Saturday, November 14, 2009

Gingerbread Houses

Halloween was an interesting season for crafts but we think
it pales in comparison to the possibilities of Christmas
making. Today we did the first (we hope) of our holiday
season crafting - yes, we're skipping the whole
Thanksgiving-turkey thing. The girls made some gingerbread
houses out of tissue paper boxes and scrap cardboard.
I did some minor prep work beforehand -

  • collected three large (rectangular) tissue paper boxes
  • shortened them to about 6.5" long (random number)
  • covered them with brown paper so the girls would have a clean surface for decorating. I used a spray adhesive. If you are already in possession of brown cardboard boxes, like mailing boxes, you're all set!
  • glued on a roof and little triangles to cover the attic space
  • cut a door in the long side and a little window (or two) in the short sides

Then got out markers, stickers, foam stickies, glue and
chenille stems, and let the kids work on them.

I found a little book of candy stickers in the craft store
for $1 which was perfect for this activity.

I like crafts that take the girls a while to complete because
it trains them to persevere and plan and gives them enough
time to experiment and develop their ideas. Jenna spent a
long time peeling and positioning her stickers, after which
she colored in the holes in the stickers and then declared,
"I'm tired of coloring now!"

Emily colored one side of her roof red and the other green
and added contrasting trim and candy canes. I didn't take a
picture of this but there is also a Christmas garden (evergreens,
"Christmassy flowers" etc) on the back wall of her house.

Kate opted for the minimalistic look - a scribble on the roof
with a red marker and then moved on to coloring on paper
(and herself). I felt sorry for her house so I played with
foam stickies a bit, and she returned to stick on
the green dot and the blue heart.

When they were done, they considered making paper
gingerbread people to live in their houses, but decided
instead to lease them out to the felt gingerbread folk.
Tomorrow we will add these houses to Carville,
and have the Little People come visit.

It took the girls a good hour (at least) to finish decorating.
Kate, of course, was ecstatic to be allowed close contact
with markers for more than 1 minute. Jenna was so fun to
watch, her face solemn with concentration, completely
ignoring Emily's praise of her colorful roof.

And Emily said, "I like crafts that take a long time."



  1. That's very very cute! and 100% more wholesome than what we did for our gingerbread houses last year. I blagged all the people I knew that let their kids eat happy meals to save me the little house shaped cardboard boxes that they come in, so I could turn them inside out and glue them back together for decorating. yours are so much classier!

  2. I love this idea!!! We have felt gingerbread houses to decorate and a real gingerbread house to decorate, but we're definitely going to do this, too! Thanks for the wonderful idea :) I'm looking forward to seeing what you do next!

  3. Those are so cute! I love them, I think I might try it with my kids! x

  4. These are so cute and look a lot easier the than the baked version (especially for the little ones.

  5. so cute - my kids LOVE stickers, so if I can find something similar we'll be going to town!

  6. Aww, those are darling girls! great job! Thanks so much for the fun project, I'll be linking to this.

  7. DARLING! FABULOUS! FUN! Adding this to my CHRISTMAS to do list... thanks

  8. Absolutely genius! I adore this craft and will be trying it with my oldest son :)


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