Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Anatomy of a (Vintage) Gingerbread House

As a little girl every year I'd make a gingerbread house with my mom. We didn't have kits then (at least, I don't think?) and my mom always got an arsenal of graham crackers, frosting + candy for our annual building experience.
I absolutely loved it! You know what's hilarious? I had no idea those kits even existed until a couple of years ago. My friend Nikki (holla back, Niks! I miss you!) used to have an annual gingerbread house party. It was awesome! The first year I showed up with the general tools my mom and I always used growing up. Every.single.other.girl had a kit. I felt super dumb.
It was a pretty entertaining experience and everyone was really surprised that I actually attempted to create one from graham crackers, but really I didn't know another way. I've decided to continue the tradition with John in our little family and wanted to share it with you. A few things must be said: a) I have no idea if this is actually vintage. It's just vintage for me. b) I stink at decorating. Don't judge our lack of talent with piping or candy placement.
That being said- let's break it down!
1 box of graham crackers
assorted candies (I wanted red hots, licorice and a bunch of others, but alas- they didn't appear in my cart)
1 jar of frosting + food coloring if you want to create different colors
1 plastic bag (to place frosting in, cut the tip and use for piping)
1 cake stand + dome top (Macy's has great ones with a really high dome if you want to make your gingerbread house taller)
Here's the structure. I used frosting to connect the four bottom pieces together. Next I frosted the top and placed a graham cracker at the front and back. There is a space in between the two flat crackers and here you put the third, vertically. Using more frosting on the edges, lean the graham crackers against the one standing up in the middle of the roof. Lastly, I reinforced everything with piped frosting, which doubles as "snow" ;). Awww yeahhhh.
Here's the home decor. Milk duds + frosting for bricks, a piece of graham cracker covered in frosting + sprinkles for a door (regret... regret... regret). Mike + Ikes, spice drops, Dots for the rest of the decor. Glitter gel frosting for the dots on the roof. Obviously decorate however you want, I stink at this. Ha. 
Piped frosting in big clumps on the cake stand support the peeps trees + gingerbread men. A little frosting bow covered in pink sparkling sugar turned one of the gingerbread men into a chick to represent me. A frosting path covered in candy. 
Lastly we popped the top back on. There are a few reasons I wanted to make the house on a cake stand. A) you can turn the stand while decorating. So much easier. B) It's more decorative and "displayish" than a regular plate. C) The glass dome keeps bugs away and helps preserve it.
Kits are awesome! And if you find yourself using one this season, rock on. But if you want to take it back a few years, feel free to join me! And I'd love to see a picture. Have the greatest night everyone, all the best and as always, thanks for reading!

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