7 Ways To Make Fake Snow: From Simple To Professional Methods

Every year, at Christmas, the problem of how to make fake snow to decorate the crib or the Christmas tree comes up again.

Fake snow for Xmas tree

It is very unlikely that there was snow in Palestine at the time of the birth of Jesus, but this does not mean that our cribs should be philologically correct.

Some great nativity scene artists set the scene of the nativity referring to the environment in which they themselves live and this makes the nativity scene something that feels close and in which it is easier to recognize oneself.

In this context, even snow-covered mountains become realistic and even snow can make an appearance without appearing out of place.

After all, at our latitudes, snow is not uncommon in December.

For those who are not very experienced in the realization of the crib, the question that arises most often is: "how to make the fake snow?".

The ways are many and depend on the level of realism we want to achieve.

Theoretically all white materials can be good but not all are equally advisable: salt, sugar, white flour, powdered sugar, talcum powder, chalk.

What to choose?

A lot depends on your crib and the material with which you made it.

Personally, I recommend talcum powder, which also offers a pleasant scent, or white flour.

If you have small children, you will know how difficult it is to keep them away from the figurines, so food substances (in case they bring them to their mouths) are preferable; the same goes for pets.

Flour is certainly the most used substance to make fake snow and it is distributed evenly with a small sieve.

The disadvantage of very fine substances is to give a fairly "flat" effect which is good for the vast majority of cribs that use figurines no taller than 10 centimeters but, in the case of larger statues, one might want the effect of fake snow to be more proportionate.

So let's see what other substances we could use to make fake snow for our crib and our Xmas tree.

1. Synthetic fake snow

Artificial snow made of synthetic material is sold in bags of various sizes.

The realistic effect is remarkable because they look just like small flakes and has the only disadvantage of having a plastic smell, in fact.

The cost is very low and this is an aspect not to be underestimated.

2. Snow with paper tissues

The alternative to the synthetic snow above is to blend ten (or more) slightly dampened paper handkerchiefs in a blender.

Once the paper is dry you will get big, soft flakes that we can use to decorate the base of the tree, for example.

3. Instant snow

This type of fake snow is very impressive, especially when the base powder changes shape to what appears to the eye to be real snow.

But what exactly is it?

Instant snow is a polymer called sodium polyacrylate.

The substance is a super-absorbent, non-toxic powder that can absorb 200-300 times its volume of water and is often used in baby diapers.

The amazing thing about this powder is that when water is added it expands to make an incredible artificial snow that looks and feels like real snow.

The fake snow is almost as soft and fresh as the real thing and in fact is even used in indoor snowboarding and for special effects in movies.

It's hard to stop playing with it when you see the sudden transformation of powder into "snow".

In the video below you can see a demonstration of the effect.

The advantage of instant snow is that it resembles real snow but has the disadvantage that the process is reversible.

This means that, depending on the environment, instant snow does not melt as real snow would but tends to dehydrate and return to a powder state.

Instant snow therefore lasts from 2 to 3 days but then needs to be re-watered to maintain it.

It goes without saying that in many cases this is not feasible (electrical installations, materials which cannot withstand water) and so instant snow is more often used for limited effects and without the presence of other materials.

It is not always easy to find sodium polyacrylate in stores, the best place to buy sodium polyacrylate is the internet; on Amazon, for example, you can find the magic powder that turns into artificial snow. Below is the link to the product:

4. Spray snow in cans

Snow in cans also has a realistic effect but the cost is not so low and has a couple of disadvantages:

  1. on the one hand it is difficult to distribute exactly and it may be necessary to do some tests to understand at what distance it is necessary to hold the canister to achieve the effect we desire
  2. on the other hand it is not so easy to remove this type of snow from the objects on which we have sprayed it

Here you can buy snow in cans:

5. Fake snow with baking soda and shaving foam

With two simple ingredients that most families keep at home, you can make artificial snow that looks incredibly realistic.

To prepare it, you can add sprinkles of shaving foam to the desired amount of baking soda.

In a large enough bowl slowly mix baking soda with shaving foam until you get the desired consistency.

Don't overdo it with the shaving cream, just sprinkle some on and stir each time so you get the right consistency.

As you stir, you will slowly see a fantastic snow form that you can shape, just like real snow.

The resulting snow is super soft, smooth and smells fresh thanks to the shaving foam.

It's also naturally cool, I don't know why exactly, but it is!

Actually, the coolness comes from the shaving foam which is often "flavored" with menthol.

6. Artificial snow with baking soda and hair conditioner

Another recipe for making artificial snow is to mix baking soda with a little white hair conditioner.

In this case, the hair conditioner replaces the shaving foam from the previous recipe.

In both cases, you can also add some glitter for a glittery effect.

7. Snow machine for almost realistic snowfalls

 If you really like to impress and want only the best for your snow effects, then the machines that spray fake snow are the ones for you.

These little snow machines produce miniature snowfalls that cover a fairly limited area (1 to 3 meters).

Some of these snow machine are used for crib special effects and its technical features have been developed to achieve low noise and almost dry snow making it compatible with various crib or Christmas tree materials as well.

The snow melts as soon as it touches the ground, but the machine is also able to modulate the intensity of the snowfall so that a white blanket can be obtained on the ground which, however, will dissolve within a few minutes.

Similarly, it is possible to synchronize the snowfall with the lights that correspond to the phase of the day we want (dawn, dusk, night).

The price? For true amateurs; the snow making machine costs around 550 Dollars and requires a special liquid to produce an almost dry snow. With two liters of liquid you can get a snowfall of several hours.

In case you want to buy it, you can purchase it directly online at this specialized site.

Fortunately there are machines that are less expensive than this one, like the one you can find on Amazon at the link below:


DIY Editor
Do-it-yourself enthusiast. I started with the renovation of my flat and then I changhed this passion into my job.