A mum has created a Valentine’s themed decoration made up of gigantic love heart sweets outside her house - just in time for Valentine’s Day on 14 February.
Holiday loving Carmen Croxall, aged 35, decorates her home throughout the year to reflect the various holidays - including Halloween and Christmas. Her most recent festive design for Christmas 2022 saw her transform her home in to a giant gingerbread house.
The mum-of-two has now spent just a week planning and decorating the front of her home to create the cascading display that resembled the giant popular sweets - and it’s her first design of 2023.
The larger than life sweets are of course decorated with lovely messages that we’ve all come to associate with them, such as “I love you”, “be happy” and “all mine”.
“I decorate my house for fun”
Croxall, from Exeter, Devon, has become well-known in her local community for her big and bold designs.
Croxall, owner of the Prop Factory, said: “I love to decorate for myself. It’s for fun. I was just going to create a pink door or something small but people kept asking what I was doing so I felt they were expecting something big. I had the idea at the beginning of the week and managed to have it finished by the end. The idea is for the love hearts to look like they are falling from the tube. It’s mostly made from recycled materials.”
Croxall’s two children aren’t quite as impressed as members of the local community though. In similarity to their reaction to her Christmas design, they are quite indifferent when it comes to their thoughts on her Valentine’s Day decorations.
She said: “My 13-year-old saw it out of his window and mumbled something but hasn’t then said a word and my three-year-old doesn’t seem to have noticed.”
From idea to installation, the Valentine’s day project took a week to build. Carmen used a recycled carpet tube and wrapped it in white duct tape, before covering it in a printed love heart sleeve and cellophane.
“I’m already thinking about my next big project”
Croxall, aged 35, used what she described as “reject” giant love hearts from her prop company, plus an additional two sheets of new MDF sheets, to create the show-stopping design. Carmen then put the display together by using a wooden pole and scraps of plastic wire she had lying around. She also used drum shells before positioning the love hearts onto the structure - so they appeared to be flowing from the tube. The overall design cost just £165.
Croxall added: “I used a broken hula hoop to attach the love heart tube at the top.”
Croxall, who has created many designs since first decorating her house in 2020, also tries to recycle as many of her projects as she can so they do not go to waste. Her Christmas 2022 gingerbread house, which is a design complete with biscuit window frames, candy canes and gingerbread men, is being recycled as a carnival float now that the festive season is over.
She said: “The only thing thrown away was the icing. Everything else is being made into a carnival float.”
Croxall plans to keep this design up for just a month, until Valentine’s Day on 14 February, so as not to annoy her neighbours.
She said: “I’m already thinking about my next big project. I want to plan it now so I can do it in stages so it’s not as stressful.”