For a special weekend project this holiday season, here are some great ideas for making a gingerbread house, festive cookies or a stunning wreath for your front door. While the steps to these homemade goodies are quite easy, the end products will make you look like a professional. Enjoy!
Decorating a Gingerbread House
By Aleka Selig of Ally & Eloise
candy for decorating
cake board or cardboard
From a gingerbread recipe baked ahead of time, cut walls and roof using a template. Gather candy for decorating, like peppermints, mini marshmallows, candy canes, Twizzlers and coconut. Position the gingerbread walls on the cake board, using royal icing in a piping bag to “glue” them together. Set aside and let icing dry to prevent falling apart.
While the walls of the gingerbread house dry, decorate the roof using Twizzlers as shingles. Set aside and let dry. Next add a fence around the cake board using royal icing, peppermints cut in half, and mini marshmallows. Add a walkway and snow using coconut. Once the ginger bread roof shingles are dry and the walls of the house feel sturdy, assemble the roof. Use different size piping tips to add windows, doors and a holiday wreath.
Decorating Holiday Sugar Cookies
By Aleka Selig of Ally & Eloise
sugar cookie recipe of your choice
piping bags for each color of icing
Whip up a favorite sugar cookie dough recipe. Place in freezer until firm but soft enough to roll out. Roll out firm sugar cookie dough and cut using holiday shaped cookie cutter. Make sure cookies are at least one-quarter-inch thick. Place cut cookies in oven, following cooking instructions for the sugar cookie recipe. While cookies are baking, mix food coloring with royal icing and frosting to create different colors.
Place royal icing into a piping bag and outline each cookie. Let stand for 10 minutes or until icing sets, the longer the better. Once icing is set, use an offset spatula or the tip of a knife to fill in the cookies with same color frosting. Let dry for about 15 minutes to an hour depending on the thickness of the icing. Once dry, decorate sugar cookies using the piping bag and royal icing. Use sprinkles to add dimension and drama.
Decorating a Holiday Wreath
By Don Danford of Don Danford Designs
wire wreath form
fresh cut greenery
holiday ribbon with wire
lightweight floral wire
decorative floral picks
Cut fresh cedar, boxwood, pittosporum, holly, lemon tree and magnolia greenery from yard or garden. Let soak in buckets of water for two days to keep moist.
Add a layer of cedar greenery to a wire wreath form used as a base, using lightweight floral wire to secure each piece. Next, layer the boxwood branches, alternating with gold glittered floral leaf picks. Push the picks deep into the greenery and wire wreath form so it will peek through the boxwood leaves. Alternate the next layer with fresh pittosporum and holly branches. Add red glittered feather picks. Make a “tail” at the bottom of the wreath with the longer branches and the lemon tree greenery. This adds drama and will greet any visitor before reaching the door.
Add finishing touches by wiring on shatterproof ornaments, poinsettia flowers and a large bow using two different colors of wire ribbon. Hang on door.
To keep the wreath looking green and fresh, mist with water twice a week.