Psst: Peeps Are Modern Art
Consider a few highbrow ways to decorate with those kitschy treats. (Decor is Peeps, too.)
Signs of the season are popping up all over the place: The cherry trees in Washington, D.C. are nearing peak bloom (early, no less), the still-delightful Cadbury Bunny Tryouts commercial is back on the airwaves (never change, Cadbury lion) ... and Peeps are staging their annual full-scale neon assault on drugstores and our collective consciousness.
That, in turn, means the Racine Art Museum in Wisconsin is gearing up for its 8th Annual International Peeps Art Competition. The RAM invites artists of all ages from around the country to create pieces for the challenge, and last year the resulting exhibition drew more than 4,000 visitors (not too shabby for a bunch of marshmallows). Want to enter? You can find a downloadable entry form and rules here (note that no food materials other than Peeps are accepted, and you’re going to have to figure out how to get your entry to Wisconsin between March 10th and 19th). Want to bask in the sugary glow of previous artists’ work, or follow in their footsteps and Peep up your own place? Here are a few of our favorite takes on the theme.
Last year Jim Deibler and the staff of Sew ‘n Save took home the New Media Award for stitching up a cotton-and-thread “Peep Mobile” tapestry. Ants would find little to appreciate here, but we imagine the Vatican might get a kick out of it. (Note that the Peep Mobile shouldn’t be confused with the Peepster, a Peep-Volkswagen hybrid that tours the country from time to time—steering clear of tunnels, one hopes.)
Kate Fons (Milwaukee) whipped up an "Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Peep-a-Dot Bikini" and gave her entry a bronzed glow, proving that a vignette with a single Peep can be quite striking (and that Peeps are beach-ready, provided that you’re ready to defend them from seagulls). Seaside cottage, meet your new Peep-related decor.
Monica Leonard of Germantown, Wis., went meta with last year’s “Art of the Peep,” which leaves us ever so slightly worried that if we looked closely at the works in her tiny gallery and saw another Peep painting therein, we’d become trapped in an infinite time-space-marshmallow loop that kept going on and on forever. Safety first! (But inserting a Peep into well-known art if you happen to be fond of doodling or Photoshop is a pretty solid idea.)
If you’re comfortable with going heavy on the Peeps, in turn, consider a wreath; with a simple fabric or foam base, a few packages of Peeps, and some shredded green paper (since plastic Easter grass, like glitter, makes its way into your life and never, ever leaves), a door garland like this is dead simple.
Held in place with bamboo skewers, Peeps function like blooms in a spring bouquet (and can make any arrangement holiday-specific in a few seconds—perfect for party decor you want to pop in and out of your space with minimum fuss).
Peeps, candy grass, and jelly beans come together in a showstopping Easter centerpiece by Michelle from Crafty Morning. Visit her site for a full tutorial—and note that the key to combining candy with flowers (when you’re ready to take things past the Peeps-on-skewers stage) is to arrange your stems and water in a smaller vase within a larger one containing your sweet decorations.
Still thinking about that Peep Mobile from the RAM show? Whip up some Peeps Bunny Bunting a la the fiendishly clever Dana Willard of MADE Everyday. (You can find instructions for her bunting and door hangers here.)
“Brilliant,” you say, "but I tend to glue my fingers together and I haven’t touched my sewing machine since that time I tried to make a quilt out of old blue jeans and nearly maimed the cat. How about some Peeps goodness other clever hands have put together?” But of course.
An 8-by-10-inch archival giclée print of Sarah Melling’s colored-pencil Peep drawing is $18 in her Etsy shop.
The Peeps & Company online store is ready to sweeten your sofa with plush Peeps of all sizes (that three-footer, kind of a piece of furniture all on its own, is $99.99)...
...to round up your keys (sterling silver keychain, $74.99)...
...and to inspire some truly epic office conversations. “Oh hey, is that Murano glass?” “No no, it’s a Peep-erweight.” (This hand-sculpted glass Peep with Swarovski crystal eyes can be your desk’s high-low hero for $99.99.)