async='async' data-ad-client='ca-pub-1704385665578974' src=''/> December 2020 - Welch House 1900

DIY Gingerbread Village


I love a gingerbread village at Christmas time. Someday I want to have a collection of beautiful realistic looking faux gingerbread homes to display at Christmas.

Since those gorgeous fake gingerbread homes are currently not in my budget, I thought I would try my luck with a creating a budget friendly gingerbread village.

Last year after Christmas I picked up a few ready made gingerbread houses at the grocery store. They were discounted to around a couple of dollars.

I pulled them out this year and they were still in perfect condition, and ready to be decorated!

Instead of using royal icing, or the icing that the kit came with, I decided to use a spackling compound.

I did not want to use royal icing because I found it too delicate and it breaks so easily. I did use the pastry bags and tips provided in the gingerbread kit to pipe the compound on. The spackling compound is the exact consistency of buttercream frosting and I was able to use food dye with it. I dyed half of my icing pink.

Once that was finished, I went to work on creating the details on my houses. I googled pictures of gingerbread houses to get an idea of how I wanted mine to look like.

They are definitely not perfect, but did create the Christmas atmosphere that I was looking for.

I used two cake stands stacked one top of each other to create some height for my vignette.

Each gingerbread house received a dusting of sparkling snow.

I think they turned out pretty well. 

They are the perfect addition to my kitchen table for the holidays, and extremely budget friendly!

Thank you for visiting! 


Shabby Chic Christmas Cookies

 Hello! Well we are just a few days from Christmas, and today I want to share with you my sugar cookie recipe. I have been making these sugar cookies EVERY Christmas since I was 14 years old, so.....20 years now! lol

I found this recipe in a Taste of Home Magazine and its been my "go to" recipe ever since. You can see the recipe on their website here.

When I was younger, I always decorated my cookies in red and green icing, but in the last 5 years or so, I've changed it up to shabby chic style! Here are my cookies from last year all decorated!


  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • Frosting:
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon shortening
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 3-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons 2% milk

  • Food coloring, optional

Step 1:

In a large bowl, cream butter, cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla. Gradually beat flour into creamed mixture. Divide dough in half. Shape each into a disk; wrap and refrigerate until firm enough to roll, 2 hours.

Step 2:

Preheat oven to 350°. On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion of dough to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with floured 3-in. cookie cutters. Place 1 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Bake until set (do not brown), 10-12 minutes. Cool on pans 5 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Step 3:

  • For frosting, in a bowl, beat butter, shortening and vanilla until blended. Beat in confectioners’ sugar and enough milk to reach spreading consistency; beat until light and fluffy, 3 minutes. If desired, beat in food coloring. Frost cookies. (Keep frosting covered with a damp towel to prevent it from drying out.)

These cookies are definitely a labor of love. When I was younger, I would make these each year for Easter and Halloween, but lately I just bake them for Christmas. Have fun with your decorating and get creative! I usually use pastry bags and different icing tips to decorate my cookies and the decorating goes fairly quickly!

Also do not over bake your cookies! You do not want them to be brown! That will make them crunchy and they won't be soft. I always make a double batch of the frosting because if you want to do a lot of different colors and details, you will need the extra icing.

The below photos are just cell phone photos from the last several years, nothing fancy, but I just wanted to share how the cookies have looked over the years.

They make my heart smile when they are all decorated! The wreaths are my favorites!

Hopefully next Christmas I can do a step by step with photos! I hope you give these a try! 

Thank you for visiting!

Merry Christmas!