I've been working on my 2017 Holiday Bucket List and checking things off as I go. I must say that list helps keep me focused and on track. Last week I did something new for me, I hosted a Gingerbread House Decorating Party. Well, technically a Graham Cracker Decorating Party.
We recently had some California friends visiting so I thought the littles might enjoy "gluing" candy to graham cracker houses. I still want to make a real gingerbread house from scratch but thought these would be a better idea for a group of smaller children. Turns out I was right.
As with all things unfamiliar I started my research on YouTube and Pinterest. After watching this video I thought, how simple, piece of cake! Right?
Umm...not so much. Although I followed the instructions on the video pretty closely, this knowledgeable gentleman failed to mention one important fact. Fresh graham crackers break when you try to saw them with a serrated knife! So I thought, what would happen if you softened them a bit in the microwave?
Helpful Hint: Warm graham crackers in the microwave for 20 seconds, wrapped in a damp paper towel. Then immediately cut before they cool. This tip saved my bacon (and our party)!
I preassembled the houses a few days before the party.
Made cake stands out of plastic plates and cups, then topped them with doilies,
covered the table (and chair seats), then arranged the candy.
William Sonoma has some fun small sized candies that are perfect for tiny houses and cookies.
In the video, the gentleman talks about the royal icing and how it needs to be stiff to hold the houses together and while his recipe worked great for the construction, it was a bit too thick for decorating. This is where my inexperience came in. Next time I will make the icing less stiff for decorating, but we muddled through and it really was kind of fun.
These little houses were a great excuse to pull out all those tiny embellishments I've been saving for years. Everything looks better with a plastic reindeer and flocked tiny trees. Don't you agree?
The older girls meticulously applied their candies
with precision and patience.
while the younger ones enjoyed sampling their candy choices as they worked.
I just wanted to share our experiences with you all here and to encourage you to think about hosting a house decorating party. With a little planning and prep work, it can be lot's of fun and relatively stress free .
I hope you are enjoying your holiday. I'll be back next time with a quick and inexpensive gift idea using those empty Oui yogurt jars.
Encourage one another,