My First Gingerbread House


Building Gingerbread - E. Jean Homestead

Something like 6 or 7 years ago, my mother, sisters, Justin and I sat down for our first gingerbread house decorating competition. We had picked up some of those build your own gingerbread house kits from the store. The kits come with pre-baked house pieces, icing and different types of candy for decorations.

These kits were assembled, decorated and judged for the best looking . One year my mom was the judge. Another we left it to social media. There’s no better prize than bragging rights. It was always a fun time.


Gingerbread Building Contest - E. Jean Homestead

We took some risks while building (take note of the hair dryer). Doing whatever needed to be done to ensure wins. I am not sure that any of us took the competitions seriously. I always had the expectation that the gingerbread house would not stand long enough for proper judging.

The following year I got some ideas off of Pinterest. Famous last words right? That year we would build the structures ourselves using graham crackers. Our decorations were strictly offerings of the dollar store’s candy aisle. While more challenging, the house outcomes were not much better than the year prior.

Building Gingerbread Houses - E. Jean Homestead


While doing some self reflection I realized that it is all too easy for me to avoid activities, songs, places, etc. that remind me of my mother. The memories of making gingerbread houses together are memories of fun and generous amounts of laughter. Unfortunately, we have not had a competition since my mother passes away. I believe we did buy a gingerbread train kit for Carter last year that him and my nephew attempted to assemble but that’s all.



Well this year, I am getting back into it. I am getting back into it in a much bigger way. I decided I would build a gingerbread house from scratch. No box kit would be big enough for what I was imagining. As a result, my vision got bigger. Instead of just a gingerbread house, why not make an entire farm? Like barn and all? Husband’s response: “That’s ambitious of you.”

The Finished Product

For my first 100% made by me gingerbread structures, I am more than happy with how it all turned out. The board we used as the base is a bulletin board that we wrapped in kraft paper for protections. It measures about 2 foot by 3 foot. Similar to this.

From start to finish it took about 8 days. However, there were days where I did little or no work on it. We could have been finished much quicker if I were to dedicate a specific amount of time each day to working on it. Now that I have my first one under my belt, I know what to expect and plan for.

Gingerbread Farm - E. Jean Homestead
Our Gingerbread Farm
Building Gingerbread Farm - E. Jean Homestead
Gingerbread Farm


Gingerbread Farm - E. Jean Homestead
Gingerbread Farmhouse
Gingerbread Farm - E. Jean Homestead
Gingerbread Barn



Read more about our build!

The Basics

Recipes and templates that were used to build our gingerbread farm

The Decorations

Details on the decorations to make our farm festive

The Best Tools and Tips

Compilation of the best tools and the tips that helped us the most


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baking, From Scratch, gingerbread

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