Tuesday 24 November 2015

Gingerbread Village finishing tips

A number of people have asked me about the skills required to finish the Gingerbread Village buildings nicely.

I hadn't had any experience at this type of finishing before I started making my village.  I just followed the instructions in the patterns, and although it took time and patience, I'm happy with my results. The patterns contain very clear photos showing what to do for each step. You can't hope to assemble a building in one afternoon, but if you allow a few days I'm sure anyone can do it.

I still aim to improve further, but I'm learning with each one, and gradually getting better at finishing.

 Here are some progress shots from my Haunted House.

checking that the pieces are symmetrical

I use an old rotary cutter to cut the cardboard. I used to use scissors, but they struggle to cut through the thick cardboard, and the edges aren't straight enough.

pinning the pieces is very important before gluing
I use an acid free craft glue with a similar consistency to PVA.  I spread it around with the little foam brush.

The back stitching needs to be right on the edge of the cardboard

I keep special pins aside just for building these houses.  They do get glue on them sometimes and are then no good for fabric sewing.

Joining sections together

Although a bit awkward to use, the curved needle was great for attaching the turret to the house

Not all the houses have bases in the patterns.  However, I've decided to give mine all bases because it keeps the house nice and "square".  I put my name on the bottom of each house.  I've mapped it out on graph paper, and use it as a permanent reminder of who stitched these houses.

I dyed my own linen for the roof of the haunted house.  I wouldn't do it for the gingerbread, but I was comfortable to try for the roof.  The fist time it wasn't dark enough, so I just strengthened the mixture and dyed it again.

I'm happy with the result and will do it again if I want a unique colour.

I hope you find these finishing tips useful.  I've created a whole page about my Gingerbread Village now and you can read more there. There's a link under the cover photo at the top of my blog. 


Oops-Lah said...

I'm swooning over here as I always do when I see your gingerbread village. It's just amazing; all that work! I can't wait till you add your Christmas tree. And of course I'm wondering what you'll tackle next.

margaret said...

You certainly have made 2 wonderful projects here so good to see the haunted house for the first time too

Granny Maud's Girl said...

I remember the echidna pin shots from when you were making it. It is just as impressive now as it was then.
Why am I now craving a ginger nut biscuit? All this talk of gingerbread ...