Choosing the layout
Play around with it in a small model size before you start any actual cutting of your board.
4'x8' Insulated foam board
Heat foam cutting tool
You can use a utility knife for straight edge cutting, but to easily make curved cuts, this tool is a lifesaver! It’s a little slow going, but melts right through the styrofoam, like butter! Click here to buy on Amazon
8 Ft Tall Cut Out
By using a slight angle cut (instead of a perfect right angle of 90-degrees) for the body of the house I was able to cut roof eves.
The leftover foam board became the cut-out for the chimney.
Sketch it out
Transfer your image
The foam board cutouts will be painted an outdoor-rated “gingerbread” brown paint. (think exterior house paint)
A combination of paint and primer works best. One quart of brown was more than I needed for the house and both gingerbread people. I drew in the areas for the detail on the Santa hat and the dress collar and bow. Those were painted red, white, and a light blue. The light blue was leftover from another project I did a while back, so I decided to use it. Get creative and use any colors you like.
Exterior paint and primer will be what saves you from the elements. If you don’t use exterior paint and choose any other product, this should be for INDOOR use only!
Let's go shopping
For the Candy
I purchased various sizes of small disposable dishes in the party section. Use your imagination. Anything that can be painted, can look like candy!
You’ll also need 2 white pool noodles and red duct tape to create candy cane accents.
Using the extra leftover foamboard, you can make more candy pieces for your gingerbread. Candy canes, peppermints, or m&m’s. And 2-inch slices of colored pool noodles will look like fruit loops. The sky is the limit!
Exterior white all-in-one paint and primer was used for the snow on the eves and for the front door. Surprisingly, it took 3 coats to cover completely. I also drew in door hinges and painted them red.
Since the chimney was a separate piece, I attached it to the roof with toothpicks and a glue gun using Gorilla Glue gluesticks.
Add the other candy pieces to the areas of your choice. I glued the wreath on the door and added the “doorknob” cup.
The mini cups became gumdrops. Gluing small clear beads on the exterior of the cups would give a “sugar coating”. Outdoor Mod Podge and chunky white glitter with a clear coat sealer is another option. I don’t have enough patience for that level of detail, so plain it is. Kudos to you, if you go the extra mile!
To make sure your 8-foot tall work of art doesn’t snap in half under windy conditions, reinforce it with 2 long pieces of PVC from top to bottom. I used a glue gun, working my way quickly down the pipe. This will help it from bending, breaking, or having the paint peel where it might bend.
PVC and Rebar
I used hot glue to attach 3/4 inch PVC to the back of each gingerbread person. Rebar comes in 1/2″ width, so it will easily slide in.
Note: Use a long reinforcement piece for the gingerbread people from top to bottom (not shown), as you did with the house.
Rebar is sold in lengths of 20 feet. Lowes or Home Depot won’t cut to size, but they can usually cut it in half for you (call and ask for the Contractors department to verify) If you don’t have the tools yourself or can’t find someone to cut them for you, look for utility stakes or shorter rebar pins. Just make sure they are a smaller width than the opening of your PVC.
Set the Scene
Add more props!
Make Willy Wonka Proud!
The candy man can because he mixes it with love
And makes the world taste good!
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