My solution to the failed attempts at making a gingerbread house was to make pretzel log cabin instead. While it is supposed to be edible just like a gingerbread house, I used a glue gun to hold the pretzels and the pounds of candy in place. This was so much easier than making a gingerbread house! I wouldn't advise eating it, though.
After heading out to the Dollar Tree and Lucky’s to buy giant pretzels and every bag of hard candy that I could find, I cleared the table to make a mini-workshop. First, I made the log cabin the same size as the large pretzel sticks to save time. Using an Xacto knife, I cut out the 4 sides and 2 roof panels out of cardboard. Then I hot glued the pretzels on the cardboard and the candy on the roof. It was surprisingly easy and quick to do. No winter log cabin is complete without a fireplace so I stacked hard candies to make the chimney. Then I made a pathway out of cinnamon hard candies, and lamp posts out of candy canes and gum drops. Using extra pretzels, I made a park bench. After everything was in place, I sprinkled coconut flakes over the whole scene. I finished just in time for it to be Jaclyn’s centerpiece for her Christmas party.
I hope to preserve this with Varathane so next year I can add on to it. If it doesn’t work, I’ll start over again next year!