Rainbow igloos can be built with “snow cement” and a lot of ice mixed with food coloring. This ABC Allred time-lapse from the winter of 2021-22 shares how Matt Allred, a Rexburg, Idaho OB-GYN, built a colorful 10 foot tall, 13.5 foot diameter igloo with around 500 ice bricks.
Allred’s time-lapse makes the ~40 hour build look easy, but he’s had practice; this was his second rainbow igloo, and between the weather and the work, he still had challenges:
“I made several mistakes along the way that prolonged the process.
“• I made my diameter too wide. I wish I would have stuck with the 7-9 foot diameter. Those are so much easier to control. Because the wider it is, the higher you need to go. So it added another 4 rows…”
“• I should have stepped back a few times to see how the angle of the roof was coming. On the east side of the igloo, my angle was off so it gave a sunken appearance. So to cover up the defect, I put a chimney in its place. But in the end it turned out pretty sweet.”
The previous year’s igloo is the focus of the video tutorial below. He shares steps and tips, from picking a location to adding food coloring, to constructing the dome.
The video’s supply list includes 50-80 disposable aluminum trays, but this item can be made more sustainable by saving used rectangular food containers throughout the year, collecting from friends, family, and community, or saving them for future builds.
And if you don’t want to go for the color ice blocks, you can add LED lights on the inside when it’s all done. Allred built his glowing 2022/23 igloo with plain ice and snow: 350 ice bricks constructed in around 36 hours.
Watch these igloo and ice videos:
• How to Build an Igloo (1949) – National Film Board of Canada
• Step into a summer igloo (in 360°) as it’s being built
• Ice music made on hand-carved ice instruments
• The 3-million-year old Ningwu ice cave never thaws
• Go inside an ice cave to see nature’s most beautiful blue