DIY Expert Nicholas Rosaci shows you how to elevate your gingerbread game and create your own glam ginger shack.
Gingerbread house parties are a lot of fun, but they can quickly turn into a sticky royal icing mess that, to be honest, nobody really wants to eat. Why not think outside the candy store and use your imagination with paint, pearls, gemstones, and of course, a trusty glue gun?
Every year I like to host a gingerbread house decorating night with a few fab friends. We drink champagne and eat copious amounts of bulk candy while we “imagine into being” some pretty and magical “ginger shacks” as I like to call them!
No goopy frosting and drippy royal icing – we use a glue gun. Note my gingerbread houses may not be edible, but they still look delicious decked out in glam craft and dollar store embellishments. Hot glue is so much better than royal icing to affix things to the house effortlessly, “even sugary coated candy” for that authentic gingerbread home look! I create different houses every year to expand my fireplace mantle scape. They always turn out so beautiful and never seem to spoil and truth be told, I keep them year after year but only with thanks to bubble wrap – which is must have if you want your creations to survive.
FIRST, I like to start by painting the house with hardware store paint and always in a shiny gloss or semi gloss finish. Sample sizes cost only about 5 dollars and can be made any colour of the rainbow the paint store offers. Simply painting the gingerbread house a solid white or blush pink creates an instant upgrade and really transforms the house from expected to something special and unique.
Stripes are really chic in home decor right now and for Christmas they really give the houses a cool candy vibe. I like to draw stripes on the gingerbread house with a small mini ruler and pencil. You can also make a “stripe” template out of thin cardboard cut to your desired width. The template is then moved along the house as you mark out stripe pencil guidelines.
When you paint the stripes, use a small artist brush. The smaller the brush head the easier it is to paint between your pencil guidelines. You can get a bit messy and paint a tad outside your lines, but don’t worry – I use dollar store pearls over top of the line to add instant symmetry and cover small mistakes for a more perfect look.
The secret to a great looking gingerbread house really is the embellishments / materials you select, and of course, the quality of the gingerbread house. My ready built house is available from the bulk food store for about 8 dollars. I love dollar store pearls sold as a roll of ribbon which can be trimmed to create long thin strands. These are marvelous for lining the scalloped roof detailing. Simply paint the roof a fun colour and then affix the pearls strings with hot glue. I also love to use dollar store gemstones as faux Christmas lights around windows and the roof edges.
Try cutting the windows out using an xacto craft knife and ever so gently score around the windows repeatedly until it pops out. Amazing if you want to pop a battery-powered tea light or strand of holiday lights on the inside of the house to cast a glorious illumination from the windows.
The front door just like your real door should always make a statement. Because I am always EXTRA CRAFTY, I used tiny strips of masking tape to create a two tone “green and gold” X detail that looks so posh. I first painted the door a deep green. Tiny strips of masking tape were then placed over the green and I painted areas in-between the masking tape a fantastic metallic gold.
I really adore these little houses and although they look complicated, they really are easy and a fun family evening holiday craft. In the case of me and my girlfriends, add a glass of wine and some holiday cheer for an evening of unparalleled chicness.
When it comes to DIY, design, style, and personality, Nicholas Rosaci raises the bar with a flair for creating chic, confident and glamorous spaces that cross the divide of modern versus traditional.
Nicholas launched his firm Nicholas Rosaci Interiors immediately after graduation from the Humber College Interior Decorating / Design program. Since then, he has created an array of chic interiors and “DIY projects” for CityLine and Kimberley Seldon’s Dabble Magazine as the “DIY GUY”.
Nicholas is also known for his impressive outdoor rooms and stunning residential projects for some of Toronto’s chicest home owners that have been featured in various publications such as Canadian Home Trends, VIE Magazine, Reno & Décor, and Home Décor and Renovations.
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Website: Nicholas Rosaci Interiors