Everyone's making Halloween gingerbread houses, but what happens when Halloween's over? Instead of tossing your creation, why not redecorate it for Christmas. Read on for tips and watch a short video to see the transformation.

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homemade gingerbread house decorated for christmas with candy, toys, and lights
Credit: Vanessa Greaves

Halloween gingerbread houses are everywhere these days, but if you've ever put in the time and effort to bake, build, and decorate a gingerbread house — even if you decorated it from a pre-baked kit — you know how it feels at the end of the season when you have to take it down after all that work. The solution? Make a gingerbread house in October for Halloween, and repurpose it for Christmas. That way you get to enjoy it for weeks. (Of course, you might not want to eat it after it's been out that long.)

So, back in October when I demonstrated how to decorate a Halloween gingerbread house, I promised to save the house, redecorate it for Christmas, and share the process with you. Here it is:

Halloween to Christmas Remodel in Motion

Music by Tyrel Stendahl

What a difference a glaze of white royal icing makes. Well, that and simply swapping out candies and figurines. At the last minute, I shoved a string of battery-powered lights though one of the windows to give the whole thing a cozy glow as the sun went down.

Gingerbread House Remodel From Christmas To Halloween Before And After
Before and After
| Credit: Vanessa Greaves

Makeover Tips

  • I like making royal icing with meringue powder so I don't have to mess around with gooey egg whites.
  • Use a thin, sharp blade (like this craft knife: $5.50 at Target.com) to scrape the orange icing off the roof, then follow the markings to replace with white icing. The fine blade comes in handy when you gently pry Halloween decorations off the house, too.
  • Instead of removing the black licorice trim, I simply covered it with more white icing.
  • Set aside a portion of the icing to thin down to a glaze. Don't make it too thin, though, or it will run all over the place. (Ask me how I know.) Keep the rest nice and thick for gluing on candies and other decorations.
  • Keep icing covered with plastic wrap (touching the surface of the icing) so the air doesn't dry it out.
  • Sprinkle wet glaze with coarse sugar for a frosty finish.
  • Just have fun. After all, perfection is overrated.