Last year I was disappointed by the lack of lighting in my gingerbread creation. Battery operated tea lights just didn’t cut it, so this year, I started with a light box and built the house around it.
I crafted the front landscape out of insulation foam and covered it with icing. I used thin strips of duct tape to mark the walls of the hobbit hole and covered the entire surface with icing. When the strips were removed, I got the nice wall detail I was looking for. The window glass is made from poured isomalt sugar. The detail on the windows is food coloring painted on after they set. The open window was the trickiest. I’m not even going to go into the process because there were plenty of mistakes, and a few happy accidents before I got the results I wanted. My favorite part of this house is the living room window.
I took a picture from the most amazing miniature hobbit hole in the world crafted by Maddie Chambers/Brindley and pasted it on the back wall of the gingerbread house so that when you look in, you get a glimpse of the amazing intricate interior of the Baggins’ home. If you are a true fan, you will know the view from this window looks all the way into the dining room at the back of the house, but the only photo available that fit the view angle was that of the living room fireplace.
I made the figures in a bit of hurry. I didn’t have 3 months to build like last year; I only spent about a month this time around. Also, the figures are much bigger than last year’s.
Last year the figures were too big for the gingerbread house since the structure covered an entire castle, so this year I was excited to make them to scale so that they can be part of the gingerbread. Also, customers seem less inclined to play with them since they’re obviously part of the display.
I made their core out of gumpaste so that they would dry faster and covered them in fondant for their clothes and skin. The eyes were made with a food coloring pen, which are very awesome for those tiny details.
I especially wanted to use more candy this year. I used spice drops (which taste awful), chocolate candy rocks, sticks of gum, and vending machine gumballs. I bought so many more items, but they just didn’t fit in. I cheated and used a sparkly gel pen on the front gate. Figuring out how to write Baggins in Hobbit writing was complicated enough in itself.
I’m a little sad the roof doesn’t sit flat. I needed to be able to remove it to get at the light inside the box, but I think it’s all part of the learning process. The light is one of those electric pumpkin lights I had leftover from October. It’s just a bulb on a stand with a cord, and couldn’t be more perfect. Other then that, I’m so happy with the way it came out. I can’t wait until next year.