Gingerbread Houses the Easy Way

7 days until ChristmasEvery year one of my favorite traditions is having a gingerbread house decorating party. The first party I remember was in 6th grade (lets not think about how long ago that was em-kay?). We made “gingerbread” houses in our class at school. They were so much fun that mom had us make them every year after that. What ever friends and family happened to be over at the time also joined in on the fun.

And the fun is not just for the kids. Each year both the adults and kids make their own house. The houses can be a crazy miss-mosh of candy or a themed designed scene.

What you will need:

  • Base for the house – either a cake board (buy at your bakery or in the cake section of your local box craft store) or card board covered in foil
  • House – cardboard dairy carton. Either a milk or cream carton is the perfect size
  • Gingerbread – Graham crackers. you will need about 4-5 crackers per house. 4 is the minimum, but some folks (like me) will need 5 due to breakage or snackage.
  • Cement – Royal Frosting. You will need 1 batch of frosting for every 2-3 houses depending on how crazy you get with decorating.
  • Freezer zip top bags – I put about 1 c of frosting in each bag and snip off a VERY small corner of the bag. The kids (and adults) can then squeeze the frosting out of the bag. This is a lot easier for most folks than a piping bag. And it has the added benefit of keeping the frosting covered, because royal frosting will harden quickly when exposed to air (hence its use as cement)
  • CANDY!!!!!! Some of our favorites for decorating include:
    • M & Ms
    • Hersey kisses
    • snow caps
    • Red thin liquorice
    • Gumdrops
    • Small candy canes
    • Brach’s flower candy
    • Small foil wrapped chocolate Santa
    • Gumdrop bells
    • Gumdrop rings
    • stick pretzels
    • star peppermints
    • Life savers
    • Sugar Ice cream cones
    • Spearmint leaves
    • Gummy penguins
    • Necco wafers
    • Ribbon candy
    • Smarties
    • Teddy Grahams
  • Plastic table cloth – although this isn’t required belive me it is a huge help in the clean up. This is not a neat and tidy party.
  • Snacks – decorating houses is hard work! You will want to make sure that people have non-sugar nourishment

The Set Up:
I set up our dining room with the table fully extended. Then cover it with plastic table cloths (this makes clean up WAY easy later). The candy gets put in Tupperware or bowls or what ever I can find. I usually do two bowls of each kind of candy so they can go on each side of the table.

You can see the milk cartons at the far end of the table and the cake boards at the near side. Everyone tapes their milk carton to their cake board aka yard.
Gingerbread House Party Setup

The decorating:

First cover your house in graham crackers. Then let the craziness ensue. For the littler kids we usually spread frosting on one section at a time and let the kids decorate as they like. N decided that he should be Bat Man and his friend D was helping him get just the right candy.
Batman's Gingerbread houseDecorating gingerbread houses

The Refreshments:
Don’t forget to set out some snacks for your guests. I set out a veggie tree and a fruit tree as well as some chili cheese dip.
Fruit treeVeggie treeGingerbread house party snacks

The finished product:

I always love seeing the creativity and what people make. My sister even had two marshmallow gingerbread men having a snowball fight in the back yard.  See on the right, they even built snow forts! How awesome!
12-09-2012 Gingerbread House Party 04212-09-2012 Gingerbread House Party 038
One year there was even a snow castle made out of sugar cubes and marshmallows.
Ice Castle

And one year there was even a nativity scene. Isn’t the market in front of the manger just great? (The characters were from a toy set and aren’t food)
Nativity Gingerbread

Well I hope you will be inspired to have a ginger bread party or even just make a gingerbread house. If you do, I’d love to see it.

Inspirations:

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About NotYourNormalSteam

I love to make things, food, paper, fabric, the medium doesn’t really matter. I am also an obsessive planner. The day after Christmas I am already working out plans for the next year.
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