Cardboard Gingerbread House Life Size

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If you happen to follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that last night as soon as the kids went off to bed, Mark and I crafted up a cardboard gingerbread house life size to surprise them with this morning. We had so much fun making this for them and I loved seeing how something as simple as cardboard can make them SO happy!!! The cold days of Winter are right around the corner, so I wanted to create a little holiday magic that could last throughout the season, for those days when we’re stuck indoors.

Life Sized Cardboard Gingerbread House

The house is made of 4 large moving boxes, opened up and turned inside out so the printed sided are on the inside of the house. We used two boxes for the gingerbread house walls, and two more to make the roof. To help keep it all together, I highly recommend gummed reinforcement tape! After completing several cardboard craft projects, and experimenting with many different methods, I’ve found that I love this tape the best for longer lasting projects like this. In fact, one of the cardboard kitchen sets I crafted up two years ago, is still going strong because of this tape!!

Life Sized Cardboard Gingerbread House

To decorate the roof, I used paper plates cut in half, and then cut out the middles of the plates to use the rims as icing. The white icing strips are bulletin board trim! I didn’t have any white bulletin board trim on-hand, BUT I used the opposite side of the trim I did have, which happened to be white on the back! I’ve used that same bulletin board trim on many different projects. The gum drops on the roof are just sheets of tissue paper crumpled up, and the large peppermint candy is just a paper plate painted and attached with some masking tape.

Life Sized Cardboard Gingerbread House

Inside the gingerbread house, you may recognize the (now very old) cardboard kitchen I made about 2 years ago! It fit perfectly inside the house, and Clara has been very busy baking up pretend gingerbread cookies and serving up plenty of pretend hot cocoa! Emily has been busy crafting up signs for both inside and outside of the house, and helping customers select the perfect holiday treat!

Life Sized Cardboard Gingerbread House

Along the outside of the house, is an old shoe rack with some pretend candy treats for plenty of imaginative playtime fun! Some cut up stripy straws made great pretend peppermint sticks. You could also use pipe cleaners to make candy canes! Some cotton balls were great for pretend marshmallows, and craft pom poms make perfect pretend gum drops!

Life Sized Cardboard Gingerbread House

You may also want to make some pretend sweets from sponges, or felt cookies, or perhaps even pretend cinnamon rolls!

For a much smaller version, you can print out the template to make a cardboard gingerbread house from an empty cereal box.

DIY Cardboard Toy Gingerbread House

Click here for details and to download the free template.

Have fun!!

More Holiday Fun to Explore:


  1. This is way cool! You make magic happen with cardboard!

    • Thank you, Natalie! I do so love cardboard!! And we have several more boxes in the garage… Hmm…. πŸ˜‰

  2. Dear Valerie,

    Our poor, poor, shoes. They have no home now!


  3. You are amazing!

    • So sweet, Christy! It was a team effort between me and Mark . Because nothing says “I love you” like cardboard crafting with your wife late at night. lol!

  4. I just love this.

    • Thank you, Zina! The whole time we were building this, I kept thinking about how much I would have LOVED something like this when I was a kid! <3

  5. This is just all sorts of awesome! I want to come and play πŸ™‚

  6. Adorable! Can we come over and play too? πŸ™‚

  7. Always love how versatile cardboard is! We made walls for a play area in our basement with large boxes. I was just about to pitch a box they made into a car…Now I’m thinking we may need to make some kind of Christmas house first!

  8. This may seem like a dumb question but do you have the dimensions of the “large moving boxes”. Going to call around the moving companies in our area so I can get the best deal. πŸ™‚

  9. I love it!! What a great idea! My son is allergic to everything and is unable to make gingerbread houses. I cant wait to make these little ones tomorrow! Thanks so much.

  10. Stephanie Suastegui says

    My four year old son enjoy decorating the ginger bread house. Along the way he learned about patterns using the giant gum drops, counting using large peppermint candy’s and the activity also promoted language. I’m going to share this great experience with my preschool students.

  11. This it really amazing! My kids saw this and want me to make them one πŸ™‚

  12. Just returned from Lowes and the Dollar Tree with the materials to make our own life-sized gingerbread house! I saw this on Pinterest this morning and knew I HAD to make one for my daughter! Now to figure out how to put this thing together!

  13. This is SO Adorable Val! We are making one for our First Grade Christmas party this Friday- the kids are going to LOVE it — thank you so much for sharing such a fun idea! I know it will be the hit of the party.

  14. I’m the Editorial Assistant for Fun Family Crafts and I wanted to let you know that we have featured your gingerbread house! You can see it here:

    Thanks for an amazing idea!

  15. Patricia May says

    I love the cardboard gingerbread house. As a retired school teacher, this could easily be made and used in your classroom. Little ones would love it. It could also be used as a reading nook during the holidays. Also as a new grandmother, my little granddaughter would love this! Love all the crafty ideas!

  16. Oh my goodness, I HAVE to make one of these for my girls!! We bake real gingerbread houses (over 100 of them) each year–for each kid in the class, for each kid in the girl scout troops, for our big friends and family gingerbread party… This would be so perfect for the kids to play in after they’re done decorating their houses!

  17. So awesome! I wish I would have thought of this. πŸ™‚ We’ve done a pirate ship, castle, and school bus. More coming soon.

  18. Great idea! What did you use for the candy polls at the sides of the door?? Thanks!!

  19. So cute I love it . Could u explain a little more how u used the boxes to form the shape of the house? Thanks so much !

  20. I absolutely love this and wanting to make it for my wee boy at Christmas hes 2.5 πŸ™‚ he loved our gingerbread house last year and I know he will love this even more! What a great idea.
    I’m in UK and I’ve ordered this reinforced tape online is it the right stuff?
    Thankyou again πŸ™‚

    • Yes, that’s the stuff! πŸ™‚ I’m sure your little man will adore a cardboard “gingerbread” house!! <3

  21. This is a totally awesome idea. We have so much leftover Halloween candy that a candy store would be perfect. We recently made some cinnamon rolls out of homemade play dough that would look so cute to serve out of the gingerbread house.
    Will definitely share!

  22. Amazing! This will be my pin of the day!

  23. I’ve got my boxes and tape ready but I can’t seem to figure out the layout to put it together. Please help! Thanks!

  24. I have all of my supplies, but I’m having a hard time figuring out how to put it together. Can you help? This is for my daughters third birthday next weekend! Thanks!!


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