Chirlin works for a company that designs virtual-reality goggles, and he relied on his experience with 3-D computer modeling to create the basic structure. "I built the house using a computer first, and figured out what kind of pieces I needed to cut out of wood," he says. "Then I just bought plywood, drew the pieces on it and cut them out."
After forming the basic structure from plywood, the duo snipped popsicle sticks to create the siding, scalloped lattice and shingled roof. Ettle, a field director for the Girl Scouts, painted the house in a palette of pastels and created the balloons by covering a large foam egg with chunks of Peeps.
The diorama re-creates the moment in the film when the house takes flight, with the elderly widower Carl tucked away inside and Russell the Boy Scout clinging to the front door. "We've always liked Pixar movies," Chirlin says. "We saw 'Up' this year, and it seemed like a logical progression from 'Wall-E' to 'Up.' And we thought the balloon would look really good with Peeps on it."
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