Make a Gingerbread House!

Today I am going to do my very best to convince you to add a gingerbread house project to your holiday celebrations. First, a little peek into my own gingerbread house history...

 

Looks like real gingerbread doesn't it?? It's not! In fact, the houses are made of papier-mache and the candies are made from Sculpey. Only the frosting is real. Get the full story on them here. This village started out as a gift to me from my daughter, Diane, about 12 years ago. Over the years it had melted into a gooey sugar disaster (humidity is the enemy of frosting), but we transformed it to the village you see above (so I could save it forever). Diane and I take turns displaying it during the holidays. This year it's my turn to display it and I can't wait to set it up.

Diane and I have been building gingerbread houses together since she was six years old. This was our first. Listen to her podcast interview with me, featuring a discussion about our adventures building gingerbread houses as she was growing up. I will be showing you where the inspiration came from for these adorable little snowmen and how to make them next week.

This was our biggest project, completed over a Thanksgiving holiday while she was home from college. Check out her post about it here.

A traditional German gingerbread house.

HOW TO BUILD YOUR OWN GINGERBREAD HOUSE. Here are some links to several good "how-to-make" sites:

- Check out this excellent presentation - How to Make a Gingerbread House. I like the clear and simple instructions, backed up with lots of photos, recipes, and patterns. You WILL be able to make your own house if you follow these directions. And when you are ready to find that perfect tree or a sleigh ride in your area, be sure to return to the site - they have a great list.

- Gingerbread Heaven offers recipes, instructions, patterns and tips for decorating, interior lighting, and making window panes and ponds. Be sure to check out some of the decorating options they offer.

- Don't overlook these very sweet and very easy little houses from Funroom.com, using graham crackers and white chocolate chips! What could be easier?

- Ginger at Gingerbreadlane.com offers recipes, construction techniques, and a pattern as well as decorating tips.

- And if you are feeling like trying something a little different, try this chapel pattern, or this Victorian house pattern at Celebrating-Christmas.com.

A replica of Chateau Frontenac, by Executive Chef Jean Soulard

NOW TO GET YOU INSPIRED! I am going to take you on a little holiday journey through gingerbread fantasy land!

- Amazing, mind-blowing gingerbread artistry from The Sugar Plum Park Gingerbread Fantasy Even if you are short on time, be sure you don't miss this one!

- This snowflake-covered gingerbread castle at Ginny's Gingerbread House is a thing of beauty.

- Ginger at Gingerbreadlane.com shares her own gingerbread house creations and those of other gingerbread house artists. All can be enlarged - so be sure to do that! She has also provided a great history of gingerbread on her site.

- Gingerbread artist GinnyPilarz created this Victorian mansion for the 1995 Good Housekeeping Gingerbread Contest, using over 100 pieces of Gingerbread. It won her 2nd. place.

- The National Gingerbread House Competition from Asheville, North Carolina - great gallery of 9 gorgeous houses.

- Beach California.com has lots of interesting things: gingerbread castles, a Science of Gingerbread exhibit, and an amazing village.

- Check out the White House in gingerbread created by White House Executive Pastry Chef Thaddeus Dubois.

- And for very untraditional gingerbread houses totally out of the ordinary, visit these modernist gingerbread houses and these pre-fab gingerbread houses found on Treehugger.com.

  

JUST IN CASE YOU LOVE BOOKS.......Ginny Pilarz has partnered with Amazon to offer a roundup of great gingerbread reads.

SO, MAKE A GINGERBREAD HOUSE THIS SEASON! Thanksgiving weekend is a great time to make one - and it will keep you out of all the rush at the malls. (Hint: the Monday and Tuesday following the Thanksgiving weekend are the quietest shopping days of the whole season!)

Jan Brett, author of The

Jan Brett, author of The Mitten, The Gingerbread Baby, and many other books has a great full size printable gingerbread house on her site, if you'd rather work in paper and cardboard. http://www.janbrett.com/gingerbread_baby_house.htm

I adapted it to make a pop up card, here:
http://extremecards.blogspot.com/2008/11/gingerbread-house-pop-up-card-t...

Thank you for sharing. I

Thank you for sharing. I will stick to gingerbread... but I know there are many people out there who work wonders with paper. I find frosting more forgiving!

I do love little villages,

I do love little villages, they are so cozy and it makes me warm to look at them. I've made Mushroom Land this year but last year we made gingerbread houses, small ones for the whole family and put them together in a gingerbread village for Christmas! :-)

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Love your blog by the way! Happy December!

What fun stuff to look at! I

What fun stuff to look at! I have a gingerbread house pan by Nordic Wear that we are going to use this year. We didn't make any last year and I miss it!

Are you KIDDING? I've

Are you KIDDING? I've listened to that podcast three and a half times, I've read the stories, and I was even considering stalking you, but now I see you have your own blog. So I can keep up with all your festive doings.

I watch Food Network every year looking for a new gingerbread house contest and watching the older ones. I just love it. What happens to this curmudgeon when it comes to Christmas gingerbread houses? This year we're having a friend over to make gingerbread houses on THANKSGIVING DAY because I can't stand to wait. We are also going to make graham cracker houses some time before Christmas. I honestly don't know how other people can possibly do other stuff.

I'm only sort of kidding about that, Pam. May I call you Pam?

Okay, I'm going to go continue to catch up with your blog. And thanks for these photos. Great stuff!

yay! I am a big fan of your

yay! I am a big fan of your gingerbread adventures. Can't wait to share this link with my friends.

YAAAAAAAAY!!!!! I'm so happy

YAAAAAAAAY!!!!! I'm so happy to see this. I have been so inspired by your and Diane's gingerbread house stories (that podcast literally had me in tears at the end!) I have always, *always* wanted to make gingerbread houses, and every year my mom and I say we'll take a class together, but never do.

This just may be our year ..... :)

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