Ikea Hack | Gingerbread House 3 Ways


One of our favourite holiday traditions has been making gingerbread houses.  I tried making my own from scratch a few times, but it always came out wonky, pieces never fit together right or broke.  So we always pick up a gingerbread house kit and it's a fun little family past time the weekend right before Christmas.  It sort of makes us stop and just enjoy the moments amongst all the crazy.

This year I bought a few gingerbread house kits from IKEA as I was wanting to create a miniature village of sorts.  And then as sugarplums danced in my head the night before, I imagined a modern version, inspired by so many other gingerbread house makers before me.  By the way, have you seen the new candy concession at IKEA?  So much delicious traditional Swedish sweets in bulk? So fun! But onto the gingerbread houses.  We made three versions. 2 modern and one traditional with a little twist! Here's how:






The The A-Frame | Hack No. 1
Having fond memories of the A-Frame cabins of our youth,  this is probably the easiest of all of the hacks.  The hardest part is just gluing them together.  Yes glue. Putting together a gingerbread house using icing is the hardest part, so if you aren't going to eat it, glue gun it! You're welcome!


You will need:
3 IKEA Gingerbread House Kit Roofs
Hard Candies (approximately 5 or 6)
Royal Icing to glue (or a glue gun is better if you aren't going to eat it)
Parchment paper
Lighting (optional)

To Make:  First we'll be making the large "A" frame window. To start you'll need to break about 5 or 6 hard candies (like Jolly Ranchers or lifesavers) in a blender, until broken into small pieces. Place a piece of parchment on the bottom of a cookie sheet.  Wrap two of the roofs with parchment and create an a-frame.  Fill the space in between (in the "A" area, with the broken pieces of hard candies (see below).  Melt in a 350°F oven for approx 4-5 minutes until melted.  Careful not to let it get too hot as it will start to bubble, and the bubbles will create holes in your window. But not to worry, if you have a few, just pop them with a toothpick before they start to cool off.  Let cool until very hard.


 Once the A-Frame window has cooled, you can now remove from the pan and start to glue/ice it together with the roofs to create an A-Frame of course!  If you use icing, this process will take much longer as you'll have to hold for quite a long time.  If you use a glue-gun, it just takes a matter of 5 or so minutes, until the glue has completely dried and it is able to stand on it's own.  Careful though as the hot glue can also melt the candied window, so you sort of have to work fast. Once you place that glue on, immediately connect the gingerbread roof to it.  Secure with more glue on both sides.  Once both sides are done, then just glue them to another roof, at the base to make things really secure.  Voila! You're done!  Decorate as you wish.  We left ours pretty plain, but think a dollop of dripping icing around the roof-top would look nice too!

The Modern | Hack No. 2
This was probably the most difficult, but still pretty easy. It's my favourite though.  Love the car park underneath! 


You will need:
2 IKEA Gingerbread House Kit Roofs and one more if you like one in the carpark area (as shown)
4 IKEA Gingerbread Sides
Hard Candies (approximately 5 or 6)
Royal Icing to glue (or a glue gun is better if you aren't going to eat it)
Parchment paper
Lighting (optional)

To Make
You'll need to make another candy window, this time rectangular, the same size as the sides.  To do this, follow the directions above, only create a rectangular space by placing four gingerbread house sides onto a cookie sheet (covered in parchment of course).  Fill the rectangular space with the hard candies and melt (as above). Once cooled and hardened, start to glue one side of the window to a gingerbread roof.  Once cooled and secure, glue together the top roof piece, simultaneously as a side gingerbread piece (which becomes the back).  The roof will have a slight slant as the side piece will be a bit smaller. Once secure, add on two side pieces to the bottom (flip the already made piece upside down to do this).  Add each piece on each side.  Glue one more side to the back. And voila! Decorate as you wish!  We added fairy lights and a few licorice yule log candies from IKEA.

One-sided Roof House | Hack No. 3
This one is by far the easiest.  Just follow the instructions on the IKEA packaging. And add some hard candies to the windows.  See below.


You will need
1 IKEA Gingerbread House Kit (less one roof) - which is optional
Hard Candies (approximately 5 or 6)
Royal Icing to glue (or a glue gun is better if you aren't going to eat it)
Parchment paper
Lighting (optional)

To Make
Place the sides and fronts of the house pieces onto a parchment covered cookie sheet.  Fill the window spaces with hard candies.  Melt in a 350°F oven for approx 4-5 minutes until melted.  Careful not to let it get too hot as it will start to bubble, and the bubbles will create holes in your window. But not to worry, if you have a few, just pop them with a toothpick before they start to cool off.  Let cool until very hard. Just follow the instructions on the IKEA packaging to put together - and maybe this one you could use icing instead of the glue gun - as it's easier to stay together than the others.  And this could be the edible one! Decorate!





Picnic Table | Hack No. 4
This was just a fun add on we did, but if you want to make one here's how:


You will need
3 pieces from the chimney part of the IKEA gingerbread house kit
1 Large Marshmallow(we used the strawberry ones from IKEA)
4 small candies (like Smarties or M+Ms)
1 Cocktail Umbrella

To Make.  For the table, create a hole in the center of one of the pieces using the cocktail umbrella.  Put the marshmallow underneath the other side and poke the umbrella into it to secure. For the benches, glue gun two small candies to either side underneath.  And yay! A gingerbread table!

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Jan Halvarson

6 comments:

Empress Charlotte Handmades said...

What fun! We're going to attempt our first gingerbread house in a few days and I will try those candy windows.

Megan McKean said...

These are beautiful! The candy windows look amazing.
I tried a hack this year too (great minds, hey!?) going for a Palm Springs theme!
http://www.mckeanstudio.com/blog/2015/12/18/palm-springs-gingerbread-houses

Jan Halvarson said...

Empress Charlotte - good luck!

Jan Halvarson said...

Megan McKean - super cute!

Coco Cake Land said...

I LOVE it! I am totally buying an Ikea kit next year. The fun part is decorating and coming up with the fun ideas ... the drag is BAKING the parts, hehe! ^__^ (yes I know I'm a baker..) I love the melted candy glass windows so much. Definitely trying that next year ... XO

Jan Halvarson said...

Coco Cake Land - Thanks Lyndsay! Means a lot from you - and yes the glass windows are so fun to make!

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