Holiday Bucket List - Decorating a Gingerbread House

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Over the weekend, we took on the task of decorating gingerbread houses. I purchased a Wilton pack of four mini houses and McKinley couldn't wait to get started. I didn't realize the preparation that was involved! I only say this so that you are aware, in case you purchase this box set. Each house comes together in one sheet and you have to cut each individual piece away from the other. I used a serrated knife to do mine, but I found that it didn't really matter. The edges were jagged, some pieces cracked, and when finally assembled, they sort of leaned.... McKinley didn't seem to notice so I moved on!

Over the years, I've finally figured out the trick to building these guys. You have to be patient! And, allow a lot of time for drying before you ever get started decorating. Like four hours or so before decorating! If this is something you want to accomplish in one day, start the night before so they can dry overnight, or start first thing in the morning, and work on them later in the afternoon. Follow the directions. They are there for a reason. And don't stress. Kids don't really care if they are imperfect. They just want to decorate and eat all the icing provided.

The kits come with everything you need, but I'm one who likes a lot of variety! I use flaked coconut for snow, marshmallows for billows of snow or they would make darling snowmen (I literally just thought of this while typing this post and kicking myself for not thinking of it sooner), green M&Ms for a tiny wreath on the house, sugared gumdrops because they're just so pretty, and any other edible adornments you can think of. I found the cutest candy cane sprinkles by Wilton and they made sweet roof additions! McKinley's idea. I even found colored icing tubes in my baking stash! McKinley wanted to make the windows yellow and the blue was a great option for doors. I used holiday colored NERDS for the doorknobs! This year, the kit came with Christmas lights in different colors. I've saved the leftovers, but hope to find them next year. They are the best!

The last thing I've learned, step back and let them do all the work! It's going to be messy, it's going to be uneven, and it's going to be perfect when they are done! 

 It took us several days to finish them all and they are so cute!! I put the best ones on a cake plate and displayed them our on Hoosier Cabinet in the kitchen. McKinley added Necco wafers as stepping stones and I love way it looks! I might add more coconut around the plate for snow. 

If you want to do something different than the Wilton kits, check out my gingerbread houses from last year. I made them out of graham crackers! McKinley hosted a Gingerbread House Decorating party last year and it was such a fun time! The kids really got into it and it was special afternoon. Get all the details of how it came together here.  

Do you decorate gingerbread houses during the holidays? Do you buy a kit or make your own? Please share with us all the details. We would love to hear what you do!


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