Making a Gingerbread House

Silver Post Medal for All Time! 277 Posts
December 11, 2007

finished houseUsing an empty milk or juice carton, graham crackers and royal icing, create an adorable gingerbread house with your kids. This is so easy and so much fun. Making these has become a tradition at my house.


Approximate Time: 1 to 1 1/2 hours



Wash and dry a half gallon size juice or milk carton. Open up the top all the way. Cut the entire top off the carton along the creases. Using scissors, cut a slit approximately 3 inches down each corner of the carton. Press two sides to the center and tape them together to form the roof. Cut along the roofline on the opposite sides to trim off the excess, then secure with tape.

Make Royal Icing by beating together 3 egg whites until foamy. Add 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar. Add one whole box of powdered sugar and beat until stiff. Place icing in a pastry bag or a plastic baggie with the end cut off. Use the icing to "glue" the carton to a square of cardboard for the base. Glue graham crackers to the prepared carton. Continue placing crackers on all sides. Place a thick "bead" of icing where the roof tops meet. juice container frame


Decorate house by pushing small candies, pretzels, cookies, etc. into wet icing. Spread icing all around the "yard" of the house and use gum drops for bushes, pretzels for fences and anything else you can think of. Just be creative and have fun. When finished, use a sifter to dust the entire house and yard with powered sugar to resemble snow. Let the houses dry until icing is hard. Enjoy!


By Momof1 from Wilkesboro, NC

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December 24, 2004

When putting together a gingerbread house for Christmas, use peanut butter as the "mortar"; it works far better than the recommended royal icing.


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 555 Posts
December 11, 2023

Gingerbread houses are HARD to make and way too tempting for kids to eat candy prematurely so I substituted the candy for dried bananas, dried apple rings, dried strawberries, plus plain and colored Cheerios for my twin grandsons to decorate their pre made houses with. You could "glue" on the pieces with organic peanut butter too!

Kid Friendly Gingerbread House Tweaks


Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

December 9, 2005

I need a good recipe for ginger bread for a gingerbread house. A nice hard gingerbread, not soft and thick.

Thanks in advance.
Valery from Cranford, NJ


February 2, 20060 found this helpful
Best Answer

I used this recipe this past Christmas and it worked great and smelled fantastic all the way through the holidays. This isn't traditional gingerbread, but it's great to use. You don't have to refrigerate it for too long, it rolls out thin, and bakes into sturdy cookies to make the walls and roof.


Also, I'm putting in a recipe for 'icing glue' that I found on the web. It sets fast and is hard as concrete. We made 8 houses and none of them crumbled or fell apart.

Spice Cookies


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 1/4 cups (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • flour for rolling


Combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Cream brown sugar and butter together in a large bowl. Add the egg and beat until fluffy. Add the dry ingredients gradually and mix until combined.

Divide the dough in two halves. Flatten each half and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two baking sheets. Lightly flour a work surface and your rolling pin. Roll out each dough piece until very thin. Cut cookies with a cookie cutter, roll out remaining dough and cut again. Repeat with the second dough piece.


Put cookies on the baking sheets and bake until the edges start to darken, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool.

Decorate any way you like.


  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 3- 31/2 cups icing sugar

In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until they begin to foam. Add the cream of tartar and beat until the whites are stiff but not dry. gradually beat in the icing sugar, beating for about 5 minutes until it reaches spreading consistency. Keep it covered and refrigerate until needed. Dries very fast.

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November 25, 2008

I am looking for directions for the Woman's Day Magazine Mini Gingerbread House. It is from the late 1980's or early 1990's.


Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 290 Feedbacks
November 25, 20080 found this helpful


Found this site on Google, it's probably what you are looking for.

December 3, 20080 found this helpful

I've been doing this for years with grand kids,take two full length graham crackers, with serrated knife carefully cut corners off one short edge of each to form a pointed top. Take two half crackers and glue(royal icing) to tall pointed crackers ( the bottom half leaving the pointed half clear for roof)take two halves and glue to the top edges for roof.


Let dry and decorate. We have a blast with these every year. So easy,simple and quick not to mention cheap. Sometimes we make them for valentines and Easter. Hope this is what you wanted.

December 24, 20230 found this helpful

Thank you very much for trying but when Im looking for is mini gram cracker gingerbread house ornaments and this was a recipe that was in the womens day magazine in the 1980s probably late 80s when my kids were young. They lasted around 6 years and I want to make them with my grandchildren so they can carry on the tradition thanks, Linda in Ohio

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