Building a Gingerbread House

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 28,163
    Craft Expert Joanne Seelig discusses building a gingerbread house.

    Joanne Seelig

    Joanne Seelig is the current Family Programs Coordinator at the National Building Museum. An arts educator, administrator and performer she has worked in a variety of cultural organizations in Boston, MA, Berkeley, CA, and Washington, D.C.  She received her Ed.M. from Harvard Graduate School of Education and her BA in Theatre from Washington University in St. Louis.

    Joanne Seelig: We will set to work on that set handful and have a good meal. I will need a bite of the roof and you can eat some of the window, and it will taste sweet. A house made of food, that s an architectural treat. Oh! Hi my name is Joanne Seelig and I am a family program coordinator at the National Building Museum in Washington DC and I am in one of our classrooms here at the Building Museum where I teach many families how to make a gingerbread house and today, I am going to walk you through the entire process from cutting out the different pieces of your house, to how to make the icing, to putting it all together and gluing the different parts of the house on and even how to decorate your house and figure out what to do with that when it s done.

    But, before we get started you might want to make sure you have some of the essential materials. You want to make sure you actually have gingerbread. We buy ours from Clement s bakery in Maryland, but you can make your own, if you want. I would recommend making four sheets of it and you want have a triangle and a rectangle that you can cut out each one, two times for all of the pieces to put your gingerbread house together.

    If you don t have gingerbread and don t have access to a good recipe, don t worry. You can use graham crackers and this might be a nice alternative, if you have really small children. Just remember, your house might be a little bit smaller then this, if you do use graham cracker. You want to make sure you have icing and later on, I can show you how to make your own and of course, you want to make sure you have plenty of treats available to actually decorate your house and I like to have a back and nice round tip to actually, use to get the icing out. I also use a spatula to help put the icing into the icing bag.

    Now, remember we use icing that has raw eggs in it and that can make you a little bit sick. So, safety first, if you have small children around, you might want to have a snack. Me, I like to munch on a little pretzel while I work. Wow, now that I know what materials are needed and some safety precautions, and I might want to let you know that this activity is really for all ages, but at the Building Museum, we recommended for ages five and up, so that your child or you can really work in partnership to help put the house together. It does take several hands.

    Okay, well now that we are ready to get started I should probably, tell you a little bit more about myself. I have a great love of carbohydrates in the holiday, but I also have a background in art and education. I have my Masters Degree in education with the focus on the arts from Harvard Graduate School of Education. In addition, I worked the cultural organization in Berkeley, California, Boston, Massachusetts and Washington DC and I am happy to be the family program coordinator here at the National Building Museum. Well, now that we are acquainted, let s get started.