Return to Content

How to Build an Igloo in 10 Steps

How to Build an Igloo in 10 Steps
1 vote, 5.00 avg. rating (89% score)

Make a snow shelter in your own yard with these instructions on how to build an igloo in 10 steps.

how to build an igloo1. Pace out a 10×10-foot swath, pile up the snow inside it, and keep tamping it down with a snowshoe or a shovel. Continue shoveling and compacting snow until you have a large mound, about 1.5 feet high. Let it sit for several hours or even overnight.

2. To mark out an area for your igloo, lie down and make a snow angel (the inside diameter of the igloo).

3. From your snow mound, cut blocks of uniform size, about 1.5 to 2 feet high, 1 foot thick, and 2 feet long, with a carpenter’s saw. (Don’t let your kids use one unsupervised.) The bigger the blocks, the fewer the seams and the more structurally sound the igloo will be.

4. Lay the foundation: Set blocks in a ring around the outside of your snow angel. Each block should touch the one beside it. Now using your saw, begin making a spiral ramp from the foundation blocks: “Choose a point, saw down through each block, and put an angled surface on it,” instructs Bert Yankielun. You’re cutting away the tops of the blocks to form a circular wedge. At some point you’ll have almost none of the first block you put on the ground.

5. Continue stacking layers of blocks and trimming them. “As you go around, you have a full-size block next to one that’s cut off,” Bert explains. “Then, when you put the next one on, you have two points of contact, a block to lean on, and something on the bottom.” As you stack the blocks, stagger the seams so that the seam from each block in the bottom row is in the middle of the block on top of it.

6. As you continue, “you may need to cut a bevel inward, stacking around, and trimming the inside edge of the block so the next one will be leaning in further,” Bert advises. “As you’re going around and around, that spiral, the dome, is closing in.”

7. When you finish stacking, you’ll have a small hole in the top. Cut a block of snow and put it into the top like a cork.

Please Note: This article was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

Tags: ,
Yankee Magazine Advertising

Bring New England Home
plus, get the Tablet Edition FREE!

In this issue: A Real New England Christmas

  • Vintage Decorating Tips
  • Mission to Maine's Islands
  • Norman Rockwell's Stockbridge
  • Bonus! Holiday Cookbook
Subscribe Today and Save 44%

One Response to How to Build an Igloo in 10 Steps

  1. Julie Ann Pelletier January 7, 2009 at 6:30 am #

    Great idea and easy to follow instructions. Thanks for another wonderful New England tradition from Yankee!

Leave a Reply

We reserve the right to remove or edit comments that are offensive or disrespectful to our readers and/or writers, cannot be verified, lack clarity, or contain profanity. Your comments may be republished by Yankee Magazine across multiple platforms.

Register Sign In

©2013, Yankee Publishing Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Yankee Publishing Inc., | P.O. Box 520, Dublin, NH 03444 | (603) 563-8111

80th-anniversart-calendar600x350-order