7. Assemble your houses the night before the party. Assembling the night before ensures that the icing will be dry when your guests arrive. Use an assembly line method. If using a basic house design, construct the 4 walls first for all the houses. By the time you are done with the walls of the last house, the first house will be dry enough to put the roof on.
8. Make your royal icing the day of the party. Royal icing is not something you want to make ahead of time when dealing with gingerbread houses. The longer it sits, the softer it becomes and doesn't do a good job of holding onto the candy. You can make it about an hour before your party, and then put it into the decorating bags. Just cover the tips with a damp towel to keep the icing from drying out.
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