Scenes from a Gingerbread House Decorating Event + Secrets to Building a Gingerbread House that Won't Collapse

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two sweet ladies with decorated gingerbread houses
(First off, how cute are these ladies?!?)
Last weekend, I hosted a little gingerbread house decorating event for a school that I love, Frassati Catholic High School, in north Houston.

I've made very few gingerbread houses in my life, so what I brought to the table was not experience, but literally icing and lots and lots and lots of candy. Oh, and I brought the houses.

Here are a few secrets to building a gingerbread house that won't collapse. (I know this heartbreak first-hand as one collapsed on me a few weeks ago.)



Mr. E to the rescue!!! (My hero!) He picked up a piece of gingerbread (store-bought from a kit) and very astutely said, this isn't much different from particleboard. Then, he proceeded to assemble a house using WOOD GLUE.
Scenes from a Gingerbread House Decorating Event + Secrets to Building a Gingerbread House that Won't Collapse | wood glue!
And. It. Worked. 

Secrets to Building a Gingerbread House that Won't Collapse

Secrets to Building a Gingerbread House that Won't Collapse
In preparation for the class, he assembled all of the houses. (The guy is too nice to me.) He used wood glue, and then constructed support using bent wire hangers for the roofs as the glue dried. (He'll want you to know that you don't slide the support on, but place it on, hooking it one side at a time.)

Secrets to Building a Gingerbread House that Won't Collapse
The roofs were also held in place with cans underneath while drying.

gingerbread houses in trunk of car
You guys, it works like a charm. We transported 11 houses on a 30-minute drive in our car with no issues. It goes without saying that the gingerbread houses are NO LONGER EDIBLE at this point. But, really...do you want to eat gingerbread out of a kit that has a shelf life of 10 years? I say no.

Scenes from a Gingerbread House Decorating Event + Secrets to Building a Gingerbread House that Won't Collapse
The houses were secured to foil-wrapped pieces of cardboard, so there was plenty of room for the houses to have a yard, sidewalk, etc. We had all kinds of candy and goodies for our guests to decorate their houses, and I made some wreath royal icing transfers ahead of time.

Scenes from a Gingerbread House Decorating Event + tree making station
We also had a tree making station. This was probably my favorite part and something that I learned from the book, A Year of Gingerbread Houses by Kristine Samuel. Use a star tip to pipe and stiff royal icing around a sugar cone. Sprinkle on nonpareils as you go...we even did one with pink sprinkles, so cute! For shorter houses, break off the bottom of the cones after they're dry.

I was blown away by the creativity in the room! I mean...I really wanted to take the whole group back to my house and have them give me cookie ideas.

Scenes from a Gingerbread House Decorating Event + Secrets to Building a Gingerbread House that Won't Collapse
Look at those topiaries!!! (White chocolate KitKats, pretzel sticks, and swirls of green royal icing.)

Scenes from a Gingerbread House Decorating Event
Oh, and these precious girls! Let me tell you a few elements they added to their houses: a pond complete with a mermaid tail, a unicorn doing magic in a window, a hammock, a garden, a sandbox, a Christmas tree with a unicorn horn topper...I was in awe! (Also, I want them to come live with me. Too much to ask?)

Do you have a gingerbread house tradition or tip? I'd love to hear!

6 comments

  1. You and Mr. E are a very good team! Those houses are SO cute. Looks like there was a lot of talent all around :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love the WOOD Glue..royal iscing takes forever to hold in place and honestly inedible once rock hard! Cute cute and more cute.
    Kudos.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Years ago Pampered chef sold clay molds to use to make parts for gingerbread house. I think I bought it before I even had kids. We have decorated a house many years since then. My kids will soon be 18 and 20 and will be decorating a house per family on my daughter’s birthday on December 21. Her cousins will come decorate one. It’s been a fun family tradition.

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