I call this my FOREVER Gingerbread House.
You can easily pack it away and use it year after year.
I like crafts like this because 1) I can use it a few years in a row and 2) because I don’t like the idea of sticky sweet food being left out for days on end. I’ve never had bugs in my house except a few ants and I don’t want to tempt them to return. Ya know what I mean?
Anyway, one of my favorite painting techniques when making faux food is to make my own textured paint. Want to know what the big secret is? Sand! Yup, I mix my own paint colors and then add sand into the mix. If you add just a bit of Mod Podge to the mix it makes the sand stick to the surface even better. Just make sure that when you make a batch of textured paint that you make more than enough for the whole project. Being able to mix the exact same color twice would be a major miracle!
This is a large paper mache house. I mixed the paint, sand and Mod Podge until I got it the color I wanted and then with a foam brush I painted it all over the house. Inside and out. Let dry over night. I went back the next day and with a natural sponge and a couple of the paint colors I used in my mix I dabbed the sponge into the paint, wiped most of it off on a paper towel and then dabbed it onto the house in various places then went on to another color. This gave my house some variation in color. Like a real gingerbread cookie has.
Now for the FUN part. My icing? Aleene’s True Snow. I use this stuff for all kinds of projects where I need faux frosting. I put it in a regular frosting piping bag with a tip and decorate just like I would with frosting. It’s a bit thinner and if you try to add color it becomes thinner yet but it sets up hard as a rock and looks like the real thing.
So I loaded a frosting bag with a medium sized hole tip and went to town decorating my house with snow frosting. It also acts as the glue (just like with a real gingerbread house and royal icing) to hold the decorative elements on.
All of the candies I used are really ornaments for miniature trees. I found a huge selection at Pat Catan’s, I cut the hanging loops off with a pair of wire cutters and used them like I would regular candy.
Yes, I realize that this costs a bit more than a real food gingerbread house but you can use it more than one year. I think it would look cool to make a small village and then decorate a Christmas tree with a candy theme and put the village under the tree or even in branches (you’d have to thin the tree out a bit). This is also something I could take to my Mother In Law at the nursing home where she could enjoy looking at it and the facility wouldn’t have a problem having it sit out.
If you make your own Forever Gingerbread House I’d love to see pictures! I’ll post them as a follow up to this post.