Gingerbread BOX Houses
Kids love making Gingerbread Houses. I, however, do not. I do not like the mess of it. I do not like having all that candy hanging around and my kids begging to eat it all day long. And, I do not like the waste at the end of the season when most of it ends up in the trash. But, I DO like the idea of Gingerbread Houses. I do like decorating them, making them look festive and displaying them during the holidays. So, I came up with a version that is just as fun to make and doesn’t have to be thrown away. Today, we made Gingerbread Box Houses!
For the house:
- 1 cardboard box per child (your choice of size)
- hot glue
- 1 large piece of white foam paper or white cardboard
Building the house:
There is a bit of preparation necessary for this project. The first part is building the houses from the boxes.
If you try to make a roof from some boxes, the flaps do are not long enough to reach one another. So, I cut the corner slits just a bit longer and created a new fold line. The flaps then were able to meet and I hot glued them together. See photo below.
Once the glue has dried, put the unattached flaps against the newly created roof and trace it onto the flaps. Then cut along the lines.
Hot glue the flaps to the first part of the roof to close the ends. Place the completed house onto the white foam paper or white cardboard to create the ground under the house.
Now your house is done and ready to be decorated.
(Yep, spelled finished wrong. My apologies! On my list to fix….)
Decorating the House
- brown foam paper cut to small squares (for roof tiles)
- red ric-rac
- red and green small pom-poms
- white, green and red buttons (various sizes)
- white, green and red pipe cleaners
- white pom-poms (various sizes)
- cotton balls
- snowflake sequins
- Mardi Gras beads into short pieces
- other holiday craft items (your choice)
- Elmer’s Glue
- Glue Stick
- Hot Glue
There are no rules or instructions, except to allow your child(ren) to be creative and have fun with it.
Here are some pictures of what my boys (ages 3 and 6) and our friend (age 6) created.
My 3 year old spent a lot of time gluing the brown foam squares on the side of his house.
For my 3 year old aside from the brown foam squares, this activity was all about the glue and about using A LOT of it.
I love how our friend (age 6) used the Mardi Gras beads as Christmas lights hanging from his house.
Together we created trees from the pipe cleaners.
My son (6 year old), spent a lot of time on this tree. He used the beads, the ric-rac and the pom-poms as ornaments and lights.
Like the snowman in the back?
Here are how the 3 houses turned out. Pretty great, huh? Now I want a turn!
A few suggestions:
- Have your hot glue gun ready to go. Many of these things were too heavy for regular glue.
- Use smaller boxes with the younger kids. These boxes were a bit too big and if I do this again I would go for a smaller size.
- I found a lot of these materials in the cheap section at both Target and Joann’s.
- Boxes can be used or you can purchase them at craft stores or UPS Stores.
A few ideas:
- Cottonballs make great snow.
- White pom-poms of different sizes are good for creating snowpeople.
- Wind the green pipe cleaners around your fingers to make trees.
- Mardi Gras beads are good for Christmas lights and ornaments for trees.
- Use yellow cardboard or foam to make stars for the trees
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I love it
this is such a great idea and so open ended.
I love the creativity
thanks for sharing
Genius! Love that idea and they look like they are having so much fun!
They turned out great, love them! (just have a wee look at the pic where it says finished house) 😉
Oh, they did such a great job of decorating them. Very creative!
Such a great idea 🙂 We still love making ours from gingerbread, and eating it, but I love that you’ve kept the fun of it this way without the stress
What a great idea! I sooo wouldn’t want to have to make a real one so this is a great alternative. I love how you recycled the box too!
Cute!!! Would make such a fun place for some Christmas time play too!
This is awesome!!! We r still gonna make a mess…trust me!!! Happy Holidays!!!
We just bought washing machine and Aarya has been playing with the box whole day. I think tomorrow we will try and add some decorations to his “new home” (which has a kitchen by the way and tiny windows too )
That sounds so fun! I was considering the same since we have a gazillion moving boxes, but went the small route first. 🙂