How Many Balloons Does it Take to Make a Gingerbread House?

We love decorating West Town Mall’s entrance for the annual arrival of Santa! Every year, we get the opportunity to use our creative juices to design completely new decor that will delight the several hundred children who come to see Santa arrive, and this event always comes on the heels of when we come from home from several days at an exciting balloon convention (FLOAT). So we are naturally very inspired to try new designs and techniques. This year was no different.

At FLOAT, Rachel attended a class on weaving with large balloons. I knew I wanted to create a gingerbread house for Santa’s arrival, so we decided to use the new technique to build the house. We loved it! While the technique was time consuming (probably because it was new to us), it was so fun to do and created a real log cabin look.

The entire scene featured 3 decorated Christmas trees that were surrounded with snow and two of the newest foil balloon designs–the North Pole sign and a skating penguin. On the right was a 6′ x 5′ gingerbread house complete with a fluffy snow-covered roof top and gum drops. Candy cane swirls adorned each corner. Finally, 12 4′ tall candy canes created the stanchions that kept the children off the road while they waited in anticipation of Santa’s arrival.

It was great fun watching the little ones’ eyes open wide in amazement and then see them pose with happy grins on while their parents took photos–sure wish I could put photos of the kids in this post!

After the event was over, we disassembled the gingerbread house, “gingerly” loaded it in the van and the following day took it to A. L. Lotts Elementary where we very “gingerly” reassembled it in their lobby. Lotts Elementary is one of our area schools that annually makes several gingerbread houses for the Fantasy of Trees (annual fundraiser for Children’s Hospital) so our super-sized house was perfect for their lobby. What was so fun for us was the reactions of the kids as they were heading to gym class. “Whoa look at that!” “That’s awesome!” “How are you doing that?” “Can I pop it?” “I want to eat it!” “Can I have one?” and tons of other kid perfect statements.

While we were building the house again, it was so incredibly fun because of the kids and their reactions. The best was when a second grade girl came down the hall and was stopped in her tracks. She grabbed both hands of her best friend and with wide open eyes exclaimed, “Oh..my…gosh…that’s…the…cutest…thing…I’ve…ever…seen!” And that’s exactly how she said it–very slowly and deliberately with complete excitement and appreciation. Love it!

The older kids were quite inquisitive wanting to know all sorts of things so we created a sign to give them info. Like there were over 800 balloons in the house; it took over 19 man hours to put it together, there was no framework inside, and of course, that the fun ladies at Above the Rest created it and that we’d be delighted to create designs for any of their celebrations.

I sure do love what we create, especially when we get to see so many people amazed and excited! Balloons are one amazing medium indeed and am excited to be decorating for the upcoming holdays! Feel free to call and we’ll add fun to your holiday celebrations!

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