There are so many fun things to do around the holidays — including making gingerbread houses! Add a fun twist to your traditional gingerbread house making by whipping up these recycled carton gingerbread houses that even light up!
Making gingerbread houses is one of those yearly traditions that we all look forward to, and I couldn’t imagine missing it. But a giant house made out of candy? It doesn’t have to be that way!
These gingerbread houses we made are from recycled milk cartons — no candy involved! And guess what? We didn’t miss the candy one bit. This was just as exciting!
And the best part is, it’s cheap. You can get your hands on some cartons easily, and the rest is just paper, ribbons, buttons – things you probably already have around the house! You can dress these up as much or as little as you want. You could even make a whole little gingerbread village!
Recycled Carton Gingerbread House
- Recycled cartons, washed and dried
- Scalloped scissors or paper punch
- Box cutter
- Brown acrylic paint
- White acrylic paint
- Paint brushes
- Paper (white, brown, green, candy striped)
- Tissue paper
- Plastic LED tea lights
- Any other decorative materials you want!
- Using scissors and/or a box cutter, cut out the bottoms of the cartons. Use the box cutter to cut out any doors and windows. Leave one side of the door connected, that way it can swing open and closed.
- Make sure the inside and outside of the cartons are clean and dry, then paint them brown. It might take 2 coats for full coverage.
- While the paint is drying, you can start prepping your decorations. Using the scalloped scissors, cut scalloped borders to go around the edges of the houses, and around the windows.
- To create a wreath, tie a bow with the ribbon, and hot glue it onto the bottom half of a large green button.
- To make the trees, cut triangles out of the green paper, and glue them on top of each other, stacking them 3 high. Once they dry, add “snow” onto the tops of the branches with the white paint.
- You can create any kind of embellishments you want – snowmen, candy canes, gingerbread men, etc.
- Once the houses are dry, glue on all of your decorations.
- To finish the doors, cut out a piece of tissue paper, a bit larger than the size of the door. Glue it to the inside of the house, so it covers the entire door opening.
- Do the same thing for the windows, but also glue 2 skinny strips of brown paper to the tissue paper. Criss-cross them, so they look like window panes.
- For the roof, add more scalloped white paper (to look like snow), or a bunch of different buttons. Work around the spouts – those are the chimneys!
- To display, place the tea lights inside the houses and turn them on. Watch the candle light flicker against the tissue paper!
*Affiliate links have been added to help you create your gingerbread house!*