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  • Mary Kay

From Christmas to St. Paddy's Day - It's a Green Gingerbread House!

Gingerbread isn't just for Christmas anymore. So, celebrate St. Patrick's Day with a cute little Gingerbread House for your little Leprechauns.

Turn your Christmas Gingerbread House into a green one for St. Patrick’s Day. It’s easy! Just assemble as you would at Christmastime, but use green decorations instead of red and green.

There are just about as many ways to decorate and apply decorations for St. Patrick’s Day as for Christmas. Check out the local candy shops and big box stores for ideas. You can find just about any type of candy in the shape and color of this month’s popular holiday...chocolates, gummies, mints, gums, fruity candies, nutty, marshmallow, foil wrapped, unwrapped, large, small, sprinkles, and much more. It’s your choice as to how you want to decorate your St. Patrick’s Day Gingerbread House.

Maybe you even have an undecorated gingerbread house (in a box) left over from Christmas! You can get them on sale after the holiday, you know. In fact, I made an extra one back then when I was making my Christmas version and saved it to decorate in March. (This is not a tutorial on how to make the gingerbread dough or frosting. There are many recipes online that offer some very good recipes for the houses and the frosting “glue.” Of course, you can make your own or use a premade version. Decoration ideas abound, too.)

After you’ve checked to see what the local stores have to offer as far as green decorations, jot down your ideas and make a plan on how you want to decorate your St. Patrick’s Day Gingerbread House. If you can’t find anything locally, check online, too.

Then, lay out your blank house pieces. Think about where and how you want to arrange the decorations. I like to decorate the walls before I glue the house together. I find that it’s easier to get all the decorations glued on when the walls are flat on the table, rather than trying to glue pieces in place on a vertical wall.

Choose a flat base on which to place your new gingerbread house. Maybe it’s a cutting board, a square of foam core from the local arts and craft store.. You’ll want something that’s sturdy and strong enough if you need to move the house from table to counter, etc. Cover it with a St. Patrick’s fabric or colored paper. Wrapping paper works, too. Or, maybe you plan to frost the base, so you can add landscaping such as a candy rock-lined walkway lined by green gummies, etc.

After I have the decorations on the outside walls, I glue the house together, on my base, using frosting “glue.” You may need to place supports (cans of vegetables) around the walls to hold them upright and in place while the frosting dries. I usually let the side walls dry in place overnight. Then I pipe the frosting to decorate the peak of the house and the outside of the wall seams. That will cover up any imperfections made when you glued the house together.

Finally add any finishing touches such as landscaping around the house or adding a chimney, etc.

This is a project that’s easy for kids to help out with. Make a few little houses, maybe out of graham crackers, so each little Leprechaun in your family can have one.

Of course, keep the house up and out of the reach of very little children and also pets.

Storage is easy if you feel you want to save it for next year…just place it in a plastic storage bin with something wrapped around it to cushion it from anything that could break it. Keep it in a cool, dry, dark place to keep the humidity and sun out so it does not deteriorate. I made mine during the COVID lock-down and saved it for a year until the next St. Patrick’s Day, after which it still looked just like new.

Whether you’re Irish or not, this is a fun project to get the kids involved in. It’s another way to “Bake your own Memories!”

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