Every Easter I get excited for the Washington Post Peeps Show Contest . I am amazed at people’s creativity when it comes to the sugar coated spring treats. This year I decided to put my crafty skills and useless knowledge of pop culture to work. I am proud to say I created a pretty fantastic marshmallow masterpiece based on one of my favorite guilty pleasure reality TV shows: The Bachelor.
Want to build one of your own? Here’s how:
1. Pick a Theme
You want to select a theme that people will be able to immediately recognize and be able to identify with. Try perusing current news events, trending pop culture (Real Housewives of Peepville), or a movie that has a huge cult following (The Big Lebowski). Other factors to consider when choosing a theme: decide what specific scene you are going to recreate and how labor intensive it will be to make your vision come to life. Laser beams, explosions, and detailed backdrop are all details that might take you a little longer to create but will take your Peep scene to the next level.
2. To the Drawing Board
Sketch out how you want the scene to look. This will help you visualize how many Peeps you will need, their placement, and scene props. With only 1 photo to get your vision across the devil is really in the details so make sure you include everything.
3. Shop it: Round Up Your Peeps
With your prop list in hand, get shopping! This was a really fun experience for me because my creative thinking went into overdrive. Bottle caps became table tops, toothpicks became rose stems, and paper clips became fashionable earrings. While you are perusing think small, Peeps are only 2 inches tall, but keep your imagination big. You don’t need to break the bank either, I hit the local dollar store and stocked up on all kinds of goodies for less than $20.00. Also, don’t underestimate the raw materials you have on hand at home. Scour those junk drawers and desk for miniature inspiration.
4. Build & Decorate the Set
Cardboard boxes work great as mini set walls. You can see in the photos below that I reinforced the walls with support legs (also cut out of cardboard) and made sure to weigh it down with a canning jar so there were no construction accidents during the photo shoot. Advice for decorating the set: less is more. Include a couple unique details but don’t go overboard, items like windows, curtains, and wall sconces go a long way. You don’t want to distract from the glory of your Peeps.
5. Get Your Peeps Camera Ready
This was my favorite part of the whole process! Armed with a glue gun, felt scraps, tissue paper, ribbon, and markers I transformed a childhood treat into red carpet ready Peeplebrites. While getting Peeps into their wardrobe be sure not to apply hot glue directly to their skin, they are pretty sensitive and will melt. You should also have a “stand in” Peep that is used for measurements and to test out clothing and accessory options. Markers work great for makeup, tattoos, and facial expressions just make sure they are fine tip.
6. Dress Rehearsal
Before you shoot the big scene you are going to want to set up your camera for a few test shots. During the dress rehearsal pay attention to details like lighting, environment, and camera angles. If you are using a light source try it from different positions (overhead, off to the side, or even with a filter!), try shooting a couple images from another angle besides straight on, and try a different environment besides indoors (natural light is great!). With a scene this small it is an inches game and even the smallest adjustments can make a huge impression on the end result.
7. Peeps, Camera, Action!
It’s time, taking the perfect shot should only mean pushing the shutter button.
In addition to the Peep Diorama photo I also opted to film a time lapse video of the setup for your viewing pleasure. My friends I present to you:
Bachelor Peeps: The Rose Ceremony