A few weeks ago, a friend shared a cute idea on Facebook. Someone had taken an LED votive candle and turned it into a snowman by drawing eyes on the candle and plunking a little top hat on its head.
The idea was super clever, and I had a dozen little votive candles left over from my Pottery Barn knock-off chandelier project. What a great way to use them up!
But the snowmen I saw were kind of…boring. Drawn-on eyes were cute, and top-hats are nice, but I wanted my votive snowmen to be extra-special because I wanted to give them to my kids for their Christmas ornaments this year.
I wanted my snowmen to have real knitted hats and eyes that looked like rocks, just like real snowmen. I wanted cheery scarves and rosy cheeks and sweet little smiles. In other words, I wanted to take a bunch of boring, old LED votive candles and turn them into something my kids would treasure.
I stared at my votive candles, and soon, and idea began to take shape.
This is exactly what I had in mind for my kids’ ornaments. What a sweet little snowman he turned out to be!
If you’re like me, you’re going to want to make a whole tribe of these to give away. And why not? They’re much easier to make than a real snowman, and you won’t even have to put your mittens on to do it. But go ahead and sip some hot chocolate while you work. It helps to make better snowmen, trust me.
How to Make Snowman Votive Ornaments
I wanted to make snug little hats for my snowmen, but I can’t knit. Besides, who has the time for that? Instead, I rustled around in my stash of clothes destined for the thrift store and found the perfect red sweater. Fleece would have worked well, or just about any fabric that has a little stretch to it.
It only took a few minutes to make hats for all five of my snowmen ornaments. You can probably figure it out from the photos above, but just in case, here’s the step-by-step.
1) Cut a strip of fabric about twice as long as the votive, but not quite twice as high.
2) It works best if the fabric scrap is shaped like a trapezoid. If you don’t remember what a trapezoid looks like (high school geometry was a long time ago, I know), see the photo above.
3) Use a glue gun to put a strip of glue at the top of the trapezoid. If you have a sewing machine, you could sew instead of glue, but there’s no need to be an overachiever.
4) Pinch the fabric together to form the top of the hat. Don’t burn your fingers!
5) Glue the back seams together.
6) Roll up the bottom of the hat and secure it with a bit of glue.
Ta-da! Your snowman won’t be bald!
Finish the hats with jingle bells and pom-poms. I also added little touches to each one like sequin “snow” and holly berries made out of beads because I think these details elevate the gift from homemade to hand-crafted. It doesn’t take much more time to add the details, but the overall impression is that someone cared enough to make it special.
Glue the hats to the tops of the votives, being sure not to block the “on” switch on the back, or access to the battery. You’re welcome.
Use a pink permanent marker to draw rosy cheeks on the faces, then use two different sizes of seed beads for the eyes and mouth. If you’ve got Super Glue, use it. Hot glue makes too much of a mess on these tiny beads, but you need a strong glue or they will pop off.
Pick out some Christmas ribbon, tie it in the middle, and glue it off to the side of your snowman’s “chin” for a scarf. A few inches is all you need!
I bought a bunch of Christmas ribbon on clearance last year so I happened to have enough different kinds of red ribbon to give each of my five snowmen a different scarf. My kids will love the fact that they each get their own, unique snowman ornament. No two scarves or hats are the same!
What do you think? Are you ready to make a batch of cheery snowmen for yourself? You can order votive candles here to get started.
Don’t forget to pin this idea to your Christmas board, or share it with a friend so they can make one for you!
Variations: These snowman votive ornaments don’t have to be saved for the tree! Here are some ways they can be used to brighten up the holidays.
- Use them with a gift tag to decorate your wrapped presents.
- String them on a ribbon and make a decorative garland for the mantel or mirror.
- Tie one to a gift card to add a little personal touch to an otherwise impersonal gift.
- Add a magnet to the back and bring a little Christmas cheer to the fridge!
- Place the snowmen on an outdoor wreath and turn the candles on when expecting company.
- Put one by your child’s bed as a night-light.