Constructing a Gingerbread House

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 16,503
    Craft Expert Joanne Seelig demonstrates constructing 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: Welcome back, my name is Joanne Seelig and I am the Family Programs Coordinator at the National Building Museum in Washington DC and I am teaching you how to build a gingerbread house. Now that you know a little about the history of gingerbread, I think you are ready to become a builder.

    So, let us put our house together, the first thing to do is to put your base down. Remember, this is going to serve as the floor of your house and will also enable you to actually pick up your gingerbread house. Remember that you have your two triangles, either cut from your template or pre-bought and your two rectangles cut from your rectangle template.

    The first thing I am going to do is I am actually going to put a strip of icing on the side of my triangle. This royal icing is going to serve as my glue and really hold the gingerbread pieces together. Now, remember this icing is made with raw eggs. I am not going to eat it because it might make me feel little bit sick. I am icing the side of the triangle all the way down and I make sure I actually press nice thick stretch to really hold it together. Okay and I am ready to go.

    I am going to put the triangles on the long side of the base. I am going to lean my rectangle piece of gingerbread along it and glue it together with my royal icing. It will be a little tricky, it helps to have another set of hands, but if you do not I will show you a little trick that I like to use. Take some soda cans or any kind of cans that will really do and I actually put it inside the house to lean against the wall, so that I am able to glue on another triangle.

    If you have a helper you may want to have them hold your house together. The next thing I am going to do is glue some more of that icing on to the rectangle. last but not least you have got to put the last rectangle on by adding a little bit of our icing or glue onto each side of the triangle and then we have got our house. Walla, you have finished your house, good job builders. Now, do not be discouraged if there is a little bit of an opening in your house, you might be able to see some spaces, no gingerbread man will escape. In fact your house might shrink because it is made of natural materials and these spaces you can cover them up with icing. Make a really nice roof and a snow effect or you may wish later to put some materials on top like a piece of candy on your roof. But, you are ready to go; the most important part is done. Your house is built, so now it is time to be artistic and decorate.