Do You Want To Build A Snowman? Olaf: From Sketch to Macy’s Parade Balloon

Macy's Parade, Balloons, Disney's Frozen, Olaf

Have you heard the news? Olaf from Disney’s “Frozen” is going to be in the Macy’s Parade! We’re so excited to have our favorite snowman fly down 34th Street, we decided to blog all about it. So, if you’ve ever wondered how our Parade balloons come to life, you’re about to find out…

olaf, disney's frozen, snowman, sketch, drawing, macy's parade, macy's parade balloon

Step 1

Research the character to get a true sense of their personality

Step 2

Draw a few rough sketches of Olaf posed in flight

Step 3

Sketch how he would look as a balloon flying in the Parade

olaf, disney's frozen, snowman, CAD model, macy's parade, macy's parade balloon

Step 4

Design Olaf in a computer program (CAD) and draw him exactly as he would be seen from the front, side & top

Step 5

Translate these CAD drawings to a scale model. (Our drawings are done in a 1:24 ratio, so each half-inch of the drawing equals a foot.)

Step 6

Create a skeleton of Olaf welded from steel

Step 7

Wrap clay over the skeleton to create the “muscles and skin”

Step 8

Build a mold from the clay model

Step 9

Cast two plastic duplicates of the model from the mold

olaf, disney's frozen, snowman, clay model, macy's parade, macy's parade balloon

Step 10

Paint the first model white and add all of the details & patterning to it. Then, paint the second model in Olaf’s exact colors

Step 11

From these two models, fabricate a full-size pattern. Then cut and sew the balloon fabric together

Step 12

Hand-paint the balloon, attach the lines and he’s ready to fly!

Want to know more about this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? Visit to find out!

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  1. I experienced the best customer service in the Bowie towne center woman shoe dept. The gentleman name was Mr. Campbell he was so pleasant and very helpful and he was very busy multi tasking and helpong every customer with the same amount of patients and kindness . This is excellent customer service .this makes you want to come back.

    1. We’re thrilled to hear about your experience at our Bowie Towne location, Kim — thanks for sharing with us! – Nora at Macy’s

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