Crafting the Marshmallow PEEPS Carousel

Some people see sugary marshmallow chicks and think, "Look, dessert!" Me, I'm the sicko who thinks, "Hm, what I can glue them to?"

Actually, I'd been wanting to try my hand at making a cardboard Christmas village house, ever since I got my hands on some vintage-style cottages for the winter holidays. But when I realized there were extra Marshmallow Peeps lurking from last Easter's Peep Garland project just going to waste (er... curing) (click here if you'd missed that), ... well, the project took a suddenly Peeposterous turn.

"Why not build a cardboard carousel?" my brain mused. "In Easter colors! With Peeps Chicks instead of horses! And marshmallow rabbit onlookers?!"

(Yes, total suspension of disbelief is one of the primary rules for effective Peep crafting.)

The first step was to get the cardboard. This all involved stuff I would have thrown out otherwise-- the backs of used writing tablets, paper towel rolls, and parts of old boxes.

For the base, I made a pattern in Microsoft Word out of boxes-- a large square which would be the platform, surrounded by narrow rectangles of equal size all around it, to bend down and give the platform dimension. I printed this out as my template, and traced it onto the cardboard. I made four of those, cutting a circle in the center of two of them, that would allow the paper towel roll to fit through snugly.

I painted and glittered each of these pieces separately, so that way the paint job would be a little more pristine-- especially since I'd wanted to use a lot of different colors. The paints were Folk Art acrylics, and the glitter was Martha Stewart brand from Michaels. I used Martha's glitter glue, too.

Here's a close-up of the tube, so you can see the carousel "mural." I'd glued and painted four egg-shaped "windows" onto the carousel center featuring roughly-painted Peeps scenes... Mainly because it made me laugh...

Next, I made the roof. This was rough, given I'm apparently dimensionally-impaired. And it actually took me several tries to figure out how to make flat cardboard fold into a four-sized peaked roof. You can see the pattern of the four triangles laid out here...

When I made the roof the first time, it was huge. Really, really big. Like, one big wind in Peepville would blow the whole carousel over and cause major lawsuits. So I had to make it about half the size I originally did. You can see the giant pyramid here...

Next I poked four holes into the top and bottom base boxes using a Phillips head screwdriver, and skewered one Peep each through a plastic drinking straw. (Got a whole pack for $1 in Easter colors at CVS.) Then I fitted each Peep-on-a-stick into place, and put a bit of craft glue around both the paper towel roll in the center (top and bottom) and around the end of each straw. Then I glued the top and bottom boxes onto the piece. I also glued the more modest-sized roof to the top roof box, and glued and glittered those together to be more seamless.

The pink trim was simply strips of box carboard peeled apart from each other to create that ribbed look, and then trimmed on the top with pinking shears. These were painted, glittered and cut to fit.

Each Peep was moved into carousel position by using a cotter pin to hold it in place while a dollop of glue dried to affix it permanently.

Lastly the carousel was affixed onto its "grass" glitter platform. That base is just some cardboard that came with a calendar, and glued onto a heavier box cardboard for more stability. It was painted, glittered, and the carousel was stuck to it...

A blue and a pink bunny Peep were added to the scene, waiting in line for the ride. (Why, may I ask, are the marshmallow rabbits called "Peeps," too? Ah, just one of the mysteries of life...)

Things I'd do differently if I did this again? I would make the entire piece rounded instead of square. Also, I really don't feel the structure would pass Peepville building codes; edges aren't as flush as I'd like, things don't sit quite as flat as I'd hoped, so I'd be more meticulous about how I cut my patterns.

All in all, though, it's a funny display for the house, and a great way for a little trash-t0-treasure fun at the Easter holiday. Hope you had fun during this magical moment of Peep entertainment!

For those of you who missed the post on my thrift-store-decorated work office, click here. Otherwise I hope you see you for this next Treasure Box Wednesday, when we uncover some orphaned saucers, some springy plates for $1 and I become reacquainted with a bowl like my mother's which I'd thought was lost to the sands o' time.

Thanks, as always, for being a part of it all! I just love that you folks stop by!


Lidian said...

That is really cute! And I can't wait for Treasure Box Wednesday, I love seeing what you have found!

Anonymous said...

Looks good enough to eat!

Jenn Thorson said...

Lidian- I'm glad you're enjoying it! It's always fun to pull together.

Pam- I think the glitter would be a bit crunchy. :)

woof nanny said...

I just discovered this blog and am seriously enjoying it!

Rosemary said...

You are the queen of glitter for today!! I love it. It's adorable. What a cute idea. I love Martha's glitter and glue.
I have been making my birthday cake boxes today. They look as yours does, good enough to eat. When I was little I would let the peeps sit out until they got really hard, then I would eat them.
Thanks so much for sharing you sweet ideas with us Jenn.
Have a wonderful week.
p.s. isn't it fun to clean up glitter?

RecycleCindy said...

What an outstanding craft project! Just in time for an Easter Peep Carousel ride.

SewDelish said...

Love it, thanks!

Jenn Thorson said...

WoofNanny- Thanks a bunch! I'm so glad you're enjoying it!

Rosemary- Ah, I know you're the REAL queen of glitter-- I can only be maybe a handmaiden or somethin'. And yes, all that glitters is, well, currently on my living room floor at the moment. I keep finding it places, after having thought I'd gotten it all!

Cindy- hey, thanks! I think it still needs a little something but I'm not sure what yet. No project is ever really done, is it?

Sewdelish- lovely to have you visit! Nice to see you.

Trish D said...

How fun is this?!? The "murals" are too stinkin cute!

Greg said...

Well, this was CERTAINLY worth the anticipation built up waiting for the unveiling--what an excellent job!! The colors are perfect, it's cheery and fun...on the whole, I'll have to give you a 10 out of 10: Peep-tastic!!

Glad you've got a little time to clean up all that glitter before Easter!

: )

Jenn Thorson said...

Trish- Glad you got a chuckle! And thanks for visiting.

Greg- You've been saving "Peep-tastic," haven't you? I know how you work.... :)

Anonymous said...

Hi there! We've been enjoying family and friends about your project. Expect more traffic. :-) By the way, Peeps were originally just the little chicks (blobs). The rabbits were made to add to the brand. Then there were black cats, white ghosts, and pumpkins for Halloween. And then Christmas trees. I think Just Born got the peeps and the name from another company when they merged.
--becki (who used to live within walking distance of the JB plant)

Barbra said...

Adorable! Love those PEEPS!

Cape Ann Auction said...

It's so great to see wonderful, fun things such as this being made out of vintage and recycled materials.

I think we should have a new rule on the planet. "No new stuff until you've used up all the old!"
Much, like no dessert until you eat your veggies.

Obviously, that's a very vague and naive statement if you take it literally, but we would do well to adopt the spirit of it.

Thanks again for a great post, I'll check in soon.

Jenn Thorson said...

Becki- Ah, you're like the resident "Cliff Claven" of Cheers... I should have known I could count on you to know obscure trivia like the history of the Peep manufacturing company. :)

Barbra- thanks for the visit!

Hiya, Wally-- good of you to stop by and thanks for sharing that little bit of philosophy. Certainly there's a lot of enjoyment still to be had with vintage and discarded things. You know that as well as anyone, when you send interesting old treasures on their way to new homes.

Mary L. Briggs said...

Now that is just adorable!! You have the best ideas, Jenn. And sooo creative, I mean, who would believe all the things that one can 'create' with peeps:)?! I think you should write "The Peep Craft Book". I promise to buy a copy! (Only if it's autographed, of course!).

Amongst The Oaks said...

The Peeps Carousel is so cute. What a great idea. My kids have fond memories of peeps because our dear neighbor used to give them peeps every Easter. They never ate them, don't like the taste I guess. But peeps always say "Easter" here Amongst The Oaks.
Hugs, Laura

HouseholdWords said...

Thanks for sharing your cute project :)

Distressing Delilah a.k.a. jenn said...

That is priceless! What fun!

Stephanie said...

Cute! Too bad I'm eating my peeps right now and not thinking of something creative instead. :P

Unknown said...

Handmade and gorgeous!
Definetely 5 stars!
Oups, sorry, we're not on Squidoo ;-)
However, I love this carousel!

Jenn Thorson said...

Thanks, Gang! I admit, regarding eating Peeps, I prefer the taste of the yellow ones. I don't know why, I think it's a texture thing. Their outer coatings seem a little bit... crunchier... to me.

Weird, I know.

Enjoy those Peeps, Stephanie. :)