A Crafty Mix


How to Make an African Snowman – IBC Christmas Challenge

It’s that time of the month again when blogging friends from around the world take part in the Int’l Bloggers Club. This month’s theme is all about how we spend Christmas in our countries. Down here in the Southern hemisphere it’s summer and hot as Hades, so the chance of us having a white Christmas is zero, unless it hails 😉 We seldom get snow in the northern parts of South Africa. In fact when it does snow, we all have a complete melt down. Shops close and everyone jumps in their cars and rushes off to build a snowman and do snowy things. It’s chaos. So yeah, we’ll never have a white Christmas, but we will have braais (our local version of a bbq) and watermelons and pool parties. The kids will get burnt to a crisp and the adults will indulge in copious amounts of ice cold beer.

Most South Africans will go to church on Christmas morning before joining their friends and family for a full blown Christmas brunch around the pool. We normally serve a butterflied lamb that hubby cooks to perfection on the braai and there’s always Malva Pudding Because our Christmas is spent outdoors our decorations tend to be “outdoorsy”. Is that even a word?  Our Christmas trees are real growing specimens and most of our ornaments are all hand made. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of South Africans buy faux trees and add fake snow and baubles, so they can mimic the winter wonderlands of their northern counterparts. But that’s not our style.

I did compromise a little this year though. We watched Frozen again the other day and I wanted my very own Olaf to celebrate Christmas with us. I know, it’s kind of the impossible dream but hey, this is Africa and we love the impossible 😉 So here’s how we made ourselves and African snowman. We use three different sized  faux topiary balls and a piece of a broken lamp.

How to build an African snowman - full tutorial on the blog

What you need

Our Olaf took about three minutes to make. Slide the biggest faux ball onto the broken lamp and then add the second biggest. Grab two twigs and insert them on either side to make some arms.

How to build an African snowman - full tutorial on the blog

Add the balls and twiggy arms

Glue some eyes onto the smallest faux ball and slide it onto the broken lamp.

How to build an African snowman - full tutorial on the blog

Glue on the eyes

Squish on the nose.

How to build an African snowman - full tutorial on the blog

Squish on the nose

And make him a top hat using an empty tin can and some craft foam.

How to build an African snowman - full tutorial on the blog

A little top hat

When your done give Olaf’s African cousin a big fat kiss, before moving your snowman to his new home next to the pool 😉

How to build an African snowman - full tutorial on the blog

Meet Olaf’s African cousin

I hope you enjoyed a little sneak peak into how we spend Christmas in South Africa and I’d love to hear how you celebrate in your part of the world. Wishing everyone a beautiful, safe and loving festive season and remember to pop on over to my international partners in crime to read all about there traditions.


Made with love by a Crafty Mix

Categories:   DIY Crafty Tutorials, Int'l Bloggers Club, Quick & Easy Crafts


  • Posted: January 6, 2017 16:13

    Victoria @DazzleWhileFrazzled

    This is super cute and a great way to continue winter after the holidays. Visiting from Sweet Inspiration party.
    • Posted: January 8, 2017 08:36


      Yay Victoria, thanks for the visit :D
  • Posted: December 16, 2016 17:25


    I like your snowman Michelle. Your fingers don't feeze while trying to make balls out of snow, and those eyes seem to give him life. I find it quite odd to celebrate Christmas around the pool, but I promise I'd love to go there and join the party. Wishing you a merry merry Christmas my friend.
    • Posted: December 18, 2016 09:11


      Thank you sweet Pili. Hope you and your beautiful family have a wonderful Christmas too
  • Posted: December 16, 2016 15:01

    Gina Soldano-Herrle

    This is so fun! I can totally understand wanting your own Olaf. It's always amazed me how the southern hemisphere is a totally different season than the northern one. Up here we've already had bunches of snow. We get so much of it that unless it's accompanied by sub-zero temperatures things continue on as normal. Haha. :)
    • Posted: December 18, 2016 09:12


      It is strange that on one planet we can have so many different seasons at the same time. I can't imagine a world where there's so much snow.
  • Posted: December 16, 2016 09:51

    Sadhna Grover

    I wrote a comment, but it disappeared. Oh no, I have to write again. I really liked your green snowman, a very creative idea. You are reminding me the days when I was in South Africa. Yes, it is very hot in December.
    • Posted: December 16, 2016 12:12


      Thank you Sadhna, December is probably our worst months, and if it's hot in Gauteng then Durbs is worse because of the humidity. Really glad you retyped your comment, thank you ;-)
  • Posted: December 16, 2016 09:28

    Sarah - Craft Invaders

    A warm Christmas by the pool sounds divine! I love Olaf and the hat tutorial - I've spent all week trying to make a giant snowman with an open mouth to catch balls for my son's Christmas Bazaar today, I suspect about now that there's a couple of hundred kids doing their best to break him (Frosty)!
    • Posted: December 16, 2016 12:10


      Oh shame poor Frosty, I hope he comes home reasonably intact Sarah after the kids have had their fun
  • Posted: December 15, 2016 17:26


    There is a literal white out outside my window right now. I would much rather be hanging out somewhere with Olaf's cousin here than looking at all of this snow! This guy is super adorable!
    • Posted: December 16, 2016 06:42


      Oh wow a real Olaf. Are they difficult to make?
  • Posted: December 15, 2016 13:52

    Katerina Konstantinou

    He is so cute and perfect! In Greece the snow is also very rare so he could be perfect for us!
    • Posted: December 15, 2016 16:46


      Yay Katerina, I'm so glad we're not the only place where snow is a rare thing ;-)
  • Posted: December 13, 2016 22:29

    Sarah Jean Althouse

    You could almost take the eyes and hat off and use it as a spring/summer decoration too!
    • Posted: December 14, 2016 04:59


      We might just do that Sarah ;-)
  • Posted: December 13, 2016 17:18

    Marie from The Interior Frugalista

    It is hard for me to wrap my brain around Christmas with swimming pools and bbq's while we sit in -30C temperatures with our cars plugged in so they start in the morning. Olaf's cousin is adorable and I'm sure has been quite a conversation piece in your neighborhood. Wishing you and yours a Merry South African Christmas!
    • Posted: December 14, 2016 04:58


      It is quite weird how the north and south are so different. We're dying of heat and you guys are freezing. Thanks so much Marie, wishing you a beautiful warm and loving Christmas too
  • Posted: December 13, 2016 16:36


    Oh this is brilliant, I love this! - Tasha
    • Posted: December 13, 2016 16:39


      Thank you so much Natasha ;-) Do you think that your pet snow balls can come for a play date?
  • Posted: December 13, 2016 13:35


    :) :) :) so cool..
    • Posted: December 13, 2016 15:58


      Hello my old friend. I missed you. Thank you for coming to say hi again <3
  • Posted: December 12, 2016 20:00


    Ek is mal oor jou sneeuman Michelle. Dis perfek. Ek soek ook een
    • Posted: December 13, 2016 06:48


      Hi Saartjie, ek's so bly jy hou van Olaf se neefie ;-)
  • Posted: December 12, 2016 18:34


    Michelle, your lovely traditions in Africa remind me of what my husband tells me about Christmas in Argentina, pool parties and so much fun! How different for me, the northern gal! I'd love to visit and spend it there with you, it must be amazing! Olaf's cousin is the BEST, I love the idea and now I'm off to watch frozen again as well!
    • Posted: December 13, 2016 06:49


      Oh I wish you guys would come visit Katrin. Just imagine the fun we'd have :D
  • Posted: December 12, 2016 15:09


    Michelle, it sounds like you have fun Christmas traditions around the pool. That's neat that everything shuts down when it snows; you're all taking the time to enjoy it while it lasts. Your Olaf is so awesome! What a great idea to use topiary to make a snowman. I'm sure he looks great beside the pool.
    • Posted: December 12, 2016 15:35


      Thanks you my friend. It looks like Olaf might be leaving us for a while. He's going camping apparently ;-)
  • Posted: December 12, 2016 14:17

    Mary-the boondocks blog

    Aww Michelle, Olaf is such a cutie. And his hat makes him a proper gentleman! Wow it is so weird to me to read Christmas and swimming pools in the same sentence. I'm sure you will really enjoy yourselves and we all have the food in common. That is a given. Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas.
    • Posted: December 12, 2016 15:33


      That's so true Mary. Isn't it strange how some things stay the same, doesn't matter what country you're in and others are so different. Enjoy your last Christmas in beautiful Greece