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San Marcos High School ~ Santa Barbara, CA

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The King's Page

Gingerbread House Tips & Tricks

Hope Smith
Gingerbread House Materials


The Christmas season is here, people are getting in the holiday spirit and stores are selling gingerbread houses. These tips can help you win a gingerbread making contest, Before getting into making gingerbread houses, let’s talk about the history behind them. Gingerbread houses have a history that goes back centuries. The tradition originated in Germany during the sixteenth century and was inspired by the fairy tale Hansel and Gretel. In the story, the siblings stumble upon a gingerbread house in the forest. 


Here’s what you will need: 

  1. Gingerbread kit (or you can make your own)
  2. Cardboard
  3. Additional candies


Now let’s get to building. Making a gingerbread house is fun but can also be frustrating if you make it improperly. Start by preparing your pieces and make sure to break apart the pieces carefully so they’re all even. Most premade gingerbread kits come with a plastic base to assemble but instead you should use a thick cardboard piece, this will help provide stability. 


 To put together your house, use royal icing as your glue—this will help hold together your walls and it dries quickly. Apply a generous amount of the icing along the edges of your pieces and join them together. Start with the walls when assembling, attach the walls to your base and hold them in place until the icing sets. Next add on your roof, once the walls are secured carefully add the roof pieces. Use light pressure so it doesn’t fall apart. Make sure you let all the icing dry before decorating. This will make it easier to move around when adding your candies. Keep in mind that this can take several hours but you just need to be patient.


Time for the fun part, decorating. Before you start decorating, have an idea of how you want your house to look. Use a variety of candies, your kit will come with little packets of candies but sometimes its nice to have colorful candies like gumdrops, M&M’s, skittles, and candy canes. It will add texture and vibrancy. Also create patterns. Using different candies to create different patterns and textures. For example, you can add candy canes to the roof or make a pathway with sprinkles. 


Take your time, decorating your gingerbread house is a fun creative process, enjoy the experience and don’t worry about it being perfect. Remember there are no rules when it comes to creativity. Hopefully this helps when you’re making gingerbread houses with your friends or family this Christmas season. 

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About the Contributor
Hope Smith, Staff Writer
Hope is a sophomore at San Marcos High school. She has been writing for the kings page since freshman year and is looking forward to journalism the rest of high school. Hope loves writing, swimming, and listening to music. Her favorite subject in school is english.
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