A New (Less Mess) Classic: The Cardboard “Gingerbread” House

While I used to love making gingerbread houses as a kid, I love it even more as an adult! I especially love watching and helping my children bring their imaginations to life. Of course, the end of the day always resulted in a candy-strewn countertop, frosting-covered baking tools, and sticky fingers all around.

If you’re a bit concerned about using real foods and sweets, this cardboard gingerbread house is the perfect alternative. It might not be edible, but you can add all the elaborate “candy-coated” landscaping and rooftop decor you want, with less of the mess. 


  • 3 8.5” x 11” sheets of cardboard or chipboard 
  • Scissors
  • Tape or clear stickers
  • Felt sheets in white, green, and red, plus circular sticky-back felt sheets for the roof and white glittery felt for walkways
  • Various decorative materials, including pom-poms, ribbons, pipe cleaners, and tissue paper
  • Glue

Gingerbread House Step 1

Step 1:

Gather your materials. The image above should serve as a reference for collecting your decorative touches, but incorporate whatever you may have lying around the house as well. Using the chipboard or cardboard as your “gingerbread,” draw and cut out the shapes you see for the kids, trees, house, and roof — slits and all. Don’t have time to gather all the materials? You can just buy this Gingerbread House Kit.

Gingerbread House Step 2

Step 2:

Fold the house to form a standing structure and secure it using clear tape. Dab glue onto the notches of the house and attach the roof. Hold in place for a minute or so until the glue sets.

Gingerbread House Step 3

Step 3:

Start decorating your gingerbread house! We started with the roof, using circular sticky-back felt sheets that we cut in half and staggered.

Gingerbread House Step 4

Step 4:

Use ribbon or lace to decorate the front of the house.

Gingerbread House Step 5


To add some embellishment to the edge of the roof, we twisted a red and white pipe cleaner together to create a candy cane pattern.

Gingerbread House Step 6

Step 5:

Continue decorating with other materials. We used colorful pom-poms (that resemble gumdrops) along the rim of the roof and on the sides of the front of the house.

Gingerbread House Step 7

Step 6:

Decorate your base. We used white glittered felt to mimic a snowy yard and walkway.

Gingerbread House Step 8

Step 7:

Put the tree together and add more pom-poms or other decorations of your choosing. And … you’ve got your “gingerbread” village!


Like this project? Shop for more amazing kids’ crafts at Kiwi Crate!