Somerset, Mass. Woman Creates Snowman Using Hundreds of Milk Jugs Donated by Community
WJAR - December 25, 2023 10:36 am
Melissa Morgado standing next to the snowman. (WJAR)
SOMERSET, Mass. — A Somerset woman has created a larger-than-life snowman made out of nearly 800 milk jugs.
Melissa Morgado grew up in the town she now resides in.
For years, she’s lived at 35 Pierce Ln., and for as long as she can remember, Morgado said Christmas has been a really big deal, especially since she’s a mom of two.
“The kids make fun of me every year because it gets bigger and bigger, I try to go all out for the kids make sure they’re having fun,” said Morgado. “My little guy, he’s five and he’s totally obsessed with blowups. He doesn’t care about Christmas lights or any of that, blowups are his thing. So, I was trying to fill the yard and my husband said that’s enough and I told him that I was going to create something then. If I couldn’t get something I would make it, but I told him I was going big.”
That’s how the idea of ‘Jughead’ came to be. Last year, Morgado put out a plea on social media asking people to save their milk and water jugs. From there, daily, she would drive around and pick them up. She collected hundreds.
After weeks of gluing them together with a glue gun and stacking them into the shape of a snowman, a catastrophic storm hit.
“I literally was just one row away from putting his hat on and the snow storm knocked him right over,” said Morgado. “The second I put out there that Jughead had fallen people wanted to help rebuild, they wanted to show up with glue guns.”
Morgado said with it being so close to Christmas, alongside a very busy schedule, she decided not to rebuild but she made a promise to her community she would try again this year. Many of the jugs she had collected were cracked and no good, so she threw them all away.
Many months ago she put up another post, once again asking people to save their jugs.
“We had people saying, ‘We were already saving hoping you were going to rebuild,’ said Morgado. “It was just so touching out of all the time trying to get this together that the whole town was basically behind it.”
Morgado said a gas station in nearby Westport put out a collection box and saved their own. She made a crate that she put outside for people to drop them off and once again began picking them up.
Then, she and her husband went to work. They used 500 glue sticks.
“This year between my husband and I, I think we’re about 90 to 100 hours on him,” she said.
“There’s about 768 jugs. I believe he stands 11 and a half feet tall and seven feet across,” added Morgado. “Everything is hot glued and we made a rope between every jug handle so that if something disastrous happened I wasn’t chasing them across the town again.”
Morgado put lights in the center so at night, jughead would glow. She said she used blankets to create the scarf, the hat is made out of plywood, pool noodles, fencing and pleather. Jughead’s nose is a cone she transformed to look like a giant carrot.
She also made a pipe out of a pool noodle and plant container. That too, lights up.
“In high school my favorite thing was to do sculpture and ever since then I’ve been just kind of crafty,” said Morgado.
Morgado said she built the snowman out on her front lawn so everyone passing by could see the progress.
“It turned into something way bigger than I ever intended because it definitely brought the whole town together,” she said. “I feel like I just had a hand in it. So many other people helped. I feel like I brought home IKEA. It’s also taught my kids even a disastrous fail you can rebuild from that, it doesn’t have to be over”
In October, Morgado made the almost-finished snowman and mummy. From conversations she’s had with people passing by, she’s hopeful it’ll stay up for a while.
“Maybe make him a leprechaun for St Patrick’s Day, people are hoping he makes it until Easter to be the Easter bunny,” she said.
Morgado said while this was a fun, holiday project for her personally, it’s meant so much more.
“I’m a stay at home mom so it’s kind of isolated especially after COVID and not a lot of person to person anymore so having those people come in, and show up with a smile, ready to help or drop off a jug, as silly as that seems it became a real big thing to me and it was a big thing to them.”