DIY Cardboard Toy Gingerbread House

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Do your kids enjoy decorating gingerbread houses? Do they wish they could build and decorate gingerbread houses all day long over and over? Do you have an empty cereal box on-hand?? Here’s a little DIY toy project to try!

First, you will need to download and print out our free gingerbread house template. Each cereal box provides enough cardboard to make one gingerbread house. Trace the template onto the inside of an empty cereal box, cut it out, and fold along the indicated lines. For the roof, you will need half of a cereal box side that is folded in half.

If your kids enjoy building and decorating over and over, you can add bits of self-adhesive Velcro® — the hook side is perfect for adding pom-poms, or felt pieces! I even used the Velcro to hold the house together, so it could be taken apart later.

It should look something like this:

 Then, it’s time to play!! Invite your child over to build the gingerbread house, and decorate it with pom-poms, or felt pieces for doors and windows! Pipe cleaners made great candy canes, but needed a bit of fuzzy Velcro added so they would stick.

 Mmmm… looks almost good enough to eat!

I love how Clara enjoyed decorating her gingerbread house, and even cut out her own little pieces of felt for decorations! When she was all done, the entire thing can be taken apart and laid flat for easy storage. We kept all of the decorations in an empty egg carton.

Fun, festive, and very frugal!

Have fun!!

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  1. Dear Valerie,

    You can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread man. I’m the gingerbread man and I’m out of the pan!

    What’s that? You have my house? ಠ_ಠ


  2. If ONLY interior design were this easy…*SIGH*…

    (Thank you for the template! I hope to use it with our Gingerbread Unit!)

    • I know what you mean… I’m suddenly filled with the urge to Velcro the entire walls of my house…… 😉

  3. My son now wants to make one of these. He said he wanted to take it apart. 🙂

  4. This looks super cute! Going to try this with the kids.

  5. This is soooooooooooooooo super cute!

  6. My kids are concerned about not being able to eat it, but I think it’s darling! Great idea!

  7. This is FABULOUS!! I saw this on a thread on FB and had to pop over and leave a comment. Love it and can’t wait to give it a go with my kids!! Thank you so much for the printable.

  8. This is just so cute! I love the idea of the velcro so you can redesign it again and again. Genius! What’s funny is that i’ve got a post coming up with a toddler decoration that is the pipecleaner candy canes, lol. Now i’m so disappointed since seeing this because that is just one tiny element of your amazing project! haha

    • Thanks, Debs! You are so sweet. You should totally post about the candy canes!!! Clara thought it was magical when she watched me make one, and then couldn’t wait to make one herself. Did you use them to decorate the tree?

  9. Love this idea! You always have wonderful ideas.

  10. Wow, this is brilliant!…perfect to make with my little girl! 🙂

  11. Printing right now! Thanks!

  12. What a super-sweet idea. This is perfect for my Jan Brett theme next month. My kids will love playing with it! Thanks for the directions, and thank you to Deb for sharing this post!

  13. I only see one page…am I missing something?

    • It is just one page. For the roof, you will need half of a cereal box side that is folded in half. Have fun!!

  14. So cute and perfect. Last year our dog ate the entire frosting and candy covered gingerbread house. This one is less tempting! 🙂

  15. Oh. My. Gosh. VELCRO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Have I ever told you how BRILLIANT you are?! I am sooooo excited to do this!!!! Love it love it love it. Okay, I’m done! 😉

  16. Love it! We just made 2. The kids are having a blast.

    Did anyone else have trouble getting the pom-poms to stick? I tried 2 different kinds and they just fell off. I just made more felt pieces and the kids were happy.

    • Glad you found a work around for the pom-poms. You could add a little fuzzy velcro to them too. Have fun! 🙂

  17. I’ve made this using foam sheets I had lying around and gathering dust 🙂 My kids are going to be thrilled when I show them tomorrow.

    Thanks 🙂

  18. You know how much I love this! I featured it today as one of my fav 10 fun and frugal Christmas activities! We have had so much fun with ours, even dad got in on the fun! 🙂

  19. Thanks for sharing this! It will be a great project to do with my granddaughter!

  20. Linda Miller says

    Thank you so much for the idea. I do a Gingerbread Unit and this will be a welcomed activity for the shelf. Love It !!!

  21. I love this! You could also decorate it for the different holidays. How cute would a Valentine house look!

  22. Keep them busy for a while thank you.

  23. Terrific craft! Please share on our Christmas Crafts Linky Party and get some additional traffic to your site. Post as many holiday ideas that you have. And feel free to join this Blog Hop on your own site.

  24. Thank you for inspiration. 🙂 This is our gingerbread house My daughter had a lot of fun with it.

  25. We did our houses inspired by you, dear Valerie, Thank you for posting. Greetings from Russia!!! Our houses are here were made by 4 years little one

  26. Found this via Pinterest and must say a big THANKS! With all the food allergies my son has, I am afraid to let him near a “real” Gingerbread House. We have a ceramic one (like a cookie jar) – but making his own this year is going to be so much fun! (I cheated a little and bought a cheap cardboard house at the craft store though.) 🙂

  27. Wow! This is great for my little toddlers. They can change and put another decorations on it! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  28. Awww… I hope they have lots of fun with it! Thanks, Rosalee!


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