Gingerbread House Workshop (how to host one & survive}

I did something insane. And fun.
Insanely fun.
I hosted a Gingerbread House Workshop in our basement.
It is also called Cafe' de Sous Sol (basement coffee house).

Here's the room set-up, ready, and waiting for the ladies.

Each house was adhered to a 10" X 14" Wilton cake board
and accompanying it was a 16" disposable Wilton piping bag
filled with royal icing (recipe below). 
I also gave each spot some 4 oz. cups to hold the decorating yummies.
Each person got an apron to wear and a name tag sticker
which was resting on a mini candy cane easel.

The decoration stations.

I made some pedestal dishes by using royal icing as "glue"
and attaching plates to the rims of my red thumbprint goblets.

I dumped the flours out of my jars in my upstairs kitchen into baggies for the day,
and used the jars to hold cereal (graham squares and frosted wheat).
Tall, clear pedestal glasses held treats like shredded coconut, M&Ms, 
mints, gumballs, and licorice.

Tiny house pieces and wreath shapes.

Brunch items included:
scones, cupcakes, sandwich pinwheels, mini quiches, 
pull-apart cinnamon bread, yogurt parfaits, and cream puffs.

At the caffeination station the beverages were:
regular and decaf coffee, orange juice, water, eggnog (w/nutmeg and whipping cream), 
an assortment of teas, cocoas, hot apple cider, wassail, and sparkling white grape juice.


Happy Savanna.

Bamboo clothes pin worked perfectly to hold the icing bags closed.


The making of a chimney.

My daughter, Miss A, on the left, and Hyojin, our S. Korean
exchange student/sister/daughter on the right.

No way, mom! 
You aren't taking my picture!
(Too late.)

Hyojin's puppy in the doghouse!

My mom brought a diagram of what she wanted hers to look like.
(See it top left?)


Some of the ladies with their creations.
You girls make me smile!

What a wonderful day with all of you!


1. Be crazy and love people.
Because this is tiring, but so worth it!

2. Have a space to host in.
Decide how many spaces (people/houses) you want to make room for.
I made space for 10. It was just right for our accommodations.

3. Make invitation/date & time/set fee.
Below is the invite I used/the earlier in the season the better
(this was a four hour session)/I charged $15 
and it was just enough to cover all the expenses including brunch.
I simply made an event on FaceBook for the party and invited folks that way.
(Add text to the image below w/Picasa or other image editing software, 
or use as is, and upload the invite .jpg to your FaceBook event.) 

4. Recipe/templates.

Here's the template we used.
Using these measurements, I traced next to a ruler on cardboard then cut the pieces out.
Cardboard worked perfectly because it didn't rip or stick to the raw dough.
We also cut a 1 1/2" wide X 2 1/2" high door from the middle of one of the sides.
(A base piece wasn't used because the house was stuck directly to the cake board.
The chimney wasn't used on our houses, either.)

5. Shop for gingerbread ingredients, candy, and food.
In addition to Walmart (which had the least expensive candies), 
I also found candy in places like Kohl's and Five and Dime stores.
Ready-to-bake (or thaw) brunch items were quick and easy to prepare.

6. Call in re-inforcements. Sous Chefs.
My 2 moms helped me mix, roll, and bake for three days!
(Thank you SO much, you two! I loved doing this with you!)

Me assembling houses.
The yellow pieces of paper kept track of the pieces already made/needed per house.

7. Bake for 3 days.
'Nuff said.

8. Set up.
I set up a few days before the party because the houses needed to dry.
This also gave me time to arrange the tables, clean, make sure 
everything was in its spot and ready for guests.

10. Have FUN!
I loved seeing all the creative ways to use gumballs and Necco wafers!
I also loved being with my friends laughing and making memories!
Get out the camera!

11. Clean up.
Use plastic table cloths from the Dollar Tree to wrap up all
the leftovers into them and toss them.
Enlist some helpers to get the leftover decorating things into plastic baggies,
sweep/mom, wash dishes, and generally help tidy the area.

12. Rest for a few days.
(I may or may not have gotten a massage and pedicure afterward.) 

on Pinterest for more ideas and help!

Here are some other pictures of the cafe' decorated for Christmastime.

This is my house:


Follow Me on Pinterest


  1. This is awesome! I wish I could have come....I would have rocked those beautiful houses! (but I've never made one so I don't really know for sure) Lisa~

  2. Wow Leslie! You put a lot of work into all of this for only breaking even on the costs. It looks amazing and I wish I lived near you so I could come.

  3. So awesome!! I wish I could have come!!

    1. Crystal, if I had known you wanted to come, I'd have invited you!
      You are always welcome in our home!
      Merry Christmas!

  4. WOW! What a fabulous gingerbread house party! I wish I lived near you! :-) About a week ago, we did purchase a gingerbread kit that we'll let our grown up kids (and their friends) decorate when they come home for the holidays. I really love your chalk board wall, too!

    1. It was so much fun! Isn't making a mess with frosting and candy a blast?!
      The chalkboard is simply two coats of flat black, scrubbable paint!

  5. Wow, Leslie! That was fabulous. You really did a great job with that workshop. Looked and sounded like an immense amount of work but FUN FUN FUN for all, too.

    We make gingerbread houses around here, too! Take care. Susan

  6. I feel like I'm copying everybody else but WOW! I wished I lived closer because I'd be there in a minute. What a wonderful and fun thing to do! Everything looks amazing!

    1. Hi Terry!
      Maybe I'll make a national Gingerbread House Workshop next year and everyone can come! ;)

  7. oh my .. You are a GO - GETTER! amazing!!! So wonderful for your family and friends!!!

  8. Leslie, are brave!! What a beautiful Gingerbread House and lovely post! Just Linked up with you "Deck the Halls Pinning Party, as well!! How lovely your Blog is. Thanks for sharing!
    Hugs and Blessings,

  9. First off, this is your basement!??!?! Awesome.

    I think my son would LOVE something like this. He and his cousins might be a little too young for this at this point...I can't decide, it would just be a MAJOR clean up and really hard to stop them from going to town on candy. However, maybe in a year or so. I will have to pin this to make sure I remember.

    Although, I think the moms might like to do this as well!

  10. Forget the Ginger Bread houses, you'll find me stationed at the decorating stations, the candy sticks look so very tempting!

  11. You are so cool. This really would be fun!! Pinning this--this would be a fun thing to do next year!

  12. I love you and want to decorate a gingerbread house with you! This looks so fun and you are the hostess with the mostess! <3


Thank you for coming by and for sharing your heart and thoughts with me!


© 2016. All Rights Reserved. | Blog Design By Simply Klassic Design