Everlasting Gingerbread House test

Joint compound (not yet dried) and candy, yum!

Growing up, I had a gingerbread house that was gingerbread-free and really more of a Putz-style house, but had real candy trim, including Fruit Stripe gum “window shutters,” and gummy bears. It is one of my many craft-related missions to recreate this seasonal classic, and I want to make sure I understand the materials before I build a complete one.

To that end, joint compound, food coloring and candy were spread and piped (see photo above) to see what happened when they dried.

I should have taken a picture of the “after,” but the results were so ugly, I couldn’t bear to. The candy ran; the thicker, piped joint compound cracked.

Then I tried again:

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Dried joint compound and candy

This time I skipped the piping because of the cracking issue with thicker compound. I tried mixing Rit powdered clothing dye to tint it, and I am happy with both the color and how the compound looks when dried, when it’s spread thin enough.

It seems peppermint candy of any stripe (har har) can’t be applied to wet joint compound because it runs and gets sticky, and degrades a bit. Next I will try gluing candy onto the compound once it is completely dry. Gummy bears, however, hold up perfectly when applied directly to the wet compound.

I also experimented with pressing string and sequins into the compound; they dried in place with no issues, so they could be used as decorative elements as well.

I understand the “rules” to gingerbread houses about how all elements should be edible, but since I’m taking this craft into the inedible realm by introducing joint compound to the  mix, I figure I’ll add other non-edibles if the mood strikes.

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