When you build your gingerbread house, you need to consider a lot of things, but the most important thing is what to build it on.
If your gingerbread house base is flimsy, you can ruin it by trying to move it after you’re done decorating it.
Thinking about where it’s going to be displayed and whether you need to move it before you even make the house, and you’ll save yourself a lot of trouble!
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Put a large gingerbread house on a sturdy board.
If you’re building a large, heavy house, don’t even try to cut corners. Get a real board, not a cardboard round, and build it on that.
For this large gingerbread house I made, I used a 1/2″ thick board from the hardware store. I added a ribbon to the edge to cover it, and I attached the ribbon to the board by hammering sewing pins into the edge.
You can’t take chances on this kind of thing, because if you have a house on a board that bends or flexes at all, it can crack the house. Make sure the board that you use is strong and not flexible at all!
Use cake drums for a gingerbread house base.
For a house that’s not as heavy you can use a cake drum, but be careful about how flexible they are.
Cake drums are made from corrugated cardboard that’s covered by foil, so they’re basically layers of cardboard.
The boards that you buy at the craft store can be really flimsy because the corrugation on the boards isn’t lined up right, and they tend to bend and flex, which can ruin your gingerbread house (or cake.)
I bought my cake boards from a cake supply store, and they didn’t bend at all.
One way around that is to take two bendy boards and attach them together with glue at a 90-degree angle
That way the bendy parts will counteract each other and the board will be sturdier and way less flexible.
Don’t use a base for a small gingerbread house.
If you’re making small houses, you can build them without a permanent base so that you can move them around.
This works best for solid houses that have a design without a lot of pieces that stick out like porches or extra wings.
It also works best for smaller houses that you’re planning on arranging together, because you’ll have the option of rearranging them once you get them all decorated.
Use the base that’s included in the gingerbread house kit.
Using the base that’s included with the gingerbread house kit works fine if you’re not going to be moving the house too far, but they can be kind of wiggly.
They’ll work fine if you’re only building the house that’s in the kit, and it’s cheaper than buying extra paper plates to use, so it’s an economical choice!
The downside is that these bases usually don’t have an edge on them so if you decorate around the house those decorations can fall off.
Use disposable plastic or paper plates as gingerbread house bases.
The most portable options for smaller houses are plastic or paper plates, since they can travel with the house after it’s decorated.
These are good options for gingerbread house decorating parties, since you can wrap the house with plastic wrap and send them home with the person who decorated it.
Another advantage is that the curved edges of the plates will prevent anything that you add to the cake on the “ground” around it from falling off.
One thing to keep in mind if you use paper plates for your gingerbread house base is that wrapping them with plastic wrap can bend the plate and make the house move around.
Using either plastic plates or thicker paper plates is safest as far as not knocking the cakes around too much goes.
Use cardboard as a gingerbread house base.
You can use a regular piece of cardboard, or a cardboard cake board, to put your gingerbread house on as long as the house isn’t too large.
This one is a little kit house, so it’s smaller and won’t be too hard to move around.
The cardboard base will work fine, but I definitely wouldn’t use this for a larger house!
Use a serving tray or cookie sheets for your gingerbread house base.
Serving trays and cookie sheets are good gingerbread house base options if the house is larger, or if you want to create some landscaping and garden decorations around the house.
The edges of the tray will make it easy to pick up and move around, so for houses that need to be transported a tray is also a good choice.
Just make sure that the tray is sturdy enough for the weight of the house.
The tray in this photo is one of those lightweight holiday decor cookie trays, and I remember that it was a little dicey when the time came to moving the house.
It would have been better to use a real serving tray instead of a disposable one to make sure that there wasn’t any bending or flexing of the tray when the house was transported around.
Use vintage plates for a gingerbread house base.
You can find vintage holiday plates at thrift stores throughout the year, and then use them for building small gingerbread houses on.
It can also be used as a gift if you give people gingerbread houses during the holidays.
Give them the house and the plate, and let them keep it to use with their own holiday decor or cookie exchanges.
Keep your eye out throughout the year to grab them at the lowest prices or check out the selection of nicer vintage Christmas plates on Etsy.
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