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8 Tips for Anyone Building a Gingerbread House This Year

Easy and festive decorating, here we come!
December 2022

Few festive projects scream holiday magic as much as a gingerbread house. From creative constructions to sentimental scenes, it’s no surprise that this idea has carried on as a tradition for so many generations. While we love to dream of the perfect gingerbread house to show off to our family and friends, we’re often stumped by how hard making one can be! Look no further than these 7 tips to make building your house a breeze. From surprise ingredients to sneaky hacks, you’ll be filled with holiday cheer after putting these tips to the test.

1.  Don’t make your own gingerbread from scratch – no one will know!

The smell of freshly baked gingerbread is so cozy and perfect for the holidays. If only baking it was actually that dreamy! This year, skip the mess of making your own and pick up one of the gingerbread house kits at the store. It comes already packed with plenty of decorations and frosting to stick everything on. Let your creativity shine in your decorating.

2.  Use graham crackers instead of gingerbread for the easiest building ever. 

For an even easier hack, forego gingerbread altogether! Graham crackers are a great substitute for gingerbread because they’re widely available, strong for building, and easy enough to shape however you’d like. Grab different flavors of graham crackers to change up the “siding” on your houses – from honey to cinnamon to chocolate. Check out our video on how to build a graham cracker house.

3.  Not going to eat it? Use hot glue to build your house.

If you have kids anxiously waiting to decorate a house or just don’t feel like waiting around – skip building your house with frosting. Instead, reach for your hot glue gun! It’ll dry in just seconds compared to the minute it takes to stick two pieces together. The whole house will be built and ready to decorate in minutes rather than having to wait hours for the house to be dry.

4.  Grab a cutting board or foam board for your house.

Make decorating even easier by building your house on a flat surface like a cutting board or foam board. The lip of a plate can sometimes get in the way of decorating, so securing your house to a flat surface will make getting into every nook and cranny magically easy.

5.  Think outside the box for decorations!

We all think about the classic gingerbread house decorations of starlight peppermints and gum drops. But don’t be afraid to explore the other aisles of the store like the snack aisle or cereal aisle! Different shapes of cereal can make a great roof, while pretzel sticks can be used for a pile of longs. Don’t forget to grab shredded coconut to make fluffy piles of snow – your marshmallow snowmen will thank you.

6.  Buy extra frosting – trust us, you’ll use it.

Nothing is worse than running out of frosting halfway through decorating! Prevent the frustration of having to run back out to the store or trying to make a frosting from scratch by grabbing a few extra cans of white frosting. If you don’t end up using them, put them back in your pantry for your next baking adventure.

7.  Put your decorations in a cupcake pan to keep your area tidy.

With so many decorations and plenty of hands grabbing for them, use this hack to keep the chaos under control. Place your decorations into cupcake pans. They’re easy to refill and cut down on messy waste. Plus, you won’t need to wash a dozen bowls just from the decorations. If you have a lot of people decorating, make two identical trays to keep everything fair and easy.

8.  Grab some sugar cones to make trees.

Want to take your house from just one building to a whole scene? Grab some sugar cones and dye frosting green to make evergreen trees! Hold the cone by the tip and, using a star tip, pipe green frosting all around the open end of the cone and work your way up. Once you’re almost at your fingertips, place the tree down on your plate or board and finish piping on the top of the tree. Dust it with some powdered sugar for snow or throw on some nonpareil sprinkles as ornaments.  

Feeling festive, try our Graham Cracker House Recipe. 

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