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Gingerbread Carl's House from Pixar's UP

"Gingerbread Carl's House from Pixar's UP"

Just finished, the house is waiting to be taken to the Edridge for display.
Gingerbread Carl's House from Pixar's UP Front View

"Gingerbread Carl's House from Pixar's UP"

The front of Carl's House... the colorful siding was made our of home-made pastillage or gum paste, a mixture of powdered sugar, gelatin and water.
Gingerbread Carl's House from Pixar's UP

"Gingerbread Carl's House from Pixar's UP"

Only a single baloon is attached at this point.
Gingerbread Carl's House from Pixar's UP displayed at Eldridge hotel in Lawrence, KS

"Carl's House from Pixar's UP at the Eldridge Extended"

The gingerbread house sits on display at the Eldride hotel in Lawrence, KS. This will be the 15th annual gingerbread auction for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Douglas County.
Gingerbread Carl's House from Pixar's UP displayed at Eldridge hotel in Lawrence, KS

"Front Yard"

The house has a yard made out of toasted coconut colored green, a green gingrebread hose and gingerbread porch rails.
Gingerbread Carl's House from Pixar's UP displayed at Eldridge hotel in Lawrence, KS

"Carl's Mail Box and Fence"

The fence was made from gum paste or pastillage and royal icing... the windows were gelatin sheets and the curtains were made with rice paper and colored with food color marking pens
Gingerbread Carl's House from Pixar's UP displayed at Eldridge hotel in Lawrence, KS

"Roof and Chimeny"

Again Greg used pastillage for the roof shilgles and bricks... they dry rock hard overnight and can be cut by scoring them like tile and then snapping them along the score mark. Brown royal icing was used as mortar for the fireplace.
Gingerbread Carl's House from Pixar's UP displayed at Eldridge hotel in Lawrence, KS

"Yellow Shingles"

The first set of shingles were made from home-made fondant. The yellow shingles used on the front dormer ended up very fragile and crumbled when touched so these were the only shingles made of fondant on the house.
Gingerbread Carl's House from Pixar's UP displayed at Eldridge hotel in Lawrence, KS

"Carl's House"

Another view of the front of the house...
Gingerbread Carl's House from Pixar's UP displayed at Eldridge hotel in Lawrence, KS

"Orange Lap Siding"

The right side of the house was covered with orange lap siding and pink shingles.
Gingerbread Carl's House from Pixar's UP displayed at Eldridge hotel in Lawrence, KS

"The Base"

The base was 24" by 24" and only 1/4" thick. It bows when picked up and caused issues with breaking the picket fence. 3/4" particle board should have been used. A sheet of sturdy board or plywood can be slid under large bases like a giant spatula before picking them up to prevent bending if your find yourself facing a flimsy base dilemma.
Gingerbread Carl's House from Pixar's UP displayed at Eldridge hotel in Lawrence, KS

"Gingerbread Windows"

Because most of the gingerbread was going to be covered with pastillage, Greg wanted to make sure there was some gingerbread displayed on the house, so when he placed the white window trim, he left some of the gingrebread showing to create window frames.
Gingerbread Carl's House from Pixar's UP displayed at Eldridge hotel in Lawrence, KS

"Blue Fascia Boards"

Again, blue pastillage was use to make the fascia boards. It was very difficult to trim or adjust once they hardened because they were very thin and brittle. Many of them broke and had to be replaced or repaired.
Gingerbread Carl's House from Pixar's UP displayed at Eldridge hotel in Lawrence, KS

"Carl's Porch"

The porch rails were simply thin gingerbread strips cut and sanded down to match then fixed in place with royal icing.
Gingerbread Carl's House from Pixar's UP displayed at Eldridge hotel in Lawrence, KS

"Raw Gingerbread"

Both the stepping stone path and green hose were made from raw/uncooked gingrebread. Unbaked gingrebread has it's own unique look and holds it's shape well and can be manipulated like modeling clay.
Gingerbread Carl's House from Pixar's UP displayed at Eldridge hotel in Lawrence, KS

"Greg and His Gingrebread House"

Here is a picture of Greg looking worn out in front of his gingrebread house after two long days (and nights) of little sleep in order to finish it for the show's deadline. He spent over 3 weeks working on the project, putting in well over 40 hours of labor.

A note from Greg: "Tanya helped me out a lot... she spent hours in the kitchen sifting, mixing and blending flour, sugar, etc... to make the dough and icing I needed to finish my house, without her help it would not have happened...

...I love you Honey!"
Gingerbread Carl's House from Pixar's UP displayed at Eldridge hotel in Lawrence, KS


Greg added Carl to the house.
Gingerbread Carl's House from Pixar's UP displayed at Eldridge hotel in Lawrence, KS

"Modeling chocolate"

Carl was made from modeling chocolate.
Gingerbread Carl's House from Pixar's UP displayed at Eldridge hotel in Lawrence, KS

"Carl waits for his turn at auction."

Carl and his house sold for $900 at the auction and won 2nd place.

Gingerbread Empire State Building

A family of gingerbread work

"Gingerbread Empire State Building"

See our 2007 entry of the Empire State Building.
LINK: Gingerbread Empire State Building

Gingerbread Space Shuttle- by Christopher Julian

Gingerbread Space Shuttle

"Jayhawk Santa and Gingerbread Space Shuttle"

Click the photo to see local gingerbread artist Christopher Julian's awsome centerpiece for the 2009 Big Brothers, Big Sisters Gingerbread House Auction at the Eldridge Hotel in Lawrence, KS.

LINK:Gingerbread Space Shuttle and Jayhawk Santa by Christopher Julian


05 Jan 2010, 18:39
Absolutely stunning! You figured out how to solve some of the problems that eluded me (like the fence). Fantastic detail. I'm glad it did so well.

I'm a gingerbread hack but I had a great time making the "Up" house and clearly you did too. Well done. I'm so impressed with your CLEAN detailing and I LOVE the Chocolate Carl.

Our house ended up in a bidding war and eventually sold for $800. I guess we both picked the right theme this year!
Greg Thompson
05 Jan 2010, 20:12
Thanks for the comments Cynthia,

The fence was something I was worried about but Tanya had been making them for her houses in past years so I knew it could be done.

To make the fence, I decided I was not up to piping the fence posts with royal icing as Tanya had in the past. I made gum-paste and modified a cross shaped cookie-cutter to look like the fence posts. It was a quick way to make identical posts very quickly. I let them dry overnight, flipping them once to make sure they did not stick (I always lay out parchment paper under materials I roll out to help prevent sticking).

Then I used a pizza cutter and just cut some long strips for the rails... they are fragile so you have to make more than you think you need...

The final step is to take the fence posts and lay them out upside down (face down) evenly spaced, then apply your royal icing to them where they intersect the rails...
(continued next comment...)
Greg Thompson
05 Jan 2010, 20:21

gently push down to secure the rails to the posts.

Every 4 or so posts, add another fence post face up on-top of the rail (sandwich the rail between the bottom face down fence post and the new face up fence post) On a real fence you could think of these as sturdy 4x4 posts.

Let it dry overnight and you should be able to stand the fence upright in the morning. The double posts should allow it to stand on its own so it should be easy to secure to your base.

One important note... if you are securing a fence to the base, make sure you use a VERY sturdy base that WILL NOT BOW or BEND or your fence will shatter when you move the gingerbread house. Double your base if necessary or slip a piece of plywood under it like a big spatula when moving your house to prevent breakage from the base bending.
11 Jan 2010, 16:17
I was just passing through crafster and saw the photo of your amazing house. My daughters and I loved the movie and thought your house was too adorable. They now want an Up playhouse! I can't bake a thing, but would love to try this little house. Your craft is stunning!

12 Jan 2010, 19:25
I was online looking for toys from the movie Up when I ran across your adorable gingerbread house. My son is just crazy about the movie and I have been trying to figure out how to make one myself. I wont be making one out of gingerbread but I will be making one out of wood. Thank you, you have made such a wonderful house full of details and color along with a chocolate Carl. You should be so proud of the hard work you have done. I hope the one we make will look as beautiful as yours.
14 Jan 2010, 13:22
I just saw the movie and I found your blog through CRAFT blog. I just wanted to say, "AH-MAZING!!!"
Greg Thompson
14 Jan 2010, 13:35
Constructing complicated houses like this can be difficult if you do not plan ahead and have a good idea of exactly what you are building. I always start with a foam-core mock-up of the house and pull it apart and use the pieces as my templates for the gingerbread.

I generally look online for paper-craft versions of the building I want to construct and build the paper model as a reference first. From that point, I can decide how to adapt it into gingerbread and build my plans for the foam-core version.

As I construct the gingerbread version, I usually build it one cookie sheet at a time and test my templates against what is constructed before cutting more gingerbread in order to make sure they still fit where I expect them too, as gingerbread tends to shrink and deform quite a bit in the oven.
14 Jan 2010, 15:11
14 Jan 2010, 16:11
Such a visual and culinary delight! It looks delicious.
14 Jan 2010, 16:44
Wow -- and it only got second place? I want to see pics of first place!
14 Jan 2010, 17:16
absolutely AMAZING!
AND adorable :)
you guys did a magnificent job!
14 Jan 2010, 17:46
i like so much the gingrebread House, congratulations Greg. :)
Saludos desde Chile!
15 Jan 2010, 08:17
WOW! this is so awesome! great job!
15 Jan 2010, 11:59
This is INSANE! I made the most basic and tiny little gingerbread house recently and found it the most frustrating task requiring so much patience and a really delicate touch.
I honestly cannot even beging to imagine how you achieved it, but it is magical and really in the spirit of the film!
Stephanie Hill
15 Jan 2010, 12:05
This is a truly incredible gingerbread house. Congratulations!!
16 Jan 2010, 06:48
Me en-can-ta!!
Impresionante trabajo y precioso acabado, además de perfecta elección del motivo.
17 Jan 2010, 19:07
That's awesome.
Heather Swain from New Zealand
19 Jan 2010, 03:12
Hullo Greg,

What can I say, the house is just simply awesome! I decorate wedding cakes etc. and tried my hand at my first gingerbread house this Christmas. I can really appreciate how difficult and time consuming this project was - congratulations on finishing it and making a simply stunning job. I am sure you are very happy with it :) You are just amazing - such a good job.

I am in awe,

Beth Sangston
08 Mar 2010, 02:04
Just wanted to say that this is AMAZING! I'm actually doing a cake version of this for my sons 3rd bday complete with marshmallow balloons (hopefully lol) I was having alot of problems finding pictures of the house to reference until I found your gingerbread house! Needless to say you made a rather large task seem doable after I saw it has been accomplished (very well in fact) before. These pictures have been a lifesaver when it comes to ideas for making this cake come to life...
Nan from China
17 Mar 2010, 08:55
I just want to build such a house for my friend as a gift, I happend to see this cake house. It's really perfect and I love it very very much. I've already bought paper to build this,but not yet start, maybe in the future I'll construct wood one. I'm just wondering whether this cake has been eaten? :)
elize maritz
12 May 2010, 14:27
amazing one of a kind

Elize George
South Afrika
19 Jun 2010, 11:21
oh my gosh....this is sooooo good. i have never seen anyone do this good before. youre a pro
23 Jul 2010, 16:10
Just ran across your great little house! Our Relay For Life team is using the same house prototype because our theme is "UP Up and Away!" A family member built our (wood, playhouse size) house which will be raffled at the relay in August. I appreciate the time and effort you went to for your house; it's definately a winner! Hope ours is too!
Kerrie Kena
22 Aug 2010, 02:48
Wow, amazing!
18 Sep 2010, 23:33
WOW!! I just found the UP! house searching on Google for some ideas for our local contest this year. It is so wonderful. Thanks for sharing all of the ideas. If I try to replicate your beautiful house, I hope it looks 10% as good as yours.
Shelby Piearce
27 Sep 2010, 20:52
Hi. I am doing a parade at my school and i have chosen to do the movie UP , and I need help on how to built the house. Is there any tips or steps you can help me on how to build the house.
Thank you, Shelby Piearce
Ali V Brown
05 Oct 2010, 07:29
08 Oct 2010, 19:18
Who came first!?
kiauna from los banos , ca
04 Dec 2010, 17:37
i know what i am going to do this year aazing how long did it take you to do it ?
31 Jan 2011, 17:05
Very nice site!
03 Nov 2011, 23:49
LOVE it!!!
06 Nov 2011, 13:29
Hi there,

I loved your UP house. Every year I bake about 35 gingerbread houses to auction off to benefit local charities. I work at an Assisted Living and Memory Care and our residents love the event. This year we are donating to the Parkinsons Foundation. Any way, I was hoping that you could sell me a pattern of the Up house. Of course, my decorating will not be as amazing as yours, but I need the general house pattern to get me started. Please let me know if you could help me out with a pattern.

Jeanette Chidester
Maritza Zaragoza
08 Nov 2011, 22:43
I love this house! I'm a junior in high school, and I'm trying to make this for our gingerbread house project but I'm having so much trouble with the templates! Do you have any tips?
Greg Thompson
09 Nov 2011, 01:26
I created my own pattern, but I started by working with the paper model Disney has here:

I also highly recommend this papercraft model of the house. Don't forget to copy the password from the first page you land on after clicking that link so you can open their PDF. BTW: The link to their PDF is hard to find... look right before the comments at the bottom of the page for the link labeled "Carl's Flying House (UP Movie) template". Their model is very good and worth jumping through the hoops to get.

Once you have the model printed out, I would build it. From there you might blow up the printout and glue it to foam core, and built a 1:1 version of the house with foam-core poster board. Once you have the foam-core version worked out, tear it apart and use it as your template for the gingerbread construction.

If your gingerbread is sticky, you might want to use parchment paper (and also a very thin layer of non-stick spray on the parchment facing the gingerbread) between your foam-core and the gingerbread so it does not stick as you cut around the foam-core. Without the parchment paper barrier to separate the template from the bread as you cut, the foam-core sucks up the moisture from the gingerbread and sticks to the bread. If this happens, the surface of the dough will be ripped off as you pull away the template after making your cut which looks very ugly.
29 Nov 2011, 02:50
i love this!im a junior in highschool and i have a color scheme project for my floral design class and this is exactly what i had in mind and more! ive had the hardest time even finding anything close to this thank you it helps very much just to know this idea is possible.
02 Dec 2011, 12:47
Hi, My friend and I are going to attempt to make this house for our high school cooking project. We were wondering how you made the door and what was placed over top for the screen. Any other ideas for the fence because we wanted to try and make it as simple yet neat as possible. Thank you so much! Your house is so realistic and has such character.
Greg Thompson
03 Dec 2011, 11:39
Hi Alex,

The screen was just black food coloring sprayed on with a air brush. I cut a square hole in a plastic mask and simply gave it a quick shot of color to darken the gingerbread. I might suggest scoring your raw-gingerbread before baking it where you want the screen. You could just leave it like that after, or use some frosting on it and then wipe it off leaving the frosting in the grooves. Either dark or light frosting color for the fill would likely look nice. I would probably just leave the groves unfilled. If you don't have an air brush, you can find food color markers/pens at cake shops you can use to simply draw on the gingerbread.

We just finished our houses for 2011 and we used the scoring method on the pre-cooked bread to make the features on our doors. We also used a straw to cut out little holes it kind of looks like a screen.

I'll try to post some photos of the new houses later today.

Good Luck!
03 Dec 2011, 12:13
Coolest gingerbread house....EVER!