How fun is an Igloo Playhouse that never melts? Ava joined me on set for this project, which made it all the more special. The first igloo we made is at home in the backyard and it’s the new home of all her dolls. I think I even saw her carry one of the cats into it, too! I got the idea when I saw one online but it was so expensive. I thought there had to be a cheaper way to make them, I think it turned out pretty great and I hope you like it too. Here’s how to make one of your own!
- Sheets of 2″ thick styrofoam cut into (29) 2″ x 12″ x 18″ squares – it’s cheaper if you buy online
- E6000 or hot glue gun – you must have an adjustable temp glue gun for this project
- White expanding spray foam
- White exterior paint or white spray paint
- Paint brush – needed if you’re not using spray paint
- Quilt batting
- Bamboo skewers cut into 3″ pieces
- Utility scissors – to cut the skewers
- Sharp knife
- Glitter and/or craft snow
- Well ventilated working area
The body of the igloo is made up of panels using 3 styrofoam squares. You’ll create 8 panels total. The arch is created using 5 panels of styrofoam. You can make your squares any size you like to create an igloo of any size. I cut the styrofoam rectangle sheets into 2” x 12” x 18” squares which was perfect for my daughter who’s 4 years old. Also, I found it easier to put each panel together first, then assemble the panels to create the body of the igloo.
Step 1: Use this template for the dimensions of each panel. Lay the first styrofoam sheet down and trace the template onto the styrofoam. Use a sharp knife to cut a square for each tier.
Before you begin this step, make sure the squares are laid out correctly – each square is 18″ wide by 12″ tall. If they’re reversed, you’ll end up with a smaller footprint for your igloo.
Step 2: Evenly insert 3 skewers into the 2″ edge of the bottom square. The skewers act as pegs attaching each square to the next. Add a generous amount of glue to the edge of the block, covering the skewers. If you’re using a glue gun, use a low to medium temperature. Line up the middle square and push the two squares together so that the skewers hold the squares in place. Since the squares are cut on an angle, the edges should easily line up on the curve. Don’t worry if there’s gaps, I show you how to fix that further down.
Step 3: Repeat steps 1 & 2 until you’ve created all 8 panels.
Step 4: Use the same skewer and glue technique to assemble each panel to create the igloo. You’ll notice there’s an open circle at the top of the igloo, this is supposed to be there!
Step 5: Allow the glue to dry completely before you continue.
Step 6: Use the white expanding spray foam to fill in the gaps between squares. If you’re new to working with spray foam, err on the side of caution so that you can see how it expands. The spray foam will also make the igloo more sturdy which will help you get more than one season out of the igloo!
Step 7: Allow the spray foam to cure 24 hours before painting. NOTE: DO NOT LET YOUR CHILDREN PLAY IN THE HOUSE UNTIL THE SPRAY FOAM IS COMPLETELY DRY. It is toxic to breathe until fully cured.
Create the arched entry:
Step 1: Cut the long edge of 4 of the squares at a 45-degree angle.
Step 2: Match the angled edges of the squares so they create the archway as shown. Attach the squares together using the same skewer and glue technique that you used above.
Step 3: Trim the edges of the top square so that it fits nicely against the middle squares and completes the arch. Insert skewers and glue. Let dry completely.
Attach the arch to the igloo:
Step 1: Select the panel where you’d like to attach the arch. Place the arch against that panel and use a marker to trace the outline of the arch onto the igloo.
Step 2: Set aside the arch. Use the kitchen knife to cut an opening in that panel of the igloo following the outline you just drew.
Step 3: Place the arch against the new opening and use the spray foam to attach the arch to the igloo. Fill in any gaps in the archway with the foam too.
- Paint the foam white so that it mimics snow. Before the paint dries completely, sprinkle on a generous amount of glitter and/or craft snow. Work in sections so that the paint doesn’t dry before you’ve had a chance to add the glitter and snow.
- Use the quilt batting to create a floor inside the igloo
Have fun and enjoy!!