The holidays are fast approaching and there is excitement in the air. Your children may have certain expectations and their happiness is your happiness. If you’re looking for a holiday activity or Christmas craft that will keep your kids engaged and allow you to participate in a safe and fun way, then building a gingerbread house is a perfect holiday activity. Here are tips for making a gingerbread house. These are great things to read over and make sure you plan out before you get started. This gingerbread house tutorial will help you avoid the common mishaps as well as offer inspiration for cute ways to decorate the gingerbread house with various candies.
DIY Gingerbread House Tutorial: How To Make A Gingerbread House From Scratch
Planning The Gingerbread House
The first thing you will need to do is to make sure that the building you have in mind will be structurally sound. Planning ahead of time will save you from collapsing a beautiful idea, literally.
Creating the structure out of poster board and setting it up to the exact dimensions you have in mind will let you know if your measurements are correct. If it stays together properly then you know you have a working model to build. Don’t feel limited to the typical four walled house however. You can make virtually any shape or design. If this is your first time making a gingerbread house, you may want to use a premade template.
To make the base which you will need, use a large baking tray, platter, or a piece of plywood covered in foil. Remember that your structure will be limited to a 12-15 inch baking tray or platter so make sure that your template matches up to the restrictions of your base.
- So far I have shared planning tips for making a gingerbread house, now you are ready tor action tips for making a gingerbread house!
Baking Your Gingerbread House Dough
When rolling out your gingerbread house dough make sure that its maximum thickness is no more than 3/8 inches. Typically the dough should be 1/4 inch for houses that are larger than 6 inches square. For anything smaller keep the dough at 1/8 inch. The walls should always be slightly thicker than the rest.
Using a sharp knife cut along the templates with the dough. It is best to powder the knife with flour as this will prevent the dough from sticking to the knife. You may also want to cut designs such as windows or doors prior to baking. Using things like crushed lifesavers in the windows will create a stained glass window when baked.
Building A Gingerbread House
Gingerbread house icing will be the glue for your entire structure. To prevent it from drying too quickly wrap a damp paper towel around the bag you are using. Adding vinegar to the icing will increase its ability to act as glue. You may also add food coloring to the icing to get the desired color you want.
To put the structure together align the walls and simply fill in the seams with the icing. Make sure that you use a generous amount but not so much that it is dripping. Hold the glued parts together for a while before you set up a structural support.
You may also use alternative structural supports with candy like peppermint sticks or candy canes. Using cans or jars can also help keep the structure together while the icing dries.
- That concludes the planning and structural tips for making a gingerbread house. Now comes the fun part of decorating your gingerbread house!
How To Decorate A Gingerbread House
- Using marshmallow snowmen peeps and coconut or powdered sugar you can create a winter wonderland on the landscape outside the house.
Using licorice pieces or jelly beans you can create a cobbled path leading to the door of your gingerbread house. You can also use crushed color candy to make the path and line it with long licorice pieces.
Using chocolate covered pretzels you can create a fence surrounding the building. This can also line a walkway to the path leading to the door.
Using marshmallow or a similar product is a perfect way to show smoke coming out your chimney.
You can use about anything edible to decorate a ginger bread house. Some favorites are hard candies like Red Hots, Smarties and peppermints. Hershey kisses, cotton candy and nuts are also a fun and versatile option.
Easy Gingerbread House Ideas
If you still want more easy gingerbread house ideas and inspiration, I have included a few helpful links here:
Have Fun With Your DIY Gingerbread House!
I hope you have fun and you found these tips for making s gingerbread house helpful. The most important thing to remember is that the experience should be shared with others. It really is fun getting to be creative and working together at the same time. By including your children in the design and decoration you will have an experience of togetherness for a few hours. After all, isn’t that the true spirit of the holidays!? Now that you have read this DIY Gingerbread House Tutorial, do you think you will make your own gingerbread house from scratch? I’d love to hear about if gingerbread houses are a part of your family’s holiday traditions! Tag me @familyfocusblog to let me see how your gingerbread house came out!