Vol.1, No.7

Kid crafts gingerbread houses

Get step-by-step instructions for how to make an easy candy-covered gingerbread house, a classic holiday craft!

Gingerbread house craft
hese make great holiday craft projects for kids!

Supplies:

Graham crackers

White icing or confectioner's sugar, water, and mixing bowl

Assorted soft and hard candies

Pint sized milk carton

cardboard base

Function of materials:

The graham crackers will be your gingerbread, they are make up the house. The white icing will be the glue that holds your graham cracker construction together, it will also glue on the hard candies which act as holiday decorations on the outside of the house. The milk carton serves as a frame that supports the house; it will not be seen. The cardboard base is what the house will stand on, acting like the house's plot of land and possibly providing a space for a yard. If you don't want to have a yard, it will simply keep crumbs and sticky icing off of whatever surface it sits on for display.

The number of items you need depends on how many gingerbread houses you plan to make. This recipe is good for one house but it can certainly be expanded to make as many as you want.

How to: Preparation

Start by emptying out the pint sized milk container. You can have your child bring it home to you from school if you don't want to have to buy extra milk just for this project. Give the container a thorough rinsing because sour milk will stink up your display. Allow it to dry.

Gather all of the candy in a dish. If you want to be well organized you can even put each type of candy in separate dishes. Here are some excellent suggestions for candy you can use if you aren't sure where to start: M&M's peanut or plain, Mike and Ikes, peppermints, gumdrops, candy canes, chocolate chips, Hershey kisses. But this list can be expanded upon or scaled back depending on how you want your house to look. You can even choose the M&M's in holiday colors.

Spread newspaper over your workstation because this project will get messy.

If you are making your own icing "glue," do that now. Mix 2 cups of confectioners sugar with one-half of a cup of water. Mix the ingredients together. Test the thickness of the icing. Dip a spoon into the bowl of icing and scoop. Hold the spoon upside down over the bowl and let the icing drip. If it doesn't drip at all little by little add more water until it is the right consistency. If the icing runs like water would, add more sugar. If it is somewhere in between you probably have it about right.

Break graham crackers in half along the perforated line.

How to: step by step instructions:

1) Put a dab of the icing about the size of a half dollar on the center of your cardboard base. Set the milk carton down on top of the dollop of icing and hold it down firmly for about thirty seconds until the icing dries a little.

2) Begin constructing the house by "pasting" the graham crackers on to the sides of the milk carton. The graham cracker squares should be "pasted" with icing to the sides of the carton. To make the crackers into squares, they will probably need to be broken in half. Break the crackers according to the dimensions of your house. This may take a little bit of rough measuring by placing the graham cracker on its side against the carton.

3) Graham cracker rectangles will be part of the roof. Turn them on their side and "paste" them horizontally on top of the graham cracker squares. The rectangles should lean in together toward each other to form a pointy roof.

4) Then take a graham cracker square and cut it in half diagonally to form two triangles out of the one square. The triangles will be the last part of the roof. Glue it to the front and back of the roof of the house.

5) Now comes the fun part, candy! Using the icing, glue candy pieces along the roof and seams, or corners, of the house to make it look as though the house is lined in Christmas lights. Dump extra frosting over the roof and let it drip down to look like snow and icicles. You can use peppermints to make windows or doors and other candy as shingles all over the roof. Be creative!

Have fun!