How to Make a Snow Cradle

Snow CradleA traditional approach to making snow onstage is with the use of theatrical "snow" dropped from a snow cradle (also known as a snow bag). You can purchase snow cradles ready-made that will last you for years, or you can quickly and inexpensively make your own.

Typically a snow cradle is made out of a piece of muslin with small holes covering about 1/3 of an end. Hung from two adjacent battens and filled, snow is released by moving one end of the cradle up and down slightly to allow snow to filter through the holes.

Make a Snow Cradle

  1. Start with a piece of muslin 2-3 yards in length and approximately 10 feet wide
  2. Cut small holes or tears along 1/3 of the muslin, as measured from one end
  3. Attach ties to opposite ends of the muslin, including the side the the holes
  4. Tie the muslin to two battens (i.e., pipes or other solid poles)
  5. Bring the battens close enough to create a depression that can be filled with theatrical snow
  6. Pick up the batten opposite the side with the holes and shake gently. This should move the snow toward the holes you had previously cut, where it can fall through and drift gently onto the stage
  7. The faster you shake the cradle, the faster it will snow

If you plan to sweep up and reuse the snow after the production, please take care to sift though it before reloading it into the snow cradle. Nothing interrupts a performance like an actor unexpectedly getting hit on the head with a screw.