Even though gingerbread houses are not a tradition in the Netherlands, I have always admired them in books and magazines and I often longed to be able to make one.
A few years back I tried making one out of crackers following a recipe from a magazine. They said it was easy but I found it very hard and ended up with a pile of broken crackers.
A friend then sent me a recipe for one made out of polymer clay which was supposed to be even easier. I am no good with clay but decided to give it a try anyway. I could not produce anything that looked like a house, let alone a decorated house. So I gave up on the idea.
But then I discovered plastic canvas and I did have a lot of fun making "gingerbread houses" out of that. . Of course I wanted one for my dolls house too. The normal plastic canvas is not suitable for a mini version but a friend gave me some 14 count plastic canvas and that was just perfect. So I now have several gingerbread houses in different scales.
I am sharing the pattern for the mini one with you today. Here is the list of stuff you will need to make one :
14 count plastic canvas ( 1 sheet is plenty)
Thin wool or embroidery floss in light brown, pink, yellow, and white.
Needles to match your wool or floss.
Narrow braid in white and pink
Stick on pearls
Tiny flowers. Mine are from a fimo cane but you can also use beads.
Flower foam ( finely shredded foam used to suggest flowers)
Bead in the shape of a Christmas tree
Ultra fine glitter
Miniature candy canes
A small zip lock bag to keep your pieces of plastic canvas safe.
A wooden disc to stand your house on
Snow paint like Aleene's true snow or caulking.
Step 1. Cutting the plastic canvas. The front and the back of the house are the same size. There are two side panels that are also the same sizes. And there are also two parts for the roof.
Shape for the front and back starting from the bottom : 8 stitches wide and 6 even rows high. The next 4 rows are decreasing one hole at each end to get the slope for the roof.
Sides of the house : Each panel is 8 stitches wide and 6 rows high
Roof panels : 8 holes wide and 6 rows high.
Embroidering the house:
Now we will do the embroidery. I like to use thin wool because it covers the canvas nicely. Some people like to work with a double thread but I prefer working with a single thread and working each row twice : once from right to left and once from left to right. I have used tent stitch.
Front panel :
The door is stitched in pink : 2 stitches wide and 3 stitches high. Check with the chart for placement . The rest of the panel is done in brown.
Back panel. Start with the window in yellow. Two stitches by 2 stitches. Check with the chart for placement. The rest of the panel is worked in brown
Side panels ( two the same) Start with the window 2 stitches wide and 2 stitches high in yellow . Check with the chart for placement . The rest of the panel is worked in brown.
Roof panels ( two the same) . Start with a row of white stitches around each panel. Then fill in the centre in brown. I did also work a row of stitches around the sides of the panels to cover the canvas showing there. There is no need to do this for the other panels for their sides will be covered when the house is either sewn together or glued to the stand.
Building the house.
Use white wool or floss to sew the house together. Sew back and front to side panels , working each joining twice so the canvas is well covered.
The roof panels are joined together along one long side . This will be the top of the roof. I glued the roof to the top of the house using tacky glue. Then , I glued the house on the wooden disk that I wanted to use as a stand. I did this slightly off centre to allow a little room at the front of the house.
Decorating the house :
I used some white braid with little loops to cover the sides of the front and back of the house. This is glued in place with tacky glue. The loops will look like little icicles which looks really pretty.
Around the doors and windows I glued pink braid to suggest door and window frames. The braid at the bottom of the windows got decorated with a little bit of flower foam to suggest window boxes with flowers, but that is optional.
At each corner of the house I glued down a miniature candy cane and then I added tiny flowers and stick on beads to the roof to suggest sweets. I also added a flower over the front door.
I painted the wooden disk around the house with a thick coat of snow paint. ( if you can't find snow paint, try caulking, or spackle with a little glitter added to it.
I pressed the tree shaped bead into the wet snow . When the snow had dried the tree was firmly stuck into place. I decorated the tree with some ultra fine glitter.
Here it is all ready for Christmas
Here it is all ready for Christmas