If you're building your own gingerbread house, the most important thing to do is to follow the drying times so that your house is dry and stable before you begin to decorate. If you start decorating too soon, your house is likely to topple, and that is no fun. Give it time to dry, a minimum of 4 hours (but a full day is better) and then add your icing decorations and candies. Or, just start with a preassembled house, like we are!
Everything that you need to decorate your gingerbread is included in these kits. You don't even need to make icing. It's already done for you! Keep a straight pin close by. It's an easy to way unclog your decorating tip if necessary.
Resist the urge to overfill your decorating bag with icing. Fill it with 1/2 cup icing or less. This icing is firm, to hold the gingerbread and candies together. Putting in more than ½ cup makes the bag more difficult to squeeze, harder on your hand, and more likely that icing will squirt out the top of your bag. You can always refill, so resist the urge to overfill.
There are three unique house designs included in the instructions for every Wilton gingerbread house kit. Copy them directly, or use them as inspiration for your own creative masterpiece.
Each Gingerbread House Kit contains enough icing and candy to make a spectacular house, but if you want to amp it up further, consider adding extra candies and embellishments from Wilton Decorating Kits. Grocery-store candies, like peppermints and jelly beans, work great, too. Plus, you can snack while you decorate.
For more Gingerbread tips, recipes, inspiration and ideas, visit the Wilton Gingerbread House Fun page on Wilton.com.
How to make it last:
After several days, some of the candies on your gingerbread house, may fall off as your icing loses moisture. This is normal, especially in warm, dry environments! To combat this, display your house in a cooler area. Don't put it directly under your heating vents or in a sunny window.
After you are finished decorating, save any remaining icing in your decorating bag. If you store it properly, you can use it to repair your house! Just wrap the entire decorating bag of icing, including the tip, in plastic wrap so that it is protected from the air, and then store that in an airtight container or zip-top bag. If the icing is exposed to air, it will dry out. Wrap it will, and stick it in the refrigerator. Let it come to room temperature before using it to reattach any fallen candies.
Want to save your house for next year? Consider assembling and attaching all of the pieces and candy with a hot glue gun, and covering over the glue with icing. Spray the finished house with crystal clear acrylic spray (purchased from a paint store). Just remember that doing these things makes the house inedible. It's for display only!