Decorating a Gingerbread House

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 16,896
    Craft Expert Joanne Seelig demonstrates decorating 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 and I am teaching you how to make a gingerbread house. Well now that your house is built, it is time to be creative and artistic and figure out how do you want to design your house? What you want it to look like?

    Use the design process and really think about how you want your house to look. Here at the National Building Museum we think that our gingerbread house looks a little bit like a ski lodge. So, I think that I am going to decide to add a little bit of snow on it. I am going to use the icing to give it that snowy effect. Remember our icing is actually acting as glue. It also contains raw egg in it, I am not going to eat it I am simply going to use it as a tool for decorating. I love patterns, so maybe I am going to make a pattern. Notice how the shape repeats.

    Now, I am thinking that my house, I would like it to have some windows. Well, I have a lot to choose from, but I think I would like to use round windows. So, I use a piece of candy and simply going to ice or glue it at your will onto the gingerbread. Like to add a door and I use the icing as my glue just come around here and I will trace the outline of my door. I am going to carefully choose which colors I want to place. I am choosing to make a pattern again with my door by repeating green and red.

    Perfect, something you want to think about is what type of texture would you like your house to be. Spot these frosted mini leaves because I think they give a nice brick effect. Again I am using the royal icing as my glue and I when I put it on the house I am not going to press too hard because the gingerbread is still fragile and the icing is still drying.

    You may choose to decorate around your house, if you use a small base, you might not have that much room, but if you use the larger base then it gives you some room for some landscape design because I do not have a lot of space, I may choose just to make a gate using some candy cane pieces. My gate is going to go on the side. As you design your house, really take your time and think about what you want the effect to be. Use your creativity, just because I used the frosted mini leaf as a brick, does not mean it could not make a great fence. Maybe these jelly beans to be used as a door.

    All of these ingredients can be anything that you want to be. So, really use your imagination. When you are finished decorating you may have beautiful house like this. Once you are done take a good look at your house, is it how you thought it would be? If you are done, give yourself a tap on the back, good job, you have completed your very own gingerbread house.

    Now, before we continue on, think about whether you would like to actually save this house because that is what I can show you how to do next.