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5 Must-Have Tips for Hosting a Gingerbread Decorating Party

‘Tis the season to entertain, cook, and wow *all* your guests. Follow our RSVP series through November and December for tips, tricks, and inspiration. Happy holiday party season, all!

Sugar candies, extra frosting, and gumdrops galore! Gingerbread houses have always been a holiday staple, but if you ask me, bringing friends and family together to craft these sugary masterpieces makes them that much sweeter! So if you’re looking for a fun, last-minute activity to incorporate into your festivities, or entertain the kids on Christmas day, decorating gingerbread houses will have everyone believing in the magic of the holidays *and* feeling merry and bright!

1. Invitations: Create an invite to send to your guests, whether it’s a paper invitation via mail or an e-invite online. The holidays are always a crazy time for everyone, so the sooner you get the invitations out, the more likely people will be able to attend.

2. Party Prep: Before guests arrive, set out individual (or couples) gingerbread houses for everyone attending. You can make them from scratch, use a kit, or simply build them out of graham crackers. However you choose to do it, having the gingerbread houses pre-made for your guests will make the evening run smoother and allow more time for decorating. If this is too time-consuming, ask guests to bring their own pre-assembled house.

3. A Sturdy Base: Having a piece of cardboard or a baking sheet that each gingerbread house will be decorated on is key. It makes it easy to be moved once decorated and it gives more space to decorate, add a yard, or whatever! To keep it clean, give each guest an assigned workspace and cover it with brown kraft paper or a disposable plastic tablecloth. You could even create a festive tablecloth or table runner using wrapping paper.

4. Candy, Candy, Candy: Wow your guests with an over-the-top decorating station overflowing with an assortment of decorating supplies. Display them in festive bowls or on platters so everyone can see their options. We love shredded coconut (snow), mini marshmallows, powder sugar, pretzels, candy canes, licorice, gumdrops, cereal, chocolate, wafers, sprinkles, and peppermints, to name a few.

5. Extra Frosting: Although most gingerbread house kits come with frosting, I always make extra frosting before the party so it’s ready to go. You can never have too much of a good thing!

Bonus Tip: If you’re making it a Gingerbread Contest, be sure to have clear rules and expectations. This year we had prizes for the overall best, the most creative, and the best use of a prop (we allowed guests to bring ONE prop to use for their house). The most clever props were dry ice used for chimney smoke and twinkle lights.

For more entertaining advice and home decor inspiration, head to my blog Pink Peonies or check out the latest on Instagram @RachParcell.

(Photos via Rachel Parcell; Featured photo via Brit + Co)

Rachel Parcell
Rachel Parcell is the creator of Pink Peonies, and designer of her popular self-titled clothing line, Rachel Parcell, a brand specializing in feminine and timeless pieces that will be worn time and time again. Evoking all things feminine and fabulous, Rachel continues to inspire women and young girls who love fashion, beauty, home decor and family life through her blog content and images shaped by her everyday life. In only 7 years time, Rachel has not only proven to be a successful influencer within the fashion industry, but business leader and role model for women and entrepreneurs around the world.

Ahhh, fall. There are so many things to love about this time of year (give us ALL the sweaters and pumpkin-flavored eats). But, high on the list comes autumn decor candles, throws, textiles — you name it. Of course, buying items and actually adding them to your room are two different things. So we're turning to Instagram for the best styling advice and inspo for the season. Scroll on to see everything you need to get those wheels turning!

@sbkliving: Sometimes, it only takes a chic doormat to transition your front steps for the season. Hello, fall!

@rachelpuccetti: Excuse us while we spend an entire lazy Sunday relaxing in this fall-infused space.

@farmhousetofrills: A monochrome mantel never looked so chic. (That fireplace pumpkin setup is seriously *genius*.)

@faith_hope_home: Greet guests with a fall-themed entrance to set the tone for a day of pumpkin carving or scary movie marathoning.

@simplysoutherncottage: Don't forget about those nooks and crannies! This entryway/mudroom situation is capturing our little harvest-loving hearts.

@6thirtydecor: Speaking of pumpkins, pick up a few extra gourds to pave the way into your cozy autumn abode.

@farmsteadonfirst: That guest bedroom you weren't sure what to do with it? Transform it into a rustic retreat with some fall signage and mustard-yellow and green accents.

@fiddleleafinteriors: We're going to take a second to *swoon* over this adorable kitchen setup. Those farmhouse accents and simple centerpiece setup? We're in love.

@ohmydearblog: Contrary to what you think, florals *aren't* just for spring. Bring them into your abode by selecting buds in moody tones to pay homage to the season.

@simply.mrs.z: Drawn to modern style? Play up the Halloween vibes by picking black, orange and brass accents to rock on places like your bookshelf. (Bonus points for carrying the theme over to your textiles.)

@drivewaytodreams_crystal: We're going to go ahead and give two thumbs up to all of these orange-hued accents. Backdropped with a neutral furnishings and they truly *pop*!

@cripcollectiveig: For those who don't want to go overboard with the "fall stuff" this one will speak to you. Compile a couple of cute throws and a minimalist pumpkin print on your mantle and you're set

@cavcottage: Who said fun pillows were limited to furnishings only? We're ALL about this entry display.

@houseon77th: This daybed setup is a *dream*. But actually, this would be the perfect space to doze off in come the colder days.

@kristenforgione: For a more festive Halloween look, overhaul your living space with a spooky handmade addition like this one. *Googles paper bat DIYs.*