My daughter, Little Jo, is quite the party hostess.Â She loves to have her friends over to do just about anything, especially at Christmas time.Â It shouldn’t have surprised me, then, that she wanted to host a gingerbread house making party.Â Sounds like fun to me!Â Although, I didn’t get to decorate my own house, which was actually disappointing to me.Â This particular party concept isn’t really unique but I have a couple ofÂ ideas to share with you that are off the beaten path.
First up, I happened to have some gingerbread man chipboard album pages lying around and I wanted to use them in a way different than they were intended. McGeeky had the suggestion of making them into a 3-D ornament of some sort. I loved it! Sometimes he can come up with a good one!
I took the album apart and measured a line down the center of one gingerbread man.Â I then took a sharp blade and cut him down the middle from head to almost the bottom.Â I took a second gingerbread man and this time I cut from his feet to almost his head.
Next, I used my ColorArtz paint system to quickly paint both sides of both pieces brown.Â When that was dry, I assembled my gingerbread man by sliding the two pieces together along the cuts.Â Then I used a fine paint brush and white acrylic paint to decorate my gingerbread man.
I used the standing gingerbread men as place cards on the food table for the kids.Â You could also make a bunch of these into a garland or decorations for your tree.Â (More on that later this week.)
I kept the kids’ party food table completely separate from the gingerbread house decorating table.Â This is crucial since everything would be covered in icing otherwise! If you are wondering, I bought all the cute tableware at Oriental Trading Company. They have a ton of cute stuff if you just search for “gingerbread”.
The next tip I want to share has to do with the gingerbread house construction.Â After the party is over, the kids are going to want to take their houses home, so I thought it would be a good idea to have a sturdy tray for them to transport their masterpieces.Â I found vinyl gingerbread themed placemats and adhered them to white foam board that I had cut to size.Â Â Now I had a cute and functional construction zone for each kid!
To set up for the party, I pre-made some house decorating accessories with candy molds.Â I placed all of these “special” decorations in the center of the table.Â At each child’s station, I also pre-assembled the basic house ahead of time, so that it would be dry and sturdy.Â In this case, I was working with 4- and 5-year-olds so I felt it easier to just let them decorate a pre-assembled structure rather than starting from scratch.Â I cheated even more by using a pre-baked gingerbread house kit rather than baking my own pieces. It’s up to you where you start in the process or how “made from scratch” you go. I wasn’t so brave.
The final decorating station for each child included a pre-baked and assembled house structure, a piping bag of white decorator icing, and several cups of decorating candies.
The table looked so neat all set up and ready for the kids to start working their magic!Â Having each kid have his or her own set of supplies avoided any squabbling over someone hogging the gum drops.
Look at how much fun they had!
The finished houses were amazing.Â I love how individual they are and the imperfections make them all the more beautiful.