Gingerbread House Decorating Ideas

Gingerbread house and family
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  • 01 of 08

    Rustic Gingerbread Cottage

    Person decorating gingerbread house
    David Bishop Inc. / Getty Images

    This gallery of gingerbread houses includes pictures of different types of gingerbread houses with all sorts of details and unique touches.

    The gingerbread house pictured here shows just how creative you can get with a simple graham cracker house. The roof is made out of frosted mini shredded wheat cereal, giving it a rustic, cozy cottage look. The windows are made with Pepperidge Farm Montieri cookies, and the lattice pattern over the raspberry jelly gives the windows an elegant stained glass look. Straight candy canes and red hot candies make an excellent roof border for any gingerbread house.

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  • 02 of 08

    Fancy Graham Cracker Gingerbread House

    Gingerbread house with candy lamppost
    Steve Cohen / Getty Images

    This is another elegant graham cracker gingerbread house (clearly not made by a child!). But even kids and people who aren't pastry chefs can get some good ideas from this cleverly decorated house.

    For example, this gingerbread house uses red striped gum to make elegant and festive shingles for the roof and mini marshmallows to make snow drifts around the base of the house. In the one featured here, the designer used a candy cane stuck into a vanilla wafer with a gumdrop on the end to make a streetlamp. It's a clever trick -- and one that even little kids can use.

    Royal icing is ideal for decorating your gingerbread house. It easily creates even delicate candy decorations like this lamp stick and dries quickly. If you'd like to make windows out of round butter crackers or fancy doors out of cookies the way the artist of this house did, pipe the icing onto the crackers or cookies before attaching them to the house, giving the windows and doors a few minutes to dry before putting them into place.

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  • 03 of 08

    Simple Gingerbread House Log Cabin

    Gingerbread house
    Laszlo Selly / Getty Images

    This picture shows how to make a simple gingerbread house log cabin. You could make this gingerbread house from scratch or use a pre-baked or pre-assembled gingerbread house kit. The only ingredients you need to decorate this simple house are royal icing, gumdrops, M&Ms, spearmint candy for the trees and tiny red, blue and green dots for the gingerbread bear's eyes. There are no candies or pretzels used to make the logs on this log cabin. Rather, the artist piped white icing in rows on the sides of the house to give the appearance of logs.

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  • 04 of 08

    Gingerbread House with Snowman Figurine

    Gingerbread house
    Smneedham / Getty Images

    This picture shows how impressive and clever a homemade gingerbread house can be with just a little creativity. The bricks on this gingerbread house are made out of red licorice that's been cut into tiny pieces, then attached to the house with lots of white icing with the icing showing through as the mortar for the bricks.

    Notice the fire logs beside the chimney, made out of short pretzel rods and the flat pretzel squares that make up the stone path leading to the house. To decorate the chimney, you could use puffed rice, raisins, dried cranberries or a combination. If you'd like to include a snowman like the one pictured here, Wilton makes gingerbread icing figurines in the shapes of a snowman, elf, reindeer, Santa, and more.

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  • 05 of 08

    Graham Cracker Gingerbread House with Cake Train

    Making holiday centerpiece
    James Baigrie / Getty Images

    These graham cracker gingerbread houses show just how beautiful understated can be, especially when you put them in a pretty setting. These graham cracker houses are simply adorned with Necco wafers (thin, round pastel-shaped candies) for the roof shingles and white royal icing. Cookies make simple windows and gumdrops form a chimney on the roof, but other than that, it's what is around these graham cracker houses, not on them, that makes them special.

    Flaked coconut on icing makes the perfect snow for any gingerbread house setting. These houses add peppermint starlight candies for the stone path leading up to the homes. The train running between these houses is made out of cake. You can use the Nordic Ware train cake pan to make one quickly and easily. You'll want to finish off the train with a few starlight candies for cargo.

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  • 06 of 08

    Gingerbread House with Gingerbread Man Roof

    Fantasy Gingerbread House
    Barbara Rolek

    The roof of this fantasy-themed gingerbread house is made of gingerbread men cookies, and the fence around the house is simply pretzels dipped in white and dark chocolate. You don't even have to do the dipping yourself -- buy yogurt-dipped pretzels and chocolate dipped pretzels to simplify the process. The house is framed with mints and spearmint trees, and the walkway lined with starlight candies. You can easily make this gingerbread house from a gingerbread house kit if you don't want to bake and cut the gingerbread yourself.

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  • 07 of 08

    Gingerbread House with Marshmallow Snowman

    Gingerbread house
    Comstock / Getty Images

    This gingerbread house picture offers lots of decorating ideas that are easy enough for kids to incorporate into their own holiday creations. You can use a pre-made gingerbread house kit as a base and even though those kits typically come with candy, it's more fun to add your own sweets and decorations to personalize your house.

    The one featured here uses marshmallows both for the snowman and to make shingles for the roof. The marshmallows are also with red licorice to make a sleigh for Santa. Gumdrops make a colorful chimney decoration and border for the house display. In some ways, decorating the base and around the gingerbread house can be more fun than decorating the house itself!

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  • 08 of 08

    Gingerbread House with Fruit Roll-up Roof

    Gingerbread House
    Janis Christie / Getty Images

    This gingerbread house picture demonstrates how easy it is to decorate with a little imagination by using fruit roll-up strips for the roof. Vanilla wafers make a cute stone path leading to the door of this gingerbread house, which is framed with licorice.