Gingerbread House Decorating Party

Gingerbread House Decorating Party

One of our favorite family traditions during Christmas time is a gingerbread house decorating party. We have done a party for the 4 of us and for friends. I dream of the year when the kids are old enough that we can turn it into a competition.

And if I really share my dreams, I am thinking about the years when my kids and their kids are all in my dining room decorating gingerbread houses. I want to go all out. 

In the meantime, I am going to enjoy the neighbors decorating with us this year. 

If you want to join us in this tradition, here are a few tips I've learned along the way to set the mood and make this practical.


collage of gingerbread house decorating party supplies


Set The Table

The most effective way to turn your kitchen table into a party setting is to set the table. You can set a beautiful table that is also practical. Cover the table in a wipe clean table cloth or wrapping paper that you can throw away when you are done. Pour candies into glass bowls to add a fun pop of color. And Place extra icing bags on the table  to be are practical yet festive.

table decorated for a gingerbread house decorating party

Build Graham Cracker Houses

Making a gingerbread house out of gingerbread is hard. But you can take a beautiful short cut using graham crackers. As the host, you want to put these together before the party so that your guests can focus on decorating their houses.

Pro Tip: Use hot glue to assemble the pieces of the gingerbread house, it holds and dries much faster than frosting. Cover the glue with icing and your guest will never know.

girl decorating a gingerbread house made out of graham cracker

Ask Guests to Bring Candy to Decorate

Your friends and family are happy to help and be part of the celebration. Ask each person to bring a decorating candy to share with the group.

To avoid getting 10 bags of peppermint candies, ask each guest to bring a specific candy or two.

Some of the decorations that work best are peppermints, nerds, M&Ms, marshmallows, gumdrops, lifesavers, pretzels, teddy grahams, cereal, and shredded coconut.

gingerbread house decorating party tablescape

Set the mood

While everyone is arriving turn on Christmas music and set out some simple games. You can also serve Hot Cocoa and Savory Snacks. This will balance out all the sugar the kids and the adults are going to snack on while they decorate. It also gives you time to put out all the candy that guests bring.

christmas coffee

Provide Each Kid with a Work Station
Create a place setting for each kiddo who is participating. You can do this with fun festive party plates, plain white plates, or even a piece of cardboard wrapped in butcher paper or foil. Make sure each kid has their own icing, you can diy them or go with store bought, and access to candy.
gingerbread house decorating work station


Finish the Party with a Decorating Contest
  • When everyone is done, host a contest with the following categories. Allow everyone to vote with the one rule being you can’t vote for yourself.
    • Most traditional
    • Most creative
    • The Candy Crusher - most candy
    • The Frosting Queen - most icing 

gingerbread houses decorated on a table

Some kids will finish in 2 minutes flat, while others will take an hour+. That’s okay. Offer a Christmas movie or toys for the kids to play with while you wait for everyone to finish. 

If you host a gingerbread house decorating party (your family counts) I want to hear all about it. I hope you have the best time.