It is day one of this exciting series ~ 15 Days of Handmade Gift tutorials. There are so many wonderful gift ideas that I can’t wait to share with you, both created by myself and some truly amazing guest bloggers. I hope that you will find something that will inspire you to create something brilliant for your loved ones this holiday season. To get you in the mood to create or purchase handmade gifts this Christmas season, each day will be sponsored by a small business that sells handmade goods, or crafting supplies. If you take the time to visit the sponsored advertiser each day, I know you will find some FABULOUS things! Plus you will be supporting some wonderfully hardworking individuals instead of large corporations. AND at the end of this series (November 30th) I have a huge giveaway planned. Be sure to come back and visit every day, I know you won’t want to miss a thing! (Or better yet, subscribe to my blog by e-mail to make certain that you won’t miss a thing) So without further ado, I give you 15 Days of Handmade Gifts.
Today’s Sponsor is: Buy Busy Bags ~ Educational on the go activities
So you might be wondering what I mean by a “REAL” Gingerbread House. A couple of years ago I wanted to make something meaningful for a very special friend of mine. This friend is the type of person who is warm and inviting. Both her and her husband invite people to their home, they counsel, mentor, and really use their house for wonderful purposes. So my gift to her was to make her house in gingerbread form. You see, by “REAL” gingerbread house, I mean I made an actual replica of my friend’s house in gingerbread. She was absolutely floored when I gave her this gift, and I would like to show you how I did it.
Camera (or Google Maps)
Paper for gingerbread pattern
Gingerbread Recipe – this recipe is great because it does not expand very much in the oven, so your pattern will go together easier when it’s baked.
Royal Icing Recipe – this recipe is from “The Adventures of Sweet Sugarbelle” and it is a wonderful and easy icing.
Food coloring – whatever colors you would like to use for your house. I used black to make grey siding, and a bit of blue for water in the hot tub.
Various candy – I used: Kit Kat bars, Icy Squares, assorted Gum balls, candy fish, green licorice laces, chocolate covered sunflower seeds, caramels, broadway black licorice rolls, licorice all sorts, chocolate rocks, chocolate melting wafers, round peppermints, sour watermelon gummies, christmas tree gummies, and a hersheys cookies and cream chocolate bar. Here is a great website for ordering all kinds of candy: Candy Warehouse
I am going to share a secret with you. My husband told me that this was creepy and to never tell anyone, but it’s relevant to the project so here it goes. The first thing I did for this gingerbread project was drive to my friend’s house and take a picture of her home. I knew she wasn’t home and I took the picture from across the street. These days Google Maps has pictures of pretty much everyone’s home if you know the address, so if you don’t feel comfortable doing what I did, just use your computer. If you can get a picture of the home that you are building it will allow you to get a lot of the little details correct, which (I think) really makes it special. When I had my picture I went home and printed it out. Then I pasted it to a page in my sketch book and then drew the home to get a feel for all of the main elements and details.
Here are a couple of tips about your pattern. The “roof” should be a little longer than the width of the “front/back main wall”, since you will probably want it to overhang slightly. The shorter sides of the roof top should also be a little longer than the top, sloped part of the “house side” pattern piece. The steepness of the roof will depend on the slope that you make at the top of the “house sides” piece; so if the roof of your house is flatter then you need to have a more gradual slope.
Once you have your pattern, make your batch of gingerbread. Roll your gingerbread out to 1/4″ thick onto a cookie sheet. Place your pattern pieces on top of your gingerbread; depending on the size of your house you may need to do more than one cookie sheet. Of course I used the house sides twice, the roof twice, the front/back main wall twice, the garage sides twice(you need two of each of those things). The garage roof I actually made three of – it also doubled as the flat roof piece over the front porch. Cut around your pattern; I used a pizza cutter for this part – I am sure a knife would work fine too. Pull all of the scrap gingerbread off of the cookie sheet and bake your house!
Now is a good time to whip up a batch of icing. This recipe says you can use any kind of flavoring, I used peppermint in mine. I think peppermint and Christmas are made for each other. Let your gingerbread pieces cool completely before assembling your house. Pipe icing wherever you are joining pieces, you may have to hold it together for a few minutes while the icing sets, but be generous with the icing. Once it is together you can decorate as you like.
Here are the front and back of the finished that house I made. I know my piped siding and windows are SO messy! I have to admit this was the first time I had done something like this, I did not have a lot of piping experience.
Remember the special thing about a custom gingerbread home is in the details; it shows that you pay attention to your friend or loved one and it makes it so meaningful. Here are a few of my favorite details from this home.
A couple of decorating candies that I loved ~ Kit Kat bars worked wonderfully for building decks and porches. I used licorice all sorts for outdoor lights on the garage, and for the chimney. The broadway black licorice rolls were perfect for the driveway and a few other details. And I know, my snowman fell over. He fell victim to my son’s wayward hockey stick, but that is life and I think it just adds more character, don’t you?
I hope you have enjoyed this little post ~ if you decide to build one this Christmas I would love to see some pictures! Please send them to email@example.com.
Thank you for stopping by!