One of our favorite family traditions for Christmas is decorating gingerbread houses. We love all the yummy candies and seeing the unique designs the kids and adults create. We’ve hosted our fair share of gingerbread house parties and are sharing some tips and tricks for how to host your own gingerbread house making party. We’ve even got a free printable party pack for you to download and print at home so you can make your gingerbread house party extra special this holiday season.
A gingerbread house party is not just for the kids. If you’re looking for a Christmas party theme for an adult party, couples party, or girls night Christmas party — host a gingerbread house making party! Adults love getting creative just as much as the kids. Some years we’ve decorated gingerbread houses with just our little family. Other years we’ve hosted a party for the kids with lots of little friends. Our favorite is making gingerbread houses with the adults and turning it into a friendly competition between couples. It’s so fun to see all the creative and one of a kind gingerbread house designs!
We normally buy store bought gingerbread house kits or use graham crackers for easy DIY gingerbread houses, but this year we decided to go all out and make gingerbread houses from scratch. We were surprised to learn how easy they are to make! We had so much fun baking our own houses this year that we can’t wait to make this a yearly Christmas tradition.
To help make our own gingerbread houses from scratch, we bought our friend Andie’s ebook. Andie’s family lived by us growing up and we remember all their fun and elaborate gingerbread houses they’d make year after year. Her ebook was so simple to follow and had lots of tips and ideas for making your gingerbread house look like the pro bakers! If you’re thinking of hosting a girls night gingerbread house party – we’d totally suggest buying her ebook and make learning new skills and techniques part of the party. We especially loved making her icing transfers. They’re very easy to follow and she has ones for ducks, birds, swans, bunnies and wreaths.
If you don’t have time to make gingerbread houses from scratch, store bought or graham cracker houses are our go to. If you’ve got lots of littles making houses, we’d suggest assembling the houses before the party starts so the littles can focus on decorating. Assemble or make them all the night before so they can be plenty dry and sturdy for handling. There is nothing more stressful than trying to help a lot of little kids assemble their houses and having them fall apart as they’re decorating it. We like using homemade royal icing because it’s a much better glue than the store bought icing.
You can never have enough candy and sprinkle options for gingerbread houses. We like to set up a toppings station and sprinkle station so guests have lots of options for decorating. Have guests each bring a bag or two of candy to contribute. We like to open them all up and set them in bowls or mini cups with lids (the kind for toddler snacks or condiments is our favorite). This year we separated them by color to make decorating with a color scheme easier. Print off our FREE toppings station sign for a festive set up.
Our go to gingerbread house candy list:
- mini m&m’s
- mike and ike candy
- good and plenty candy
- jolly ranchers – for stained glass windows and ponds
- gumdrops and/or dots candy
- mini starbursts
- pretzels – mini sticks, tiny twists, snaps
- chocolate chips
- candy melts
- mini marshmallows
- nerds, nerds gummy clusters
- lots of sprinkle varieties – colorful sugar, dragees, nonpareils, jimmies
- candy canes
- waffle cones – for trees
- chocolate candy rocks
- mystery object guests have to use – this is a fun twist if you’re doing a gingerbread house competition
Prep bags of royal icing in a few different color options, using round tips and a star tip. If you don’t have or want to invest in frosting tips, you could just snip off the end of a piping bag. A fun addition is to make icing transfers – like these wreaths and ducks. You could prep them before the party or encourage party guests to make their own. They take a good hour or more to dry so plan accordingly.
We love having festive drinks and a treat for guests to enjoy while they’re decorating their gingerbread houses. Download our FREE drink and water bottle labels. We also have coordinating treat tags and cupcake toppers for your gingerbread house party.
You could also do an Italian soda bar for a fun festive drink. Check out our post here for free printables and tips and tricks for how to set up an Italian soda bar at your next Christmas party. An adult party, couples party, or girls night Christmas party calls for yummy drinks! You could even set up a hot cocoa bar.
Now on to the best part of the party — seeing every one’s finished product! Each gingerbread house turns out so unique and different. We love the delicious creativity and seeing all the beautiful designs. If you’re doing a gingerbread house making contest and competition we like to give out prizes for the following: most creative gingerbread house, most festive, best use of the mystery object (before they decorate, give guests a crazy object they have to incorporate), and the funniest house.
We hope this inspires you to host your own gingerbread house party. Download our FREE gingerbread house party pack below for easy set up and decorating. We’ve included a garland, toppings station sign, treat tags and cupcake toppers, and water bottle labels. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest for more free printables.
Mele Kalikimaka and happy holidays friends!
Stacey and Niki