• The Restless Ruralist


Last week a shipping box arrived carrying a product we had ordered. It was packed securely using styrofoam packing peanuts...a lot of packing peanuts. My husband was ready to cut up the cardboard box and toss it and the packing peanuts into the recycle bin. Problem is, our township does not accept styrofoam in the list of recycle products so rather than throw them in the garbage I decided to see if I could make a craft with them. A quick little search on Google and I had my idea.

I found a site that used a small bowl to make an igloo out of miniature marshmallows and I decided that I would use the packing peanuts to make an igloo and create an Arctic scene as part of our Christmas decor this year. What do you think of the finished product?

Igloo made with styrofoam packing peanuts.
Arctic Scene Complete with Igloo Made with Styrofoam Packing Peanuts

This little igloo took less than an afternoon to complete and with a few little Christmas animal ornaments and some fake snow my little Arctic scene was complete. I used some leftover 1/4 plywood for the base of the scene but honestly, the igloo and the ornaments are so light that a good piece of corrugated cardboard (painted white) will be a sturdy enough base for this project.

This is a great project to do with younger kids. They will have fun picking out the animal ornaments and watching the igloo and the scene come together. As the igloo is put together using a hot glue gun it is best to have an older child or adult do that part of the project. The kids can help by passing the peanuts to the one who is doing the glueing. Here are the steps to follow to create your own cute little Arctic Scene.

  • Select your base, either 1/4 plywood or sturdy corrugated cardboard. Base for this one shown is 15 inches long by 15 inches wide.

  • Paint the base with white spray paint and set aside to dry.

  • Use a 12" wide plastic planter for the igloo frame. Cut about 3 inches off from the top of the planter. Use the cut section of the planter, cut a section about 8 inches long for the entrance to the igloo. Cut an opening approximately 3" high by 3" wide in the planter. This will be used to attach the entrance piece.

  • Using white spray paint, paint both the inside and outside of the planter and the piece for the entrance.

Base and Entrance Pieces for Styrofoam Igloo Made with Packing Peanuts
Using a Plastic Planter to Make a Styrofoam Igloo Made with Packing Peanuts

  • Once the paint has completely dried, place the entrance piece into the cut opening of your planter, ensure the wider end of the entrance piece is at the top of the opening .

  • Begin hot-glueing the styrofoam peanuts around the bottom of the planter. The subsequent rows should have the peanuts placed in a brick-laying pattern. Repeat this process until you get to to top of the igloo.

Hot Glue Packing Peanuts to Planter to Make a Styrofoam Igloo
Attaching Rows of Packing Peanuts to Plastic Planter

  • Once you get to the top of the igloo you will need to glue two to three layers of packing peanuts in order to fill in the entire section. This won't be necessary however, if the bottom of your planter is flush with the side of the planter.

Styrofoam Igloo Made with Packing Peanuts
First Layer of Top of Styrofoam Igloo Made with Packing Peanuts
  • Once the top of your igloo is complete, finish the entrance of the igloo by glueing packing peanuts all around.

  • Your igloo is complete! Time to arrange it on your base and decorate it in any manner you choose.

Styrofoam Igloo Made with Packing Peanuts
Completed Styrofoam Igloo Made with Packing Peanuts

I coated the 15" painted base with white glue and covered it with fake snow. All of the animal ornaments and the igloo itself have been hot glued onto the snowy base. Let dry overnight.

Easy to Make Igloo Crafted with Styrofoam Packing Peanuts
Arctic Scene Complete with Styrofoam Packing Peanuts Igloo, Arctic Moose, Polar Bears, Penguins and a Walrus