Gingerbread is a classic Christmas tradition and one we cherish in our home, from houses to treats and decorations it's something we always associate with this marvellous time of year. This homemade gingerbread man garland is one of my very favourite Christmas decorations in our home. It took a little time to make (maybe a morning?) but it was completely worth it. I'm guessing this is about the 4th or so year it will be strung on display in our home-and incredibly it still smells as amazing as the first year I made it! I'm literally going to give you the instructions below via verbatim from the site I used to make it. It's been so long that I wouldn't be able to add in many of my side notes or commentary even if I tried! I did set aside a couple of the gingerbread men and turned them into singular ornaments as well that we put on our Christmas tree or hang off of pictures frames/easels.
3 Tablespoons Shortening 1/2 Cup Sugar 3/4 Cup water 1 tsp of Baking soda 1/2 Cup Molasses 1 tsp Cinnamon 1 tsp ginger 1 tsp cloves 3 1/2 Cups of flour
"In a medium large bowl, beat shortening and sugar together until light and fluffy, stir in molasses. Combine dry ingredients and sift then add to shortening mixture alternating with water. Dough should be stiff. Cover dough and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease baking sheets.
Cut dough into 3 piece sections and knead to warm on a lightly floured surface. Cut out using cookie cutters and place on cookie sheets. Decorate with peppercorns and rusty bells. Bake for 20 minutes, then shut off oven and let cool inside. Remove ornaments from sheet and place on rack and allow to dry for 3 days. Then preserve with 3 coats of clear varnish. Ornaments are not edible and will last for years." Instructions and photo sourced from decorcharm.com
*Side note, I did not do the varnish step, I just let them dry and they have held up beautifully! I also poked two holes into each gingerbread man (see photo) before baking using a straw so that I could string them onto a velvet ribbon afterwards. For the ones that I was going to use as ornaments I only poked one hole at the top of the gingerbread man's head to be able to place a ribbon through afterwards.
To store them I wrap the garland gently in tissue paper and then place inside a Ziploc bag and remove the air. And how pretty is the photo from decorcharm.com? Just says Christmas!