Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Faux Gingerbread

Years ago when the kids were little I started making Gingerbread houses. The real Martha Stewart kind where you bake all the pieces and put the house together with Royal icing. It was fun but it was a lot of work. One day I was watching the Carol Duvall show and she had a guest on the show making Gingerbread houses out of cardboard and decorating them with cutouts. They were cute. A light went off in my head and the "Faux Gingerbread House" was born.

I realized that the kids enjoyed the decorating process much more than they enjoyed the baking process. No one ever ate any of the house, it was strictly for show. Decorating the gingerbread house was where the real fun was. I came up with the idea of making a cardboard house shape and covering it with Graham crackers for the base and decorating that.

Below you can see a picture of the house base we used this year. The Styrofoam base came out of a gift basket that someone gave me. I used the side of a cardboard box for the roof and sides. The best part is that I put it all together with a glue gun or craft glue. I could not find my glue gun so I put the house together with Tacky glue and pinned it together until the glue dried.

After finding the glue gun I glued the Graham crackers in place. I have always used Royal icing to glue on the pieces and the decorations but decided this year to try the glue gun and it worked perfectly and was really fast. I had the house ready to go in about 10 minutes.

We used Wilton's Cookie Icing that comes in a squeeze bottle to make motar in the "stones" and to make "snow" on the roof, after we glued on all the candy. Here is the finished product:

I had $5 left in my decorating budget and I spent $3.75 on icing and crackers. The candy was left over and bought with CVS bucks so I made my budget! You could use any size boxes even round oatmeal containers and make houses of every shape and form. If you cut out windows and line with cellophane ,or melted hard candies, you could even light the houses and have stained glass windows. It is really cute to do a village of small houses. A very non Martha gingerbread house for sure. Let me know if you try this idea. If you want to make a Martha Graham cracker house go here.

Either way I would like to see some pictures.

Bottom Pic: Mento's snowman with gumdrop hat and a marker applied mouth.


Sonny said...

What could you use in place of the crackers that would last from year to year? I have seen faux candy pieces that would work. Do you think that maybe brown felt piece cut in sections would work? That way instead of trying to do a village all at one time it could be worked on at various free times through the year. I think I'll try that.

Carrie J said...

I've seen polymer clay houses. Fake candy and all. Felt would work as a base with polymer clay "candy". We like decorating the house so we don't want one that last.

Christine said...

I love your creativity. I also love your porch. Good job keeping within the budget.