How To Make a Snow Gauge

You don’t need a year-long study to know how to measure how much snow falls from the sky. Creating a device to measure the falling snow, called a snow gauge, is so easy. It can even be created with the help of your “little” assistants.

You’ll need:

  • Plastic or can cylinder. Anything that is cylindrical and can be cut-off is useful for this project. It can be an empty soda can, a long soft drink bottle, or a long water bottle. Transparent is better, though non-transparent is okay. The purpose of this thing is for collecting snows.
  • Plastic ruler. You’ll need to paste this on the cylinder. If you don’t have an extra ruler, you can simply draw the measurements.
  • Marker. You’ll need this in case you can’t paste the plastic ruler on the cylinder.
  • Cutter. This will be used for cutting the cylinder.
  • Scotch tape, paper tape, or electric tape. This will be used to cover the cylinder edges for safety reasons.
  • Decorations. Snow gauge can be decorated for as long as its primary purpose will not be disturbed. This is also optional. You can go with just a simple homemade snow gauge or not.


  1. Clean the cylinder and dry it up using a clean cloth or a kitchen tissue.
  2. Cut the widest end point of the cylinder using the cutter. Be careful when doing this and make sure that the cut is as even as possible. For safety, wrap the edges with scotch tape, paper tape, or electrical tape—whatever is available in your drawer.
  3. Put a measuring area on the cylinder. You can simply paste the ruler on the transparent cylinder or copy the ruler’s centimeter measurements on the cylinder using your marker. Now if you will be using non-transparent cylinder, you can put the measuring area in the cylinder. This means you will put the ruler in the cylinder or draw the same measuring lines in it.
  4. It’s all done and ready to collect snow. You can put the snow gauge anywhere outside for as long as it can collect as much snow as possible. Protect the snow gauge from strong winds as well by putting additional security features like tying it or installing a strong stick at its bottom. The stick can be buried on the ground or can be nailed on a tree.

This homemade snow gauge can be a decorative piece of art while it does its scientific goal. Here are some creative tips for your snow gauge:

  1. Make a snow man snow gauge. Paint the cylinder white and draw a face for a snowman. Use backyard sticks for its arms and you can also wrap it with a cute scarf.
  2. Draw snow flakes on the cylinder. You can keep it as a simple black-and-white thing or you can put some glitters on it.

Be as creative as possible but never forget the main purpose of the snow gauge—to collect falling snow for your measurement. Whatever design is okay for as long as this main purpose will not be disturbed. 


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