Today my kids and I used recycled boxes, paint, paper, and pom-poms, to construct a festive gingerbread house cardboard craft that came together in under two hours!
The cardboard boxes I used for this project are from my Elfa closet system we bought this summer. The kids used this cardboard as rocket ships that they would play with daily to zoom around the house for hours. But they were finally ready to transform this material into a gingerbread house.
The goal is to keep it as a gingerbread house until Thanksgiving, then add snow to the roof, garland, and wreath for December. Then in January, we will transform it again to become Antarctica.
Steps for Creating the Gingerbread Cardboard Craft
To set up for this project, you need two large cardboard boxes- I used the ones from Elfa closet systems, but any large ones will work perfectly. I had to cut mine apart along the bottom to open it up completely, so it was flat and ready for painting.
The kids chose blue paint for the inside of the gingerbread cardboard house. We used Lakeshore Learning texture brushes to apply paint quickly and easily. I wish I had recorded this- it was faster than we have ever painted a project in our lives!
Planning the Gingerbread House
While the paint was drying, we created a plan for the rest of this project. I loved watching my kids work together to formulate the next steps.
Once the boxes were dry, I hot glued the cardboard, so the center turned in on an angle. We also took off a side rectangle from the top to add to the side of the bottom box so it was larger and could hold the roof. See below for picture examples of this. I also used duct tape as needed to fasten the parts together.
I’m going to go back with more duct tape for the edges of the base, the kids and dog will be playing often in this are and some corners are already lifted up.
Making a Roof for the Gingerbread House
First, my kids and I cut out pink and yellow paper for the roof shingles. Next, I folded pink card-stock in half and rounded the edges for the decorative front roof shingles. Then I folded yellow construction paper into fourths and again rounded the edges for roof shingles.
My daughter planned a pattern for the pink shingles, and then I used hot glue to attach the pieces to the cardboard front. I started at the bottom edge of the roof. It needed only two rows to cover the entire front section.
I used regular liquid glue to attach the yellow shingles for the rest of the roof for this gingerbread cardboard craft.
Adding Decorations to the Gingerbread House
To add extra decoration to the seam of the roof, my daughter made a pattern of giant pom-poms to stretch over the entire front of the rooftop. I used hot glue again to ensure these would last a while. Of course, this also resulted in my toddler starting a snowball fight with the white pom-poms he found. But at least this process was quick, so we were able to pause and clean it all up and move on to attaching the chimney.
For the chimney, I covered an empty ribbon wheel with leftover yellow paper using hot glue.
Once the chimney was attached, all that was left to do was play!
Future Gingerbread House Plans
The kids following plans for this gingerbread cardboard craft for the weeks ahead-
- Add garland made out of colored pasta.
- Add a wreath to the front.
- Make a cardboard fireplace.
- Add snow to the roof.
- Write letters to family and use the hidden mail slot in the top for pretend play.
(The roof can detach whenever needed, and this area created a small rectangle that is perfect for a mail slot that the kids have been using to write notes to each other through. )
Thank you for visiting Live Learn Literacy!
Hopefully you found this idea helpful. Please see my other posts for other ideas. Thank you again for visiting- Chrissy