Wednesday, December 14, 2011

More Gingerbread House Decorating Party Tips!

Are you thinking of hosting a gingerbread house decorating party? I must say that, with the help of all my friends, I have this tradition almost down to a science. I was keeping a mental note of what we were finding out this time around, and maybe someone can benefit from said findings? And be sure to check out last year's tips on how to have a sweet party!

I'm not even sure how many years we have done this, I'm thinking five or six? We continue to learn, of course, as our children get older and we add more little ones into the mix. We just had our annual party last weekend, and we had a record amount of kiddies decorating. I think we had sixteen houses. We even had two little guys, one two years old and the other nearly two, decorating their own tiny custom houses. It was magic!

Tip number one: use hot glue!
Last year we decided to use graham crackers to make the houses, which worked fine, once we figured out the best way to make them. This year we used hot glue to stick the houses together, instead of icing, because no one really eats the house part anyway! This worked much better, they dried faster and stronger. We did pipe around the joints with icing, just to seal things up and make them look better. This also helps disguise any wonky-ness you may have!

Tip number two: let your husbands do some building (it is really good for some laughs!)
As a few of us sat making the houses, while other ladies were busy with other jobs, we kept saying again and again that we thought our husbands would enjoy the task of building. So, we put them to work! Seeing our fellas wielding glue guns was pretty cute. The guys had a blast, and the ladies had time for other things.

Tip number three: pay attention to what sizes of crackers you have
One thing we discovered early on, was that some brands of crackers were different sizes. That meant we had to be sure that the pieces of each house had the same brand. Also, one brand had crackers that weren't in sheets, they were in squares, which is almost a deal breaker. The good thing is that, when you are using the glue, it is very easy to just glue pieces like that together to make a sheet. When you are setting up to build, just put like brands together.

Tip number four: Use thicker icing for sticking candy
I remembered last year thinking that I needed to make the icing a little on the thick side. Why? Because heat from little hands quickly warms up the bags of icing and makes the icing a little on the runny side. Of course, if you are using ready made icing, you could put the icing bags in the fridge, just for a bit, until ready to use. This would keep them from becoming runny as quick. No one wants their candy sliding off the house!

Tip number five: big tootsie rolls make great chimneys!

A big element of this party is the candy. Our faves are gumdrops, sticks of gum, and those gummi rings make great wreaths. Someone brought sno caps, which I really enjoyed eating. One thing we found this time around was that big tootsie rolls make great chimneys. I had some (okay tons!) of Halloween candy leftover, and there were lots of those in my stash.

Tip number six: corral the candy with cupcake liners!

As we were watching our darling children stick candy to their houses, one of my mommy friends observed that we needed cupcake liners for each kid to house their candy. Some of the round candy was rolling away onto the floor. So, I grabbed some out of the cabinet, and problem solved! Seriously, what would I do without the wisdom of other moms?

This Christmas season, I have really tried to slow down, and do less. But this party is one thing I just can't seem to skip. When the kids start decorating, and everyone is having fun, I always look at my husband and smile. I LOVE hosting this event! I know these parties will be something we will always remember.

1 comment:

jena said...

Love love love this! It is so nice to have all these tips and memories logged away in a convenient place, thanks!