishHouse on September 29, 2013:

Nice lens! Thank you.

mrdata on May 29, 2013:

Lovely concept here! Thanks for your sharing!

anonymous on May 28, 2013:

I have tried building an igloo before and its harder than it looks because the snow has to be just right to make blocks and we didn't really have that....we'd end up with a circle but never got the top right, but we had fun. Speaking of some sweet fun, you sure have that here with your igloos and fire ring, cuteness and great DIY instructions, a great project for kids! :) Congratulations on your purple star and Imminent handled it with creativity!

audrey07 on May 27, 2013:

This is interesting. Love the concept although I'm not a crafty person myself.

SheilaMilne from Kent, UK on May 27, 2013:

I've never even thought of building an igloo with sugar cubes or snow!. I would probably use royal icing as glue, as you suggest, so that the end result could be edible.

Peggy Hazelwood from Desert Southwest, U.S.A. on May 27, 2013:

I'd never even seen a Canadian sugar cube igloo before. This is cute and sweet!

Rose Jones on May 25, 2013:

I lived in Alberta for 8 years so I know a bit about cold. My next door neighbor carved one of these igloos out of snow for his kid. It was so cold, but it was gorgeous.

Corrinna Johnson (author) from BC, Canada on May 25, 2013:

@Shoputopian: Thanks so much. Its always nice meeting other Canadians on Squidoo and especially ones so close to home!

Karnel from Lower Mainland of BC on May 25, 2013:

This was amazing maybe it's because I also am from BC and could be a little bias. I totally enjoyed reading and watching as you created an igloo and the addition of the Canadian flag was priceless.