Art: How to Build a Gingerbread House from Cardboard Holiday Recipe Homeschool Art Lesson

How to make a cardboard gingerbread house and frosting paste

This Homeschool ART journey included a trip to the library where we learned how to make a cardboard gingerbread house that looks like the real thing with ginger/cinnamon paste recipe, and how to make royal icing gingerbread house paste. Enjoy!

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.*

How to Build a Gingerbread House from Cardboard

How to make Gingerbread House Homeschool Art Recipe
Make a Cardboard Gingerbread House.

Homeschool Art: Jake had a messy break through during the making of this Gingerbread House at our local library. When I signed the family up for the project, I didn't think he would like it, but he was more excited than his little sister, Mayhem. He collected all the candies off the community candy table. (Each family brought two bags of candy to share.)

At first, he was disappointed it was only made of cardboard. I'd never seen this done before. The cardboard panels were covered with a cinnamon and sugar mixture, so they smelled like the real thing. (See Recipe below.)

Jake, spent most of his time counting out gumdrops and planning the pattern for the roof. When he saw how Mommy filled in his gumdrop outline, he wanted to do the same. See his above? It's the one on the bottom left. 

Mayhem spent her time fashioning hangers for a string of licorice lights (bottom right). She attached colored mini-marshmallows for the lights, but they didn't stick. She also made the back window with pretzels and cookie shutters.

The Royal Icing Glue was a big hit. It was the perfect recipe and dried quickly. Not one thing fell off after the icing set. 

Jake had icing up to his elbows but refused to let me take a picture. He stayed messy until he completed his roof top design, marshmallow snowman, and pretzel and twizzler fire. 

This is a Christmas miracle. If you're following the journey, you know he doesn't like to get his hands messy.

The complaints and self-inflicting criticisms were kept to a minimum. He didn't want his fire to have white on it. It was a while before it clicked that his carefully placed firewood would fall apart without the icing glue. 

His fine motor skills are lacking as he has always focused on intelligence and his brain moves faster than his hands. Needless, to say, he was disappointed in the licorice roof decorations that he made.

Overall, we had a fabulous family time- even the Daddy helped. If you look closely, you'll see a waffle cone Christmas tree and a pretzel fence.

Recipe for Cinnamon Ginger Coating for Fake, Cardboard, Gingerbread House

Mix equal parts ginger and cinnamon. Paint your house with a light coating of equal parts glue and water, then sprinkle ginger/cinnamon mixture on your cardboard pieces.

Tip: You can also cut out cardboard gingerbread men and make mock cookies following the above instructions. 

Cardboard Gingerbread Cookies
from Teach

For the house, you will need 4 rectangle panels of equal size, and 2 square panels the same height. 

Attach them to a cardboard base covered with white paper. Once this step is complete, you can add cotton or spray snow to your landscape. 

Then, let the fun begin by gluing candy decor everywhere with royal icing. 

Insert the icing into a baggie, and cut off the bottom corner to make a piping tube. 

We've done this with graham cracker squares in preschool classes that way everything is edible.


Christmas Is... by Gail Gibbons*

Popcorn Snow, Waffle Cone Tree, and Candy Cane Sleigh 

Gingerbread Man Peanut Butter Toast

Chocolate Marshmallow Gingerbread Man

The Gingerbread Man*

ADS DISCLOSURE: We've partnered with some wonderful advertisers who may sponsor blog posts or send us samples to test. Some companies pay us to review their products.

*We also use affiliate links, if you make a purchase we get a tiny commission. Kids Creative Chaos participates in the Amazon LLC Associates Program*, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a mean for blogs to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon properties, including, but not limited to,,,,, or We also offer Tapinfluence, Google Adsense, SoFab, and Izea ads here. Thanks so much for helping us keep the lights on! :)


Lora is a homeschooling mom, writer, creator of Kids Creative Chaos, and Director of the Play Connection.