By Sarah Hunt, former AZFB Communications Intern
Making gingerbread houses is one of my favorite Christmas activities! I love to decorate and do crafty projects; I’m sure a lot of our readers are too. But even if you aren’t artistically inclined, making gingerbread houses is still a fun, easy activity that the whole family can do together.
First, buy a gingerbread house kit. Trust me when I say, do not try to make your own gingerbread! It’s time consuming, messy, and hard to get just right. Skip the fuss and go straight for the fun!
Second, buy some candies and other items to decorate. Buy any candy you want! Your only limit is your imagination when it comes to what you can use to decorate your gingerbread house. Here are some recommendations:
- Circular swirly peppermints make great windows.
- Gumdrops or DOTS are perfect for lining the walkway.
- Mini or regular sized M&M’s can be used to decorate the roof.
- Licorice or peppermint sticks are great for putting on the corners of the house or the edges of the roof.
- Sprinkles are always fun. Try them in red and green, or metallic colors (gold, silver, rose gold, or bronze). You can also find them in different shapes like snowflakes, hearts, and more.
- Cinnamon bears make cute residents. Buy some Swedish fish if you want to have them go fishing in a pond of blue icing next to the house!
- Ice cream cones are perfect for frosting to look like trees!
- Hershey’s chocolate bars (white, milk, or dark chocolate) make the perfect bricks when broken into their segmented pieces.
- Jelly beans make the perfect cobblestone to turn your house into a cottage!
- Pretzel or cinnamon sticks work great for making your house into a log cabin. Plus, if you use cinnamon sticks, it will make your kitchen smell great!
- If your gingerbread house has open windows, try putting some string lights inside your house can light it up at night! Make sure to place the battery pack on the outside before you seal up the last wall.
- If you want to get really crafty and experimental, get some Jolly Ranchers in different colors. Put them in sandwich bags according to color. Smash them with a rolling pin. Preheat the oven to 375° Put your gingerbread walls with windows on a cookie sheet, and sprinkle the color you want into each window. Bake for 5 minutes or until melted. Take them out and let them cool completely before assembling.
Third, make some royal icing. Check out this recipe by The Food Network. This is the ultimate sticky icing that is perfect for keeping your gingerbread walls together.
Fourth, the fun part! It’s time to assemble your gingerbread house. Look up inspiration on Pinterest or Google, or just decorate it however you want. Enjoy!
Find more fun Christmas activities on Fill Your Plate’s blog!