7 Dec

Super Snow Motion

In sixth grade, we each had to dress up like a historical character and begin our oral presentation with three clues to help our classmates guess our identity. I was Marie Antoinette, and I don’t remember what my three clues were, but everyone immediately knew who I was because not only was I sporting a magnificently upcycled bridesmaid dress from the D.I. but I was holding a three-tiered cake, as in “Let them eat [it].” (I know she didn’t really say that, but Darth also never says, “Luke, I am your father,” so there.)

The dress was amazing–the skirt swagged with ribbon and tulle and strings of fake pearls–and my hair was equally impressive–not one but two Dolly Parton wigs stacked on top of each other and embellished with a giant feather–but the cake alone was a showstopper prop. My mom made it out of styrofoam discs covered with Ivory Snow laundry detergent. It looked like a decadent coconut cake fit for a queen. And it beat carrying my head around on a platter, although that would have done the trick too.

Why, yes, I do have a picture! Thank you for asking!

marie antoinette

I don’t have a close-up of the cake to show you how awesome it was, but I do have this:


They’re no eighteenth-century brioche, but these Ivory Snow trees are equally awesome and equally (if not more) easy, and they’ll make your house smell like fresh laundry and your hands feel as silky soft as two turtle doves, and yes, I know this is my second laundry-detergent-based craft in one week, but come on, this one is pretty killer.

Put a bird bell jar on it!


Alls you need:
Ivory Snow powder laundry detergent (make sure it’s powder!)
–cone-shaped thing

Alls you gotta do:

Mix approximately 3/4 cup Ivory Snow with approximately 1/4 cup water. Play with the ratio until you get a chunky slop that will stick to your cone-shaped thing.


Our cone-shaped things were initially just snowcone cups and craft-store cones made of papier mâché (say it with a French accent like Marie!), but then my turns-five-next-Saturday-OMG-year-old said, “Hey, that looks like a birthday hat!” and so, voilà, we used a [fugly] birthday hat too.


One 19 oz. box of Ivory Snow made seven trees: one big, three medium, and three small.



While they were still wet, I of course sprinkled them with superfine glitter (I chose a cool icy blue) because I will never learn my lesson about glitter.


(You can’t really see it in the photo, but they glisten like a vampire in the moonlight.)

I also tried a variation by tinting the mixture green with food coloring, but I used a ton to make it a super dark blue-fir green, and after it was dry it looked like ’80s wedding seafoam, so unless pastel is what you’re going for, probably just stick with the white. What would look cute, though, is using tweezers to stick on some mini pompoms for ornaments.



I really love these. As the queen herself would say, “C’est magnifique! Qu’est-ce que tu attends? La revolución?”


If you like this, you might also like my other winter/holiday/Christmas crafts. Click for the list!


  • That Darth Vader thing blew my mind a few weeks ago. We watched the movies again (it’s been YEARS) and when Darth said “No, I am your father” I totally double-taked and ended up rewinding it twice. He said the wrong line!

    • A few years ago, I was editing a memoir that used a version of that quote as the punchline to the whole book, and it was so awesome and perfect and brilliant but I *had* to tell the poor author that the Darth doesn’t actually say “Luke.” In context, changing the quote could have ruined the whole effect of the last chapter, but thankfully the author was cool with leaving it alone, and so was I. Exact quote or not, the “Luke” version has taken on a legit life of its own.

  • I like a craftery instruction that includes “cone-shaped thing”. Much better than a list of specific items I’m never, ever going to have on hand. Was planning on exploding ivory soap this weekend. I should add another soap related activity.

  • Where did you get Ivory Snow? I cannot find it near me. I have checked all over Walmart and craft stores. I’m resorting to grating bars of ivory soap, but I really do not want to do that!!

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