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Winnipeggers making snowmen out of recycled wood for charity


One Winnipeg couple is spreading holiday cheer while also giving back to charity, by making and selling snowman pallets.

Val Ruth and Blaine Wall started making the pallets out of recycled wood and paint last year.

Initially, the pair took up the project because Ruth wanted a snowman, but then the idea spread.

“I made a couple more for my girlfriends,” Ruth said in an interview on Friday.

“Then [Wall] said, ‘That’s kind of fun. Let’s try and make a bunch, see if we could sell them and we’ll donate the money to charity.’”

Ruth noted it was a good activity at the time since the pandemic was forcing everyone to stay home. She added they were surprised by the initiative’s success, and decided to do it again this year.

“We’re overwhelmed with the amount that we’ve sold already and it isn’t even December yet,” she said.

She noted that people come from all over to get the snowmen, adding that she recently had customers from Ontario.

“We’ve taken them to Dauphin. We’ve taken them to Alberta. They’re not just local,” Ruth said.

“It’s kind of overwhelming. Really, it is.”

So far this year the pair has sold about 100 snowmen. However, they haven’t decided all of the charities they’re donating to as of yet.

“Probably some smaller ones that get overlooked a lot. So they need help too,” Ruth said.

Wall noted they do plan on giving some money to a women’s shelter they donated to last year.


Wall said one of the difficulties they face in creating the snowmen is the wood supply.

“I can buy the paint, but we’re not buying any wood,” he said.

“If we don’t get boards, we can’t make it work.”

Wall explained that the pallets can also be extremely difficult to get apart.

“If the pallets come apart easy, I’m okay with that, but otherwise it’s too much work,” he said.

“It takes a bit of time to build each one of these things.”

Ruth noted that Wall has been working on the project since July.

“Sometimes I think I get to know each [snowman], I handle them so many times,” Wall joked.

“I should give each one a name.”

Wall said he still has enough wood for another 100 snowmen, which cost $25 each.

He added if they can get enough wood, they’ll make more snowmen next year.

The couple has a sign outside their house that says people interested in buying a snowman can contact them by email

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