Follow for more talkers

She loves Christmas so much she turned her home into a gingerbread house

"I love decorating my house!," she said.

Avatar photo



By Charlotte Penketh-King via SWNS

A Christmas lover has transformed her home - into a giant gingerbread house.

Carmen Croxall, 34, spent two weeks decorating the front of her rented home in Exeter, Devon, England.

And she says the end result is "next level" - having decorated the property several times in the last 18 months.

The latest design is complete with biscuit window frames, candy canes and gingerbread men.

And Carmen, who runs a props business, says around 70 percent of the house is made from recycled materials.

The fake gingerbread brickwork is made from water-resistant MDF and the chocolates are old milk cartons covered in cellophane.

Her lollipop sticks are made from wooden dowel offcuts and an old drainage pipe and the pink icing is fabric leftover from a previous project and ball pit balls.

Mom-of-two Carmen, owner of the Prop Factory, finished the house over the weekend.

And although the wet weather has proved to be a big test to how durable her decorations are, she believes the gingerbread house this year is her best project yet.

"I love decorating my house!," she said.

"It all started in 2020 - I had an events company and had dressed events for eight years but, after nine months of not doing it, I had a huge void.

"At the same time, we changed our business and started selling products.

"I'd just sold my house and was due to move out too, so those three things led to my first crazy transformation.

"My new landlord said I could decorate so I did my whole house for Halloween and last Christmas, I did a pink kitsch theme with a festive Tyrannosaurus Rex outside.

"Now, I've gone next level!"

Carmen says the project was relatively inexpensive, putting her biggest outlay at £300 ($346) for the Velcro.

"I didn't spend too much as I managed to scrounge a lot from my work," she said.

"The bricks are damaged MDF that we couldn't use; the lollipop sticks are wooden dowel off cuts and an old drain pipe.

"The two main costs were the Velcro at £300 and wadding which made the snow at £90, plus a few new sheets of MDF.

"The snow is made from wadding.

"I put colorful cellophane over old milk cartons for the Quality Street chocolates but had to add clear cellophane over the top as the colorful sheets leaked in the rain.

"It's all stuck on with very heavy duty velcro - each brick has enough velcro to hold up 28kg!

"I tested this theory for a few months prior to doing this and found it worked if the brick work behind them didn't get wet.

"I had to cover the whole house so water couldn't get to the real bricks, and I also used an air compressed staple gun to make a lattice between bricks.

"It went from an idea to a finished thing in just two weeks. I was in this zone where I was so focused on finishing it that I didn't even appreciate it until it was done.

"I love it, I'm really happy with how it looks - but now that it's done, I'm already thinking about what I can do next!"

Carmen added that she's not heard from her landlord - usually a good sign - and her neighbors seem happy.

"I've emailed my landlord pictures and told him what I've done. He hasn't replied so normally that means he is fine," she said.

"I think he just likes peace and quiet.

"My neighbors seem to be happy! They said they they liked it."

And, as for her kids' reactions, she said: "I have a 13-year-old who isn't impressed at all, and my three-year-old doesn't seem that phased. I think he might be used to it!

Stories and infographics by ‘Talker Research’ are available to download & ready to use. Stories and videos by ‘Talker News’ are managed by SWNS. To license content for editorial or commercial use and to see the full scope of SWNS content, please email [email protected] or submit an inquiry via our contact form.

Top Talkers