How to Make a Sugar Cube Igloo
Craft a Uniquely Canadian Igloo Decoration from Sugar Cubes, Glue and Styrofoam Balls
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 and 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 in 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, they 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.
Gather Your Materials and Let's Get Started!
Each Styrofoam Ball Yields Two Sugar Cube Snow Houses
- 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.
Lets Get Crafting, Eh!
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.
Begin building your igloo by laying half a styrofoam ball flat side down on the table and place a small dollop of hot glue on the top center of the dome.
Place one sugar cube on top of the glue and press down gently.
Make your next layer by gluing a ring of sugar cubes around the center block resembling the shape of a flower.
Start the third layer by gluing a cube underneath and in the middle of two cubes from the second layer.
Continue gluing the blocks around the ball to form a complete circle.
To make the fourth layer, repeat the instructions above, only this time, the cubes should line up with the bottom edge of the ball.
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.
Make a doorway by gently prying off two cubes that are vertically stacked together. Now we can see right inside the igloo.
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.
This is what it should look like when it is finished.
Squeeze a line of hot glue around the arch and position it in the doorway of the igloo.
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.
To Make This a Fun & Edible Craft for Kids, Use Royal Icing to Glue the Cubes Together Instead!
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.
Have You Always Wanted to Learn How to Build a Real Igloo Snow Shelter?
Watch A Clip Of "How to Make a Perfect Igloo" By Ray Mears On World of Survival - BBC
© 2013 Corrinna Johnson