Looking for a fun craft to make with your children over the Thanksgiving weekend? Life as MOM contributor, Janel, offers instructions and a downloadable template to make your own Gingerbread House Tissue Box.
Photo source: Janel Piersma
Spend the afternoon with your peeps building a Gingerbread House with a twist! Nope, you can’t eat this Gingerbread House, but you can USE it. With this downloadable template, you and your little ones can build a paper and cardboard Gingerbread House that will hold a tall tissue box.
What a fun way to decorate for Christmas in a useful way!
Build the basic structure out of brown colored cardboard, tape, and some hot glue. You can decorate it with paint, your own decorations that you cut out of construction paper, OR the decorations included in the Gingerbread House Tissue Box PDF.
Older kids can help by cutting out the shapes. Younger kids can help with applying the glue and placing the decorations. Adults might prefer to assemble the house themselves since it will require the use of a hot glue gun. However you divide up the assembly, be creative and have fun together!
- templates from the Gingerbread House Tissue Box PDF, printed on paper or cardstock
- cereal boxes that are brown on the inside
- glue gun & glue sticks
- white glue or Modge Podge
- craft (xacto) knife
- tall tissue box
- Cut out the templates for the structure of the house. Trace them onto the cardboard from the cereal boxes and cut out.
- On your work surface, place the front and sides of the house (with printed side up) in a line in the following order — back of house, side of house, front of house, side of house. Use tape along the edges to hold the pieces together. Flip over and tape on the other side of these seams.
- Stand the pieces up on their ends and then connect the two ends together with tape. This will create the main structure of the house.
- To create the chimney, cut out the 4 pieces for the chimney. On your work surface, place the front and sides of the chimney (with printed side up) in a line in the following order — angled side of chimney, tall side of chimney, angled side of chimney, short side of chimney. Use tape along the edges to hold the pieces together. Flip over and tape on the other side of these seams. Cut out the white chimney cover from the PDF. Fold along the lines. Use glue or Modge Podge to glue the white chimney cover over your chimney form with the printed lines face-down. Your covered chimney should be all white.
- To create the roof, cut out the two pieces from cereal box cardboard. In one of the pieces, cut out the rectangle for the chimney opening. On your work surface, place the two rectangles down with the long sides together. Use tape along the edge to hold the pieces together. Flip over and tape on the other side of this seam.
- Check the size of the opening where the chimney meets the roof. Use a craft knife to adjust the size of the opening if needed. Use hot glue to attach the chimney to the cardboard roof. Then, use hot glue to attach the roof to the main structure of the house.
- Decorate the sides of the house as you wish. If you are using the template decorations, start by cutting out the “frosting” shapes, folding them lengthwise and then using glue or Modge Podge to cover up the tape seams of the house. Add a door, windows, trees, and whatever decorations you wish.
- Decorate the roof as you wish. If you are using the template decorations, start by cutting out the roof peak “frosting” shapes, folding them along the roof line. Glue the top half along the roof peak on each side. The scalloped edge will hang down from the roof. Then, cut out the roof decoration. Fold down the center of the roof and check for proper placement. Cut out the rectangle on one side for the chimney opening. Use a craft knife to adjust the chimney opening as needed. Use glue or Modge Podge to adhere the roof decoration to the cardboard roof.
- If you wish, apply a thin coat of Modge Podge over the sides and roof of the Gingerbread House to give it greater durability. If you print the PDF decorations on an ink jet printer, know that the ink might run. Use a very light hand to keep the ink from smearing too much. (I used a laser printer so this wasn’t an issue for me. Test before decorating to make sure you’ll have your desired results.)
- Place your completed Gingerbread House over a standard tissue box, and pull a tissue through the chimney opening.
–Janel is a stay-at-home mom of two daughters and a “law school wife” in Virginia. Raised in a budget-conscious and DIY-minded family, she blogs about motherhood, crafts, and living on a law school budget at Life with Lucie and Ella.