Are you looking for holiday crafts for kids? Try a gingerbread house!
Making a gingerbread house with a mold and melted bark coating is so easy, anyone can do it! Well, maybe a kid can do it, with a little help from grown-ups with the parts that require sharp knives and the microwave.
Here's what you'll need to make a gingerbread house.
- 1 batch of Gingerbread House Dough
- 1/2 pound candy melts or almond bark coating
- plastic squeeze bottles for food crafting
- platter, tray, or cardboard squares for base
- assorted holiday candy: peppermints, gumdrops, candy canes, red-hots
- mini-marshmallows or coarse kosher salt for "snow"
1. Bake the Pieces
The day before you want to make your house, you'll need to bake the pieces. Let the pieces rest overnight after they are baked so they will become stiff and strong.
Follow the instructions given for Gingerbread House Dough. For a basic gingerbread house, you will need two roof pieces, two side pieces, and two front/back pieces.
Gingerbread House MoldForm the pieces in one of two ways: using a gingerbread house mold pan, or by making a cardboard template and rolling and cutting the dough.
Gingerbread house molds are heavy pans that form all the pieces you need to make a house. They are very easy to use, and have nice details which bake into the dough. Press the dough hard into the greased mold, then bake as recommended.
Let the pieces cool completely before taking them out of the pan. Lay them out on a wire rack, a cookie sheet or on waxed paper overnight.
Gingerbread House MoldIf you don't have a pan, you can make your house by rolling and cutting the dough with a template. A template is a pattern for the gingerbread house pieces. You can print them from our site or make one yourself. You'll need 2 straight side walls, 2 pointed front and back walls, and two roof pieces.
Work a handful of dough until it is flexible, then use a rolling pin to smooth the dough into a 3/8th-inch thick circle. Put the template on the dough and cut around it with a sharp knife. Be careful not to cut your paw! Gently move the cut-out pieces to a cookie sheet. Bake until they are firm and gently browned. Cool overnight before making your house.
2. Select a Base
Where will you build your gingerbread house? You can make it on a large plate, or a tray.
You can make a base out of cardboard, by covering cardboard squares with gift wrap, aluminum foil, or freezer paper. Use two sheets of cardboard to make the base nice and strong.
Make sure your base is large enough for your house, and for decorations like trees or snow or candy cane signs. A jelly roll pan makes a good base with lots of room for decorations.
3. Melt the Bark Coating
Candy MeltsYou'll use melted bark coating or candy melts to glue the house pieces together. To make your bark coating, have an adult use a knife to chop Almond Bark or bark coating bars into smaller pieces.
Fill a squeeze bottle half-way with the chopped bark coating or candy melts. Ask an adult to microwave the bark coating for one minute. Take the bottle out of the microwave, and squeeze and squish the bark inside. Keep microwaving and squeezing until all the candy is melted.
As you work with the squeeze bottle, the bark coating may cool and become harder to use. Put it back in the microwave for 30 seconds to warm and
soften the bark coating.