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BY ALEX PASSAUR, Blake High
I’m about to suggest something that sounds like an awful lot of work, especially at this time of year. But trust me, it’s so worth it: You should build a gingerbread house. Here are the simple steps for a fun activity with family or friends:
STEP ONE: Inspiration
Log on to photo sharing websites such as Instagram and Pinterest for photos of gingerbread houses to spark your own ideas, or for ideas to steal (look at that clever rooftop made of peppermint candy, and that doorway framed in Skittles!)
STEP TWO: Construction materials
Buy a kit. The kit makes life easier, with gingerbread pieces already cut in proper shapes. They’re available at most craft stores (I found one at Walmart for $8.) Candy, icing and photos will be included, but don’t be afraid to buy other candies for your own touch: candy canes, rainbow sprinkles, gum drops, Jolly Ranchers, you get the idea. The more variety, the more interesting the house.
STEP THREE: Get down to business
Follow the assembly directions in the kit. Then, start with decorating the roof. Layering Necco wafers, mints and other flat candies on top of the frosting you apply to the roof add more texture and color. Add sprinkles on the top for a fun effect. You can also line frosting along the top of the roof and place gum balls as Christmas lights!
STEP FOUR: More decor
Place frosting along the sides of the roof and house. It’s easy to create icicles, or snow! Add gum drops, Jolly Ranchers, sprinkles or whatever moves you on the icing.
STEP FIVE: Take sides
The sides of the house aren’t as important as the roof and front, but you can put gum drops along the bottom to look like a garden. A kit may include tree shaped gummies, so those are good for the landscape, too!
STEP SIX: Front and center
The front of the house is the last step, and most crucial. After all, it’s what the gingerbread man or woman of the house comes home to each night! Add a mint wreath, frost all over the door and add sprinkles to make it pop. For the windows, Stride or any brand of gum that comes in brick size makes good window sills. Let your imagination run: You could make a pond out front with blue food color mixed with icing and gummy fish swimming. Any left over candy should be used on the front, make it merry and bright!
Tag your gingerbread photos with Instagram tagged #tb2andyou