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25 Gingerbread House Ideas, Tips, and Tricks

You won’t believe how easy it is to create stunning gingerbread house displays with these simple gingerbread house ideas and tips from the pros.

gingerbread house making tips, ideas, and recipes

Create stunning Gingerbread houses with these 5 simple tips

Tip #1: Decorate before you assemble

Learn how to easily make beautiful gingerbread houses with these tips and ideas.

I have never tried this before, but now that I think about it, I can totally see how much easier it would be to decorate first and then assemble the house.

If you’re using a lot of piping or intricate decorations on your pieces, it will be much easier to decorate with the house still in it’s flat form.

Once you have your decorations, go ahead and glue the sides together then the roof.

Tip #2: Make the Strongest Icing “Glue”

Best icing recipes for gingerbread house construction. These recipes will make sure everything on your gingerbread house stays in place.

Have you ever had a gingerbread house fall apart or cave in while you’re putting your finishing touches on?

You need a strong icing for your home construction, whether you’re using store-bought kit or a homemade gingerbread house.

Icing Recipes

Here are three icing cement recipes guaranteed to keep your gingerbread house standing strong. Use the one that suits your needs best:
-> Royal Icing Glue
-> Melting Sugar Gingerbread Glue

Tip #3: Choose Big Candy for Big Impact

Candies that are big and showy are perfect for making eye-catching gingerbread house displays without relying on piping skills and hours of intricate work.

Check out these examples of big candy making light work of decorating a gingerbread house:

Marshmallow Rope Roof from The Gingerbread Journal:

Check out these simple tips for making amazing gingerbread houses every time.

Large Swirly Lollipops from Sweetopia

Pro tips and hacks for making amazing gingerbread houses with little effort.

Tip #4: Keep your Icing Workable by Covering with a Damp Cloth

The icing is one of the most important components of your gingerbread house. It’s used to hold the house together, to glue your colorful candies into place, and can be used as a stand-alone decoration when piped onto roofs and such.

Learn the best tips and ideas for decorating gingerbread houses with your family

The gingerbread icing is meant to harden so that it does it’s job well. However, the last thing you want when you’re making your beautiful gingerbread house is for the icing to harden before you’re ready.

The Frog Prince Paperie shares this tip for keeping icing form hardening: place a damp cloth over your bowl of icing so that it will stay the right consistency for decorating and gluing.

Tip #5 Use Store-bought fondant for custom Gingerbread House Decorations

(This post contains affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission if you click a link and make a purchase. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)

Use a plain white tub of fondant to create custom decorations for your gingerbread house. The fondant is perfect because you can dye it any color you need, and either cut or roll into the shapes you need.

In this gingerbread house, fondant was used for the roof, the candles, the window treatments, door, and the Christmas trees:

See how to use fondant to easily create amazing details on your gingerbread house

This snowman from Sweetopia is made from rolled fondant:

Fondant is a simple way to add amazing details to your gingerbread house. Click over to see more tips and tricks for simple ways to make an amazing gingerbread house.

Now that you have these pro tips under your belt, you can get started on making your own amazing gingerbread houses (we make them every year as a part of our Christmas traditions!). Keep reading for more great DIY Gingerbread House resources. I’ve done the legwork for you and I found the best gingerbread house recipes and inspiration on the web.

5 Homemade Gingerbread House Recipes

I have only ever used gingerbread house kits (like this one) in the past. But after seeing some of these homemade recipes, I think that making my own gingerbread house would be totally doable.

In fact, if you plan on hosting a gingerbread decorating event, you will save money by making your own. Plus, making your own gingerbread house from scratch offers the most creativity for making the size and shape you like the best.

1.  Standard Gingerbread Recipe

2.  Gluten Free Gingerbread Recipe

Recipe for gluten free gingerbread house. #GlutenFree #GingerbreadHouse #DIYChristmas

3.  Construction Grade Gingerbread Recipe (hard to break)

4.  Vegan and Gluten Free Gingerbread Recipe (Can be used to make gingerbread house)

This vegan and gluten free gingerbread recipe is strong and sturdy enough to use for making a gingerbread house. Great recipe for people with dietary restrictions. #GingerbreadHouse #Vegan #GlutenFree #Recipe

5. Don’t like ginger but still want to make and decorate a house? Try this chocolate “gingerbread” house.

Use this recipe for chocolate rolled sugar cookies to make a chocolate gingerbread house. This is such a great idea for people who don't like or can't tolerate ginger. #GingerbreadHouse #Chocolate #Recipe

5 Free Printable Homemade Gingerbread House Templates

If you aren’t using a gingerbread house kit, you’ll need to cut your own house pieces.

One simple option is to buy a gingerbread house cookie cutter that you can use every year. Or, take a peak at these free gingerbread house templates in a variety of shapes and sizes:

1. A-Frame Gingerbread House Template

A-frame gingerbread house template. Use this template to make your own homemade gingerbread house.

2.  Standard Gingerbread House Template

This is a template for making a sweet gingerbread house from scratch. Make a bunch of these and use for a gingerbread decorating party.

3.  3.5″ X 4.4″ Gingerbread House Template

Click through for this Gingerbread house template from Sweetopia

4.  Larger Gingerbread House Template

Large rectangle gingerbread house template. This is just right for making a gingerbread house that the whole family can decorate together. #HolidayTraditions #GingerbreadHouse #ChristmasActivities

5. Mini Gingerbread House Template

Use the mini gingerbread house template here to make a bunch of pint sized houses for little ones to decorate. If you're hosting a gingerbread house decorating party, this might be just what you need. #GingerbreadHouse #Party

5 Different Gingerbread House Ideas for Rooftops that Shine

The roof is one of my favorite parts of the gingerbread house because there are just so many ways to go about decorating it. Do you really get into hand-piping details? Or, are you more into finding creative candy covers for your gingerbread roof?

Here are some gingerbread house ideas for rooftops to get your wheels turning:

 I use these no-fail gingerbread house ideas and tips to create fun and beautiful gingerbread houses with my family. Everything you need to know to make a stunning gingerbread house every time. #GingerbreadHouse #DIYChristmas #HolidayTraditions #gingerbread #gingerbreadhouseideas #christmasfun #christmastraditions #christmasparty
Gingerbread house design by vanillapod.com.au

1.  Neko Wafer Candy Rooftop from The Gingerbread Journal

2.  Lattice Iced Roof from Cloud Berry

3.  Scalloped Roof from Tesco

4. Fluffy Piped Icing Roof from The Gingerbread Journal

5. Powdered Snow Topped roof from Vanilla Pod Cafe 

More Gingerbread House Ideas: Brilliant DIY Candy Accessories

Your gingerbread house won’t be complete without a few friends and accessories for your winter wonderland. See how easy it is to add a few special details to your gingerbread house decorations with the tutorials below.

Create an adorable candy scene to go with your gingerbread house. Lots of great gingerbread house ideas here. #CandyCrafts #GingerbreadHouse #funwithfood #funfoodideas #gingerbreadhouseideas
ice cream cone trees from The Hungry Housewife

1.  Skiing Snowman from the Wilton Blog

Colorful Candy Christmas Lights from Hungry Happenings

3. Candy Snails from Martha Stewart

4. Marshmallow and Gumdrop Penguins from Super Make It

5. Ice Cream Cone Christmas Trees from The Hungry Housewife

Gingerbread House Ideas: Extras You Might Need

I found a few items available on Amazon to help make sure you have everything you need to make your gingerbread house. Check out the Dollar Tree for a nice selection of candy for $1.  (These are Amazon affiliate links, which means if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission.)

Fondant for Easy Decorating

Gingerbread House Shape Cutters

Tell Me Your Gingerbread House Ideas and Tips

Do you have any lessons or tips for newbie gingerbread house makers out there? Let me know if you’ve picked up any great tips from making your own DIY Gingerbread Houses!

25 brilliant tips and ideas for gorgeous gingerbread houses (image with text)

Nancy Bennett

Saturday 3rd of November 2018

Thanks so much for so many helpful gingerbread house building ideas. We do a big family gingerbread party in December and every year I need to improve what I have for my grandchildren, great nieces and nephews and family friends are going to do. Nana

Chrissy

Sunday 4th of November 2018

I'm so glad you liked the ideas I shared, and I absolutely love your gingerbread party family tradition! The kids and I always look forward to decorating a gingerbread house every year, and I know they'll grow up with happy memories they can pass on to their kids. Enjoy your gingerbread house decorating this year! -Chrissy