Tuesday’s Tip Jar – Frugal Gingerbread Houses

December 2, 2008 at 1:43 pm 2 comments

Decorating gingerbread houses is a tradition I grew up with and I am passing it along to my son. Last year was the first year my son was able to participate, and I plan to continue this fun holiday tradition as long as he enjoys it.

When I was a child, each year we would have a gingerbread house decorating party at my house. My brother and sister and I were all allowed to invite one or two friends to the party. Each person was asked to bring a bag or two of candy to share. My mom made all of the gingerbread houses – the easy way – with graham crackers.

I buy graham crackers at the dollar store – who cares how they taste, since they are just used for decorating, not eating. I make Royal Icing to hold the house together, and to glue the candy and decorations on to the house.

I put the icing in several plastic sandwich bags, and then cut an edge to allow the children (or adults) to place the “glue” on the houses. (I do have a pastry bag, but one pastry bag does not go far with 5 kids, so it’s very convenient to use plastic bags.)


For the base, I cut out squares or rectangles from cardboard boxes and cover them with foil. Then I build the house on the foil. The size of the house is up to you. (The picture above is the house my son decorated last year.)

Last year my son invited two of his friends, who both have siblings; 5 kids decorating worked out well for us. I made gingerbread houses for each child the day before the party, this allowed plenty of time for icing to dry.

In addition to the candy the guests bring, we usually have several bags of candy, sprinkles, and sometimes leftover Halloween candy for everyone to use. I normally look for good deals on candy at discounted grocery stores and the dollar store.

In this busy holiday season, make sure you take time to reflect on the meaning of Christmas, and enjoy some fun traditions together as a family.


Entry filed under: Children, Family, Food, Holidays, Recipes. Tags: , , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Becki@BlogMommas  |  December 2, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    I so want to do this with my kids this year!

    Happy Tuesday! 🙂

  • 2. he & me +3  |  December 2, 2008 at 6:10 pm

    We decorated gingerbread houses only 2 times, but the kids loved doing it. Thanks for the tips and reminder…I always forget how much fun these are.


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