How to Make an “Easy” Gingerbread House

Crafts are not my thing, especially holiday crafts. If you enjoy wielding a glue gun or stitching up a quilt, you won’t understand this, but the thought of spending an afternoon doing anything that first requires a trip to Michael’s Crafts provokes a trapped-animal sense of panic in me.

On the other hand, I’d do pretty much anything for my kid. And last weekend he wanted to build a gingerbread house. “That will take all weekend,” a friend of mine said when I mentioned it. She knew someone who had once made a gingerbread house. “All weekend,” she repeated in her dire warning voice. Deep breath. Okay, I thought to myself, there has to be an easy way to do this. I’ll Google it.

I found a video on Epicurious that showed an “easy” way to build a gingerbread house using graham crackers. All I had to do was round up some candy, whip up the icing, and glue graham crackers together. How long could that take?

The answer is, it takes almost ALL DAY even if you do the “easy” version. But my son had a lot of fun, and I had fun watching him have fun. Here’s a step-by-step guide if you want to try building your own gingerbread village.

Step One: Create a base for your gingerbread village. A cookie sheet works well. Tape a piece of white paper to the sheet, so that it looks like snow. Cover it with wax paper.

Step Two: Find small boxes about the height and width of a graham cracker. Ask your child to plan the landscape. My son had fun arranging the boxes, figuring where the road would go, and choosing toy cars for the display.

TIP: My ambition to do an entire village is what sank the day. I recommend one house per child.

Step Three: Cover the boxes with tin foil. Bunch up the excess tinfoil in a triangle shape on the top of the box to help support the roof. Make sure the bottom of the box is flat without too much foil.

Step Four: Make a batch of royal icing and put it in a pastry bag. You will use the icing like glue to stick the graham crackers to the sides and the top of the boxes.

TIP: use rubber bands to hold the graham crackers to the box while the icing hardens.

Step Five: Decorate the house and landscape with candy. Admire the finished work, while you eat the leftovers.



  1. Sylvia says:

    Love it Kim! I’ve been thinking about doing this with O over the weekend and this provides the perfect impetus. Thanks!

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