(This gingerbread house craft post contains affiliate links.)
It all started when I spied a large gingerbread house kit in a local grocery store. It was early November, but I started thinking about making gingerbread houses with my kids.
I took a peek at the price tag and quickly dismissed that particular kit…$7.99 x 6 kids = way too much money for unhealthy sweets we don’t even want. However, as the weeks went by and we started other Christmas activities (like our Printable Christmas game), I kept my eyes open for smaller houses and even started thinking about graham cracker houses. I knew I wasn’t up for baking enough gingerbread pieces for 6 houses in our small counter-top oven!
Then I stumbled upon the idea of a painted and bejeweled carton gingerbread house craft instead of the sugar-laden, countertop-space-taking, throw-away-half-eaten normal gingerbread houses.
I immediately started washing and saving paper cartons as we used up the last of the almond milk, heavy cream, egg whites, and chicken broth. Before long, we had a nice collection of “houses.”
Next, I gathered up supplies we had on hand and made a trip to Dollar Tree to find some candy decoration alternatives.
I was thrilled to find gems and dots in a variety of colors and most importantly, they were self-adhesive. Those words are a sweet sound to the ears of any mom…no messy glue!
Would you like to make these simple (and sugar & food allergen free) gingerbread houses with your kids?
Make Your Own Gingerbread House Craft
Here’s what you’ll need (I used mostly items I had on hand or purchased from Dollar Tree, but I’ve tried link to similar items on Amazon)…
- Empty and clean paper cartons (we used all 32oz or smaller milk, cream, egg whites, broth, etc.)
- Acrylic craft paint – brown and white
- Assorted paint brushes – medium/large for the brown base coat and small for the white “icing” (single set or family pack)
- An assortment of decorations…self-adhesive gems, small flat buttons, small pom-poms, ribbon, cotton balls (we used these for chimney smoke)
- Craft glue – only necessary if your items aren’t self-adhesive (for toddlers and preschoolers I would recommend going fully self-adhesive!)
Here’s how we made this fun and festive gingerbread house craft.
1. First, we painted the cartons with brown acrylic craft paint and let them dry a few hours. You could easily do this a couple days before you want to decorate them.
2. Once they were dry, we painted on white paint “icing” with thin brushes. Doors, windows, roof tiles, wreaths, trees, snowmen, and even an adorable gingerbread girl were added to the gingerbread houses. We let these dry for a few hours as well. Again, you could do this the day before decorating.
3. Next, we cut apart gem sticker sheets and divided all the decorating supplies into individual bowls for each child. This helps keep kids from knocking into each other as they reach for supplies and also ensures that no one hogs certain decorations 😉
4. Then, the kids went to work decorating their gingerbread house crafts. They stuck the gems on making patterns and used the glue to attach ribbons, pom poms, button and cotton balls to the spout chimneys.
My oldest set up a little gingerbread village for photos. I think they turned out so sweet! What do you think?
And my little photo helper…
This is how we’re displaying them in our tiny little living room and enjoying their cheeriness 😊
Do your kids like making gingerbread houses? What Christmas crafts do you enjoy the most? Leave a comment and let me know.