I find Christmas villages enchanting, so this has been a fun week for me. So far, I’ve shared a Miniature Christmas Village and a Faux Gingerbread House. Today’s DIY Christmas Houses look like frosted confections, but believe it or not, the “frosting” is lightweight spackling! The cake decorating techniques are very basic, so don’t let that scare you away. These little Christmas Houses are adorable!
To make a Frosted Christmas House, you’ll need:
- STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam (for two houses):
- Three, 5” cubes
- Optional: 2” x 2” x 1” scrap for chimney
- Lightweight acrylic spackling, one quart
- Acrylic craft paint in cream
- Craft foam sheet in tan
- Optional: Small silk flowers
- Low-temp glue gun
- Tools needed: Scissors; scallop edge scissors; serrated knife; old candle or bar of soap; two disposable bowls or other containers; small putty knife; table knife or cake decorating spatula; pastry bag; cake decorating tips – drop flower point and round point; damp cloth; wax paper
To make a Frosted Christmas House:
1. Build the house:
- Wax the knife blade with a bar of soap or an old candle.
- Cut one cube in half diagonally. The two resulting triangles are the roofs.
- Slice ¾” from the bottom of each roof.
- Glue a ¾” foam slice onto the bottom of the two remaining cubes. These will be the houses.
- Glue a triangular roof onto each house.
2. From the tan craft foam, cut ten, 1” x 5” strips using the scallop edge scissors. Starting at the lower edge, glue five strips to each side of the roof, overlapping the strips as you go. It’s o.k. if there’s a gap at the top, as you’ll fill this in with icing.
3. Cut four (or more) ½” x 2” strips from the foamie sheet. These will be the shutters. Set aside till Step 7.
4. Optional: Trim a scrap of STYROFOAM Brand Foam to a 1” x 1¼” by 2” rectangle. Cut the bottom edge at a 45 º angle so that it fits snugly on the rooftop. Glue to roof.
5. In a disposable bowl, mix two cups of acrylic spackling with a drop or two of tan paint to create a creamy color. In a second container, mix two more cups of acrylic spackling with tan paint to make a caramel color. Mix the spackling thoroughly until it is smooth and free of any bumps or dried spackle crumbs that might clog your icing tip. Keep the bowls of spackling covered with a damp cloth when you’re not using them.
6. Working on wax paper, decorate your houses:
- Using a small putty knife, apply the caramel colored icing to the window and door areas.
- Using the flat end of the putty knife, create a straight outline around the doors and windows, scraping off the excess “icing”.
- Ice the rest of the house with the cream colored spackle. Don’t worry about slight imperfections along the edges and around the doors and windows as these will be covered with decorative piping.
- Using a table knife, fill the icing bags (it’s no different from filling them with frosting).
- If the spackling doesn’t pipe out easily, mix in a few drops of water.
- Using caramel colored icing and a drop flower icing tip, pipe decorative edging around the doors, windows and edges of the houses.
- Pipe a row of drop flowers at the bottom sides, and at the corners of the doors and windows.
- Add a heart shape to the front of the house.
- Pipe on small polka dots.
- Create curtains in the windows.
- Decorate around the chimney.
- Add your own flourishes!
7. Add shutters (cut in Step 3) by pressing them into the icing next to the windows.
8. Examine your house to see if there are any areas requiring a little extra decorative icing, such as around the windows.
9. Optional: Insert silk flowers into the wet spackling along the base of each house.
Change up the colors like Kathleen George did and you can create a Gingerbread Village instead. And these little houses light up!
Do you collect miniatures, or have a Christmas Village?