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Cambridgeshire family creates a ‘gingerbread’ house



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This beautifully decorated house in Girton – described as a “huge labour of love” – is a real feast for the eyes.

The gingerbread decorated house in Girton by Caroline Gray Ford. Picture: Keith Heppell
The gingerbread decorated house in Girton by Caroline Gray Ford. Picture: Keith Heppell

It is the work of artist and children’s book illustrator Caroline Gray Ford and husband Sage, who turned their home into a giant gingerbread house, complete with giant gumdrops, chocolate drops and lollipops.

Most of it was handmade from everyday items – like insulation tubing, paper plates, paper cups, styrofoam – painted and coated with resin.

Caroline, 35, said: “Throughout the lockdown, we’ve been doing different window displays – and then when Christmas was coming up, my husband said: ‘We need to go big, we need to do something really exciting. Why don’t we do a gingerbread house?’

“I felt like if we were going to do that, it needed to be really big. So around mid-November I started planning it, and then we started building everything at night after the kids had gone to bed, using stuff from Homebase and B&Q – insulation pipes and tubing, that sort of thing.”

The gingerbread decorated house in Girton by Caroline Gray Ford, pictured here with her son Cosmo. Picture: Keith Heppell
The gingerbread decorated house in Girton by Caroline Gray Ford, pictured here with her son Cosmo. Picture: Keith Heppell

Caroline, who has also lived in the US and moved to Cambridgeshire seven years ago, continued: “The shape of our house already mimics a gingerbread house so we thought, ‘Yes, this is perfect’ – and we’re hoping to build on it next year, by adding more and more.

“In 2021, we’re going to go ‘full gingerbread’. We’re going to try and do the top of the house, the gables, and we might make a grotto at the front of the house – maybe something even for people to come and take pictures in, because so many people walk by and stop and take pictures, so we thought we’d make a little set-up where people can sit. We’re going to go three times bigger with it, I think...”

Caroline Gray Ford's house. Picture: Caroline Gray Ford
Caroline Gray Ford's house. Picture: Caroline Gray Ford

Although the majority of the ‘sweets’ were made with household materials, real food was also used.

“I made the wreath on the door out of real candy, all glued on – it’s just covered in varnish,” revealed Caroline, who said the response from the community has been great: "I’ve met all sorts of new neighbours who I’d never met before, just coming by and saying, ‘This is so exciting’. It’s been really good.

“We did something for Hallowe’en as well, so after that there were some kids saying, ‘What are you going to do for Christmas?’ So we knew we had to do something for Christmas-time and it’s been really fun for us – to keep us entertained as a family, but also a nice way to cheer up the neighbourhood.”

Meanwhile, Caroline’s new illustrated book, Big Sister Baabara, was recently published by Hachette.

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