Picks and Pans Main: Video

updated 12/14/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/14/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

Christmas comes but once a year, and this time Santa's sack is stuffed with yuletide theme videos. A number of them suggest making the season merrier by making things yourself. Herewith a sampling of Christmas tapes that cater to crafters:

MRS. TULLO'S GINGERBREAD HOUSE

THE JOY OF GINGERBREAD HOUSEMAKING

Here's a project for children that's good enough to eat. Linda Tullo builds her gingerbread house with melted sugar for mortar, Red Hots for window trim and peppermints in a gooey frosting for a rooftop. Tullo, a special education instructor from Holbrook, N.Y., shows how it's done, creating the thick dough (add melted molasses, shortening and water to flour, ginger and sugar), assembling (patterns for cutting the dough are included with the 40-minute video), icing (whip powdered sugar with egg whites) and decorating (border your house with a rainbow of gumdrops). (Caledonia Investments, 800-345-1441, $29.95) Patti Hudson, the Gingerbread Lady of Lancaster, Pa., carries decorating to an extreme: dolling up her houses with M&Ms shingles and pink-frosted window boxes; populating her interiors with painted gingerbread people and landscaping her yards with green gumdrop shrubs and chocolate sprinkle walkways. This 70-minute tape includes puppets, songs, more variety and much more gab. Costumed in a brown-gingham getup, Hudson, a former home economics teacher, begins with a graham-cracker cookie cottage easy enough for children to construct (with breath mints for trim and Rice Chex for windows). Then she tackles a gingerbread dwelling that is so busy with decoration that it makes Tullo's house look plain. "I wish I could take the wonderful aroma of the warm gingerbread and send it along to you with this video," Hudson bubbles. Instead we get a companion recipe booklet that includes cookie cutting patterns (warning: they are not full-size). Each tape offers a clear blueprint for gingerbread construction, and if you falter the first time, you can always eat your mistakes. (Matrix Media, 800-345-1441, $39.95)

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