Okay, when I say it’s “super easy” to make a DIY gingerbread house, I mean it.
Not only can you use store-bought dough (hallelujah!), but there are these awesome silicone reusable house molds so you can make your gingerbread house over, and over, and over again, and they come out perfect every time.
If you’re thinking, “Actually, you know what’s ‘super easy’? Buying the pre-made houses at the store, and not dealing with making your own.”
I hear you loud and clear….BUT!
But, if you have more than one kid, and you plan on making these for more than one year (or multiple times during a season), then you’re going to save a lot of money in the long run by making your own.
A DIY Gingerbread House is So Much Fun!
My two older kids (4.5 and 6.5) entertained themselves for TWO HOURS making their house. Two hours!
I’m not saying it’ll be that magical for you, but two hours? Frozen can’t even entertain them for that long!
The youngest (2.5) tapped out around thirty minutes, but he was pretty attentive during that time, and you could actually see pride sweep over his face when he’d decorate something.
To keep my sanity, I set everything up before they started decorating. I baked the cookies, and put together their houses.
Honestly, the most time consuming part was opening all of the dollar-store candies and putting them into containers, because some were individually wrapped (totally didn’t realize that when I bought them).
Not Just For Kids
I didn’t realize I’d like decorating a gingerbread house as much as I did, but it was actually really therapeutic to decorate one.
Truth be told, I totally made this one while my kids were asleep one night. Because I just wanted to enjoy it, and be creative, and not parent while making my own.
Tips for Making Your DIY Gingerbread House
But I have some tips to make it as easy as possible.
- Use store-bought dough. I mean, sure you can make your own dough from scratch, but the point here is to make it easy on yourself, so pick up some sugar cookie dough in a tube, and BAM. Step one is done.
- If you want to go fancier with your dough, check out this post to jazz it up and make actual gingerbread. I’ve made it both ways, and I think I’ll skip the ginger/molasses in the future since we aren’t eating the houses; they’re just for fun.
- Make the dough the night before when the kids go to sleep. There’s nothing worse than kids begging to make their gingerbread house only having to wait for it to cool.
- Put the house together before the kids are ready to make them. If you’re positive you’re not going to eat the house, you can even use hot glue. Otherwise, royal icing is the best option.
- If you’re going to move the house, build it on a cake board so it can transport easily from place to place.
- Keep costs down by getting candy from the dollar store or when it’s 1/2 off after the holidays.
- Put something down on the table (like these counter covers, or a cheap tablecloth from the dollar store) before you start so clean up will be as easy as pulling it up and tossing it in the trash.
- Have at least one icing pouch per kid so someone isn’t left out wanting to decorate.
- Don’t forget to make a house for yourself!
Get Creative with Your Gingerbread House
Of course there’s the classic Christmas gingerbread house, but you can get more creative than that. Make a haunted Halloween house, or an ice castle fit for a Frozen queen.
Make a fall harvest casita, a sweet Valentine’s home, or a “glass” house made out of jolly ranchers.
When you have your own cookie house mold from Pampered Chef, you can keep on creating!
Make it a Party
How fun would it be do have a date-night competition between other couples? This would make an awesome activity for a cookie swap party, or even a kid’s birthday party over the holidays!
Time to Decorate your Gingerbread House
You need this in your life now, right? Get yours here, and start creating your cookie house village today!
Who would you get one for? Yourself? Kids? Grandkids?