POPTART GINGERBREAD HOUSES
As busy mamas, we are constantly trying to find EASY ways to add some holiday fun to our lives throughout the month of December. One of our typical go-tos are gingerbread houses. We have all used the pre-made box kits in the past from Target, Walmart, etc. They're great, but if you're looking for something different this year, add these homemade Poptart gingerbread houses to your list!
With a few simple slices, you can create the pieces needed to create a simple house. We love that the Poptarts are already iced, so it gives a 'snow-y' vibe immediately (even without added icing). AND best of all...these are super inexpensive PLUS you can customize with a different flavor of poptart and all of your favorite candy. For $20 or under you can create a fully unique gingerbread house!
Here are the items we purchased to provide a variety of candy and decorations for our group. Keep in mind, we were 10-12 people decorating at our gathering, so you can adjust quantities as needed.
Strawberry Poptarts As mentioned above, other flavors will give your houses a different look. Have fun and grab a variety!
White, red and green icing We reached out to our favorite neighborhood baker, who created a set of piping bags for each of our kids. However, there are so many easy recipe options all over Pinterest. Like this one!
Holiday Sour Patch Kids
A variety of sprinkles
Mini Candy Canes
Sugar cones (ice cream cones)
Quick Tip: We used this time to empty out any old candy or any relevant items that we had in our cabinets for a while. Things like marshmallows, halloween candy, etc that we were ready to get rid of. You never know what creative uses the kids will come up with!
If you are decorating with a big group, like us, try using your decorations to create a tiered setting. We used one of our kitchen islands for our display and decorating area. The kids were able to easily reach the different candy, but also walked around the island to find what they needed!
The basic color scheme for the table was red, green and white. We pulled display items our of storage to create different heights for each candy/decoration. Just a few ideas below:
Any small tiered plant stands (the wooden pieces above) These were found in the dollar section of Target and added the perfect height to a few of the jars.
Clear plastic bowls (from Dollar Tree)
The white and clear bowls allowed the candy colors to really stand out and add some POP to the table. We also layered in some crepe paper streamers down the center of the table to act as a table runner - incredibly cheap AND easy!
Lastly, this can get extremely messy :) so make sure to cover your entire surface with plastic table cloths. These can be purchased for $1 from Party City and allow you to easily clean up all of the icing and sprinkles at the end of the night!
For a group event, like ours, you will want to make sure to cut your Poptarts down to size before your guests arrive. This makes it easy for the kids to start decorating as soon as they arrive. Just a few easy cuts and you will be ready to go! Make sure to use a serrated knife to keep the Poptarts from breaking. Check out the steps below:
Start by laying one Poptart vertically and one horizontally beside each other.
Cut each top corner off of the vertical Poptart, using the horizontal as a guide for your cut. This will form the roofline of your house. The cut angle should start in the top center of the vertical Poptart and end at the top of the horizontal. See image below:
Next, turn the horizontal Poptart vertically and slice off the top to make it even height with the bottom of your roof line.
For one house, you will need 2 angled roof line pieces, two trimmed vertical pieces, and 2 full Poptarts (6 total pieces). You can see all pieces needed on the plates below.
If you want to add some extra character, try using the rest of the pieces to make a chimney, door, window, etc. Get creative!
We added all Poptart pieces and icing to individual stations for each kid. Then walked them through building the houses when they arrived!
HOW TO BUILD
Start by laying one of the roofline pieces icing side down on a plate.
Draw two icing lines from the bottom of the roof line to the bottom of the Poptart on either side.
Next, stick the shortest side of the straight-trimmed Poptart to the already piped icing. Repeat on both sides.
Once both side pieces are on, repeat the same piping technique on the other roofline piece and stick it directly to the other side of the house.
You will then pipe some icing on all angles of the roof line and place the full Poptarts long ways across each side of the house.
Once all of these pieces are together, give the house 20-30 minutes to dry, if possible, so they don't fall apart while decorating. Check out the images below for some visuals of the steps above!
TIME TO DECORATE!
Once the houses were together and the icing was mostly dry, we let the kids dig in and get creative! It was so much fun seeing what their amazing minds created with all of the goodies available.
One of their favorite parts was using the ice cream cones as a Christmas tree to place beside their houses :) They used icing to cover the cones and then candy to decorate them, which looked just like ornaments! SO CUTE!
The kids were so excited with the way these came out and even the moms got in on the decorating fun! At the end of the night we had a beautiful village of houses that spoke to the personality of each and every one of our kids!!
Try starting this as a new tradition with your friends or neighbors! Another great excuse to gather with everyone and celebrate this magical time of the year!