When my oldest son was just a baby--about 40 years ago--I took a class on making a Gingerbread house at Home Cake Decorating Supply Company out on Roosevelt Way in Seattle (they are still there!) Over the years I made a few different gingerbread creations but I also collected a lot of patterns from magazines over the years, especially Good Housekeeping that ran a gingerbread contest every holiday season.
I found this pattern 30+ years ago, but don't recall which woman's magazine. I lost the pattern and had to recreate it and made this in 2008. You bake the swan's body around a small stainless steel bowl so your finished swan had an "bowl" to add candies or decorations. I chose to cover the gingerbread with royal icing but you could go for a more natural gingerbread look. You can download the instructions and pattern here. You'll need a PDF reader to open the file.
This is the very first gingerbread house I learned to make as I mentionve above. The instructor's house was a departure from the classic gingerbread houses decorated with lots of candy. She called it a Swiss Skiing Chalet. I thought it charming and made a few over the years as gifts. I even appeared on a local morning TV program here in San Francisco (again, many years ago) and showed how to make this little house and created a how-to book.
This is a really easy little house to make and you can add more candy as you like. Here are some other views of the gingerbread house. Photo 1 Photo 2 Photo 3
If you'd like a copy of the instructions click here and for the pattern click here.
This is another pattern I found in a woman's magazine many years ago. It's actually easy to make but take time and patience and a steady hand. You lay the pattern on a flat surface cover that with wax paper. Then you "pipe" royal icing over the design, let it dry and peel it off the wax paper and assemble much like a gingerbread house using royal icing to glue everthing together. I've used fruit roll-ups to make the stain glass windowsand also melted hard candies. Click here for the instructions and pattern in PDF format.
This charming two-story house comes complete with furniture you make out of gingerbread, candy, and more. Give this one a try but be sure to set aside a lot of time--there are a LOT of pieces. Click here for the pictures and here for the pattern from an old Good Housekeeping magazine.
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