Decorate your mantel with a charming gingerbread town with this tutorial--including free printable templates for all of the different gingerbread house designs. These aren't full gingerbread houses--they're actually gingerbread candle holders, so they'll fit on a narrow mantel, and glow beautifully.
It's gingerbread season once again! I'm gearing up to make my usual 100+ gingerbread houses this year, but I also had an idea for a fun, special gingerbread project for myself and for fun.
This year's fun gingerbread project was something I've been dreaming up for a while: a gingerbread village mantel. But instead of regular gingerbread houses, I made gingerbread candle holders.
The soft glow coming through the windows of the gingerbread houses is absolutely magical, and the warmth from the candles enhances the sweet, spicy, magical Christmas scent of the gingerbread.
I'm so happy with this year's gingerbread project! And in today's post, I'm sharing the tutorial and free printable templates with you so you can do it for yourself. (If you're looking for the templates, they're in a downloadable zip file, way at the end of the blog post. There are a lot of photos before that point, though!)
Gingerbread Village Candle Holder Mantel Decorations Instructions
Ready to make your own gingerbread candle holders? First you'll need to make up a batch of my favorite gingerbread house dough.
I made the entire collection of mantel decorations with one batch of gingerbread dough. But I used every last scrap. If you roll your dough a little thicker than I did, or if you make more trees or decided to make one more house, you'll need more than one batch of dough.
Print out the templates (below) and cut out the shapes. Follow the basic tips, tricks, and guidelines I explain in my gingerbread house recipe post. Bake up all the pieces and let cool and dry for several hours at least, and preferrably overnight.
Decorate the gingerbread pieces before assembling. You don't have to, but it's much easier than trying to decorate vertical pieces. (I have a separate tutorial on how to make the LED lit gingerbread Christmas trees here.)
Once the decorated house fronts have been decorated and dried, it's time to assemble.
Use the rectangular base pieces and triangular brace pieces to make the gingerbread house fronts stand up. It occurred to me as I was assembling the houses that you really only need the triangular brace pieces, and don't really need to make a base if you don't want to.
Cut pieces of edible wafer paper to cover the empty windows and glue in place with more royal icing. I just used the plain white wafer paper for my display, but if you'd like to color your wafer paper, here's my post on three different techniques for coloring wafer paper, and their benefits and drawbacks.
Free Printable Gingerbread House Candle Holder Village Templates
In this section, I'm sharing photos of each of the different gingerbread house facades I made for my gingerbread mantel decor. The downloadable zip file with ALL of the templates is down at the very bottom of this post.
There are 6 building facades in this collection of gingerbread templates, and two different tree templates.
Ready to start baking? Remember, here's the recipe for my favorite gingerbread house dough, and download the Free Printable Gingerbread House Village Candle Holder Templates in a single PDF file here.
Happy gingerbread season!!
Gingerbread for Beginners E-Book:
I wrote a book all about gingerbread! So if you want to make a gingerbread house but have never done it before, my book is packed with recipes, tips, and tricks we've used through decades baking thouands of gingerbread houses.