Monday, December 10, 2012

How To Make A Gingerbread House-Get Started

Christmas decorating at the cabin
 isn't complete until the gingerbread
house is on display.  Of all the holiday
baking I enjoy this the most.

Over the years I have made dozens of 
gingerbread houses for Christmas,
Easter and even Halloween.   My children
and my 2 nieces loved to be my helpers. 
 I realized long ago that the gingerbread
house should be FUN to make.  I've learned
that it's okay if the walls are crooked and
the windows don't match.  Children can
create some very unique colorful trees and 
a wonky candy cane fence will do just fine. 
 We've created some houses that would make
Martha Stewart cringe, but to us they were
 confection perfection!
    All you need is a little planning
 and don't expect to make it in
 a day!  I hope you enjoy the
next several posts......   

The first step to making a gingerbread
house is picking out the CANDY.
 Let your imagination be your guide!
A green candy cane tree,
this would be cute inside a
gingerbread house.
Candy cane sticks.  They could be posts,
  a porch stoop, or even the North Pole. 
Delicate ribbon candy would make a
hedge.  Small candy canes can become
a fence.  Crushed candy canes could
decorate a tree, be a sidewalk or path.
Chocolate rocks.
I see a stone chimney
or walkway.
Chocolate nonpareils big or small
make wonderful roof shingles.
So do wafer candies and shredded
wheat sliced in half.
Rock candy makes colorful shrubbery
and comes in lots of colors. 
Bushes galore.
Sugar cones are the perfect base
for a frosting Christmas tree sprinkled
with colorful sugar or nonpareils. 
Be on the lookout as you do your
shopping.  I have often purchased
candy all throughout the year.
Easier on the pocketbook too.
I am going to make this house with 2
decorating bags, 2 couplers and 2
decorating tips.  I use a small bag
because I have arthritis and a small
hand.  Purchase a larger bag if
you can handle a larger size. 
Less re-loading! 
A #12 round and a #22 star.
Or a big round tip and big star tip.
Also Wilton juniper green color.
A small investment if you don't
have any cake decorating supplies.
 Pick a sturdy base for your house.  
Gingerbread houses can get heavy.  This
 is a piece of floral Styrofoam about
12 by 18 inches.
It's very sad if your base bends when
you move it and your house lands on
the floor in a heap.  All that work
for naught.
Pretty ribbon to cover the edge.
If you want larger Christmas trees,
you can buy Styrofoam cones.  They
come in assorted sizes.
I think it's okay to use non edible items
to decorate with.  When the holidays
were over and my kids decided to
get at the candy, they were big
 enough to know the difference
between the candy and the plastic
stuff.  When they were small I kept
it out of reach.  So, what's in the tin of
 old cake toppers?
This little guy has been inside several
houses over the years.  I'll use him
again, make do.  Besides, he's a tradition
 now.  Maybe I'll use the wreaths
 and lamppost too. 
What special ornaments do you
have?  A favored Santa, snowman
or sleigh?  Perhaps an elf? 
You will need a sheet of poster board 
to make a pattern of your house.
Decide where you want your house
to be placed on your base.  I want a
house and small out building.
A few trees too.
The house is a 6 in. square.
The out building is about 2 1/2 in.
I cut 4 walls, 4 and 1/2 in. tall and
6 in. wide. 

I cut out a door and a window pattern
 in a proportionate size for the walls.
I just eyeballed it. 
I traced two windows on the side 
pieces and a door and a window
on the front and back pieces.

I taped the sides together.
I cut 2 roof pieces about 5 1/2 by 7 1/2.
and taped them together.  I wanted some
over hang to the roof.
I taped it to the front and back of
the house,
right where I thought it looked good.
To make the end triangle I measured
from the center top of the side, up to
the peak of the roof.  The bottom of
the triangle is same width as the side.
Draw the connecting lines and cut out.
Take everything apart.
Tape the top and bottom side pieces
together and make it 1 large piece.
Cut out the windows.
2 roof pieces and 1 bottom.
Cut out the doors and windows
of the front and back pieces.  
Keep the doors.
That's the pattern for the house.
A little garden shed?
Same process for the little out building
or any building you choose.
How hard is that?
You can get creative, stack Styrofoam
and create a landscape. Cut out a
space for a battery pack and light
the walkway with little lampposts or
cut out a removable circle for a
battery tea light.
  Maybe yours will be a mouse
house, or country church with a tiny
nativity.  How about a farmhouse
with a barn and animals?
Stay tuned!


  1. What a fun post! I can't wait to see how yours turns out!

  2. An inspirational and fun post! It has been years since I helped my children make a gingerbread house! Cant wait to see yours!

  3. You got my curiosity going...I have to say I have never made a Gingerbread House. I will keep watching to see your progress. Looks like fun!


  4. This will fun to watch as it develops! The chocolate rocks look pretty real, you know? :~)

  5. So interesting. I have never made a gingerbread house. I got my nieces some kits, but I don't think they would compare to your original house. a wonderful tradition and you and the kids will always remember the times spent together making the houses.

  6. IF I were only younger .....looks like fun!

  7. I love making Gingerbread houses - can't wait to see!!


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