I think I should mention now that last year I made a gingerbread house (I swore never to make one again...) I thought it was really hard to make, getting everything to align properly,
'grand designs' had nothing on that house!
All you do is smoother the two cakes with buttercream, (I did two layers and allowed each layer to set in the fridge) sprinkle the second buttercream layer with coconut (I added cake glitter too), and then make a few additions out of sugar paste to bring it to life. You could use sweets for the buttons/eyes etc and things like liquorice for the mouth/scarf to make it easier. I used strawberry laces for the scarf and made coal like buttons and the mouth from black sugar paste. A carrot was made from orange sugar paste and a clove. I put my cake on a chopping board covered with foil and I added some of those little battery powered led lights around the cake (3 x £10 from M&S). It was quite effective.