I have a confession to make. This year’s gingerbread house party was NOT the result of careful planning and meticulous attention to details. Rather, I it was the result of a long day or two and perhaps a sleepless night. A.K.A. this gingerbread party was thrown at the last minute.
Be sure to get to the end of this post where you can download a party checklist to get together everything you need to do a last minute party yourself!
Tips for throwing gingerbread house in a hurry
Throwing a gingerbread house at the last minute don’t think it’s something that I want to attempt again (hello, stress!), but I made it happen for my kids and my husband this year. As with any gingerbread party of this scale, there is a bit of a learning curve that goes along with it. I’m going to share with you today how exactly I threw this Christmas gingerbread house party last minute and the shortcuts you’ll need to take to save yourself time! Be sure to get the checklist at the end of the post. The biggest timesaver for me was definitely using my Cricut Maker machine for all the decorations!
Buy all the food.
This was probably the biggest thing I did to save an immense amount of preparation time. And if you want to save even more time? There are lots and lots of grocery stores offering grocery pick up now. I literally sat on my computer for 20 minutes and put in an order to Sam’s Club and an order to Walmart and went and picked up all of my food related party supplies. It’s such a glorious idea, I do it for all my regular groceries now.
Make fewer decorations, but make sure they are good decorations!
I didn’t make a bajillion things and details for this party. The gingerbread houses themselves were great decor, but I did add a few special touches to the party and that made it really stand out. My Cricut Maker was fairly handy in getting everything cut out quickly!
Giant snowflakes hanging from the ceiling
- White card stock
- Cricut Design Space Snowflake file
- Fishing line (clear)
- Glue Dots
There are several sizes of snowflakes in this file. The 11 inch snowflakes were hung from the ceiling on fishing line and attached to the fishing line with glue dots.
The 5 inch snowflakes or hung as a small banner across the front of the buffet and attached to a piece of embroidery floss in green with blue dots.
The 2 inch snowflakes are used as confetti across the tables to make it prettier.
A gingerbread house centerpiece/tablescape
This was a gorgeous addition to the party, but if you are short on time, you might be best served putting your efforts elsewhere. Don’t get me wrong, if you’ve got an extra couple hours to make all of these go ahead and do it! You won’t be sorry. The flickering lights in the windows across the table were beautiful. You can find the project tutorial for that here. Cricut made, of course!
Giant gingerbread house
I so so so love this gingerbread house. But yes, it is one that is pretty time-consuming to construct because it uses the knife blade in the Cricut Maker and heavy weight chipboard. But, if you have the chance I would spend time making this, (even over the little tiny houses on the table.)
It is a grand centerpiece and it glows from with in. You can break this giant gingerbread house down flat to make it reasonable for next year. I do love a decoration that packs away compactly!
Grab a friend to help with the gingerbread!
There are no two ways around it, you will have to spend some time making all the gingerbread houses. If you are doing a party on a small scale, you can get by with a couple hours effort into your baking and constructing. Me? I went all out and baked up 35 of these gingerbread house beauties. The full tutorial on how to make gingerbread houses can be found here, courtesy of the gingerbread queen herself, Nikki from Tikkido.
Two people making gingerbread dough rolling and cutting out houses was fairly much key to getting all the houses done in 12 hours. As a single person job and this would have taken much much longer. In fact, when I bake these houses all alone, it usually takes me about a week.
Borrow a stand borrow a stand mixer
I have one of my own that I dearly love, but a second mixer made the dough making and icing making process so much faster. One mixer just isn’t enough when you are doing quantity!
Use meringue powder for the royal icing
Using meringue powder (buy it here) in the royal icing is another time saver! A traditional royal icing has SIX EGG WHITES in it. It takes a long time to separate egg whites. It takes very little time to scoop in meringue powder.
Send Evites or use Facebook for invitations
I love a good paper invitation, there is nothing quite like it, but when you need to do fast, electronics invites are where it’s at! Using Facebook, you even are able to track RSVPs and start conversations without having to look up anybody’s email address.
How to prep for the party
A quick and easy is what you need when you’re working with a short time line. And I can’t stress the ease of grocery pick up. Click, order, drive, pop your trunk, let the nice people load your car, drive home. Done! Save yourself time where you can when you’re throwing a last minute party.
Members only clubs like Coscto and Sam’s Club often have pretty fabulous deli platters already made, and bulk containers of dips and things. They also offer order pick up, but haven’t quite made to putting in your trunk for you. Still, it saves you the time wandering around the store and buying things you don’t need to order your party stuff online.
We all want to do everything easy and we want to save time, but we also want to look like super hostesses.
My party trick to make everyone think you did it all: re-plate the dips from the plastic bowls to pretty serving bowls and put the fruit and veggies on festive serving platters. That only takes a few minutes and everyone will think you are some kind of fabulous for putting out such an incredible spread.
So you have a guide to get your party together quick, I have a checklist and timeline for you to download and print. It’ll help the planning process go faster and get your gingerbread party up and running!
Want more gingerbread party inspiration? See my other events!