This year I decided to step it up a notch, and do a Candy Land theme in our front yard. Thankfully I have a husband who is extremely patient, and allows me to experiment... all for the sake of catering to my creative needs!
Our daughter will be 4 at the end of December, so we thought it was a good time to get her an outdoor playhouse. I snagged one online for $40!! Just needs a little spray paint, and other customization (if I want), and it'll be like new. This house retails for $750!
Why was I inspired to do this?
One morning, I was watching the news, and they were showing DIY large yard decorations. They started with gingerbread men, then moved onto bells, and finally lollipops.
Ok, this is cool, what else is there?
I was able to find large lifesavers, candy cane lane, gumballs, cupcakes, and a few others.
How much is this going to cost?
If you know me, you know I love me a checklist/spreadsheet. Once I began buying this stuff, my husband would definitely be asking me how much this is costing us.
So here's part of my spreadsheet... keeping organized is always key to executing and not overspending.
The Giant Decor
How-to (Video on Page)
Overall, these are super cute, but the video above is really meant for state's weather that is calm, and dreamy. If you live in a state where the weather isn't always pleasant (like me), here are my tips for you:
The pipe on the back is not enough to withstand wind... I used a Shepard's hook for extra security... and it works good. Doesn't look as nice, but not awful.
Do not use gorilla glue for the items on the front, it expands, use hot glue.
Use outdoor paint, that way it will keep through the rain/snow.
I didn't end up really caring for these. My first mistake was making them without having a place in mind to hang them. These are one of those decor items that look cheap up close, but far away, super cute. Here are my tips/suggestions:
Use solid color bouncing balls. I used beach balls and they just look crappy.
The video I watched used plastic storage bins, and they look cheap. Use what they suggest in the video above.
Don't put these somewhere they will get blown all over. Put them somewhere more protected.
These are the community's favorite, and my least favorite to make. Here's why/how to NOT do what I did:
Buy the noodles from Dollar Tree, they will easier to work with. I bought mine during the off season, which caused me to spend more/use good noodles. I had to sit there, glue some, hold it, glue more, hold it... very irritating. The Dollar Tree noodles will bend better.
Don't make the piping too tall, again, wind is not our friend.
So I went the cheaper route with this, and that was a mistake. This project could be pretty costly with the suggested materials, unless you have them laying around.
I used cheaper pots, and they look ok, but not as good as the ones in the video.
Use the larger balls within the pots, mine are too small.
Figure out where you plan to hang these before starting, this changes how many bells you put together and how they are tied.
I can't find the tutorial video on this, so I'll tell you how I made them.
Large Planter Pot
White or Natural Expandable Foam
Spray Paint (This is your frosting color, your choice!)
Thick Foam (or something to put at the top of the planter so you don't have to fill the entire bottom of the planter with the expandable foam)
Put rocks in the bottom of the planter
Fill the pot with the expandable foam OR put something in the pot so you can start the expandable foam near the top of the planter pot.
Begin making the shape of the cupcake using the foam. THIS IS IMPORTANT: Do a layer or two, let it dry-ish, do the next layer, let it dry... etc. Do not try to make the cupcake all at once, it will flop over.
When the foam is drying, and it's sticky, slap the ornaments in there, then let it finish drying more before moving to the next layer.
The Gingerbread House
This was inspired by my neighbor, who decorated their grandkid's playhouse for Halloween! Everything was adhered to the house by hot glue, because it will rip right off when we are done. Yard decor is kept in place with rebar, and stakes.
I used snow blanket for this and it's held up really well through the rain/wind/snow/frost.
Made from 4" paper mache eggs (bottom cutoff), painted, then coated with thick clear glitter.
Cut foam balls in half AND you can use the bottoms from the paper mache eggs (paint them), and glue!
Use a foam noodle, cut it into three pieces, wrap it in candy cane paper, then wrap it in clear cellophane.
Simply blow up bouncy balls and wrap them in cellophane!
Candy Cane Lane
Use different widths of PVC pipe, wrap them in red duck tape. I also added left over bulbs to the larger PVC pipes for fun.
Changes for Next Year
More lights for the gingerbread house and candy cane lane.
Cut the candy cane lane pipes in half, they are a bit too tall.
No giant ornaments.