The Making of a Gingerbread House
Created by Tara, Mike, Ian & Anne

Front Mike, Tara & Ian designed the house, rather than using a store-bought pattern. Pattern pieces were cut from cardboard, which was laid on the rolled out gingerbread dough and cut around before baking. You will need a side piece (cut two), a front/back piece (cut two), a roof piece (cut two) and chimney pieces.
If you want an overhang above the door, cut two of those too. Make sure your roof pieces allow for about 1 inch overhang on front, back and side.

A tip: Make your dough, chill, roll out, cut and bake it the day before assembling and decorating.

Right "Glue" your house together with Royal Icing. We recommend you hold together the ends and sides, propping with books, etc. until they are well-set before adding the roof. Use plenty of icing inside the corners to reinforce them.
We built the house on a thick sturdy piece of cardboard covered in tin foil. The Royal Icing is all around the base so the house is "glued" to the "ground".

It took about 11 rolls of Necco Wafer candies to shingle the roof!

Left If you look carefully, you can see that the inside of the chimney is filled with mini M & Ms.

The tree, surrounded by candy "presents", has an invisible candy cane trunk and florist foam core. I ad-libbed on this one. Next time, I'll just "glue" an ice-cream cone upside-down and go from there. The tree branches are Royal Icing tinted green.

There are sliver candy balls on the tree, and the topper is a tiny candy star.
Back This is the back of the house. Mike worked hard squeezing out those shutter lines and window frames! We used professional quality icing tips and bags. I highly recommend the proper tools  -- they were inexpensive and made all the detail easy to do! I made the icicles, which are easier than you'd expect.
Everything you see is edible. All the white is icing. We even sprinkled edible "glitter" over the snowy ground.