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Pick of the Peeps: Peeps dioramas serve up a candy-colored take on pop culture

Our fourth annual Washington Post Peeps Diorama Contest drew more than 1,100 sugar-inspired entries. See the winner -- a candy-colored take on the movie "Up" -- and 37 of our favorites.


"The Mad Hatter's Peep Party"

by Amy Billingham, 36, Kensington; Lauren Emeritz, 27, and Rob Black, 40, Washington

Partners at a small graphic design firm in the District, Billingham, Emeritz and Black spent roughly 50 hours assembling their first-ever diorama, a colorful rendition of the tea party scene from "Alice in Wonderland."

"We've wanted to enter for the last couple years because it seemed like a fun competition," Emeritz says. "This time, we remembered before it happened, instead of after," Billingham adds.

Built primarily of Sculpey oven-bake clay, the diorama features a hand-sculpted table and chairs, tiny paper lanterns attached to LED lights, and Billingham's favorite touch, a row of bunny-shaped topiaries. The trio scooped up a branch felled by a snowstorm and glued on leaves to create the miniature tree that arches over the scene. "So no trees were harmed in the making of this diorama," Black says.

Noting the team's attention to detail, Billingham gives kudos to Emeritz for her skillful crafting of the table and chairs. "I was most amazed by the chairs, and by all the work that was done on the furniture," Black says. "I saw the rough schematics before I went home one night to work on the backdrop, and came back and saw all these incredible pieces." Black put his Photoshop skills to the test to create the backdrop, while Billingham made paper clothes for Alice, the Mad Hatter and the White Rabbit.

The finishing touch? A doll-sized plate piled with tiny clay bunny Peeps, made by Billingham. "We thought you might get a lot of 'Alice in Wonderland' ones," she says, "so we figured we'd better make our individual pieces as kick-butt as possible."


Photos: Peeps Show IV

Live Q&A: Talk Peeps with Holly E. Thomas Wednesday at 12 ET

Videos: Closer looks at our five finalists

More: Complete Peeps coverage

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