Gingerbread House Party Menu & Wrap Up

It was another year of FURIOUS competition at gingerbread house party.  Every year I’m so impressed how people step it up in the face of such stiff competition!  We had four teams with about 40 competitors and kids total – it was a full house! 

(PS – Mandy Nevin – that is totally Georgia getting busted in the middle of this picture feeding the dog people food….)

This whole party is sugar overload so I try to get savory snacks to munch on:

Ok, ok there were a few sweet snacks too….I can’t have a Christmas party at my house with out my traditional Christmas time treats of Danish almond cookies and Gingersnaps

Oh and we can’t forget the fudge

Or the gift fudge that I give to each of the competitors as a thank you for coming

You know, it’s really just the basics 🙂

But forget the food, this party is about competition!

Everyone was totally into it, bringing loads of supplies and great plans for their houses!

Even the kids had a house to work on while the adults competed.

We ended up with a Penguin’s Playground complete with marshmallow polar bears and a slide into the pool for the penguins to splash around.

A Summer Retreat with banana tree outback, a fire pit on the beach, snowmen with spaghetti arms and little surfers out on the water.

A “green” gingerbread house complete with windmill and broccoli for bushes.  Oh and let’s not forget the asparagus trees planted in Reeces cup planters!

But the winner was another green design which included solar panels, an electric car, windmill out front, water retention pond and a second floor bed room with “bamboo” flooring.

I have no idea how folks are going to top this next year!

–Martta

 

Felt Gingerbread House Ornaments

No blog posts last week because I was busy with work travel so it’s blog-a-palooza this week as I document all the Christmas projects I’ve been working on!  I hope you enjoy 🙂

The annual prize at Gingerbread House Party (besides the honor, glory and having a picture of your house in the hall of champions) is an ornament. Usually I just pick up a gingerbread themed ornament at the store and call it a day. This year I decided I wanted to make the ornaments and I think they turned out adorable (you know, if I do say so myself)!

To make the magic happen, I picked up

  • Felt
  • Swirled brown fabric
  • Beads
  • Baby rick rack in red and white
  • Fiber fill
  • Ribbon
  • Fray check

I cut the shape of the house from the swirled brown fabric and a snowy rooftop using templates I created. I then free hand cut a heart and front door to the house.  

The striped effect for the candy cane was achieved by twisting the rick rack together. It gets a bit contorted, but you can lay it flat to create the candy cane shape. I thoroughly doused each end of the candy cane with fray check and let it set before cutting out each candy cane segment. I stitched the snowy roof to the house, placed the heart on the door and sewed both to the house and then placed and sewed on the candy canes.

After doing a couple of these I found it was easier to simply pin the edge of the candy cane at the bottom of the house and then position the rest of the shape as I stitched. This turned out to be a far faster method than trying to pin down all that itty bitty twisted rick rack.

I laid the house front on to a piece of dark brown felt and cut out around the shape leaving ¼” on all sides. 

I cut a 5” piece of ribbon and tucked it into the top of the house and sewed around the house leaving an opening at side of the house for filling. 

Stuff the house with the desired amount of filling, pin the side in place and stitch it closed.

You’re almost done! The finishing touches on this little ornament are to sew on the peppermint candy button above the door and add a few randomly placed beads on the snowy roof of the house. Perfect, now it will glisten in the light of the Christmas tree.

Definitely a worthy prize for a group of hard working competitors!

–Martta

Linking Up Here:

HookingupwithHoH

Gingerbread House Party Score Card

Well you can’t have a gingerbread throw down without a winner right?  And how do you judge the winner?  This year we’ve got a three judge panel ready to examine all the entries.  We’ll be using this scoring card to make sure we assign and deduct points properly.  each judge will complete a score card for each team entry.  The entry with the highest number of points wins!

— Martta

Gingerbread House Party

For the past 11 years in December, I’ve hosted a gingerbread house party. But this isn’t all sugar plums and happy fat gingerbread men – it’s cut throat competition. I divide all my friends up into teams and pit them against each other in a one hour slugfest for gingerbread domination and bragging rights for the whole next year.

All teams are provided the following:

  • One Wilton Gingerbread House kit
  • One 13″x19″ cake board covered in foil
  • Three cups of prepared buttercream icing
  • The royal icing supplied in the Wilton kit, prepared
  • One soup can
  • One knife
  • One pair of scissors

Here are the rules of my gingerbread house throwdown:

  • Teams can be of any size
  • Teams have one hour to complete their masterpieces
  • Time may be extended in five minute increments if all teams agree to do so
  • All decorations on the final product must be edible with the exception of the cake board covered in foil
  • All pieces provided in the Wilton kit (two roof panels, two rectangular side panels, and two house shaped end panels) must be used in some form on the completed house and scene
  • Modifying, crushing, breaking or using house pieces in a non-traditional manner is allowed
  • Pre-assembled items are allowed, pre-constructed items are not
  • Teams are allowed to bring as many extra supplies to decorate their house as they wish (This includes additional Wilton gingerbread house kits to create a village or two story house)
  • Stealing of other team supplies is allowed*
  • Houses are judged on creativity (50%) and construction (50%)
  • Rules clarifications are provided by request and shared with all teams upon the final decision
  • Points will be deducted for not returning the soup can, knife or scissors

* Stealing of unique, pre-assembled items or decorations that have already been placed on the house or scene is not allowed.

The most frequent rules clarification requested is “What is the difference between pre-constructed and pre-assembled?” Say for instance the team decides to build a bridge as a part of a snowy cabin theme. The bridge will be made out of sugar cookies. They can bake the individual sugar cookie bridge pieces in advance of the party but not assemble that bridge until time begins at the party. Also, these sugar cookie bridge pieces would be considered a unique item and thus are not available for stealing.

Over the years I’ve had some really awesome houses everything from the traditional gingerbread with decorated Christmas trees and a brown sugar path to the front doorto grandma got run over by a reindeer

and a church (Including steeple!) with a full nativity scene. 

Incredibly talented people have come up with some amazing edible house and scene details.  Like “Hot Hands” Matt’s work with tootsie rolls (See figure on the bridge and canoe at the dock):  Or Kelly’s oven with old lady in it to complete a Hansel and Gretel theme.

And palm trees and fire pit – all made from candy!

All these houses were made in ONE hour!  This party is a blast every year because people keep coming up with ways to top last year’s houses.  I can’t wait to see what designs are brought to the table this year and I invite you to torture your friends with a gingerbread house throw down of your own!

–Martta