23 Days Until Christmas: The Gingerbread House

The Countdown to Christmas is on—23 days until Christmas.

Quick and Easy Christmas Crafts eBook


This week, I have assisted/supervised the construction of many gingerbread houses. My girls’ Scout troops each entered a gingerbread house competition. Brenia’s troop made a gingerbread village—so each of the girls could design their own house. Stacia’s troop is attempting a gingerbread mansion—you know, because bigger is better!

I did not do this inexpensively.

All week long, I’ve had woulda, coulda, shoulda moments—things I would do differently next time. Things I could have done this time. Things I should have done to save money on the project. And, so, I share them with you in hopes that you can enjoy this fun, frugal Christmas tradition with your own kids!

  • Gingerbread house kits are less expensive than pre-made houses. It is not difficult to put the pieces together your self, and it takes only 15-20 minutes to set well enough for decorating.
  • Leftover Halloween candy doubles as decoration.
  • Most of the kits already come with a lot of candy—don’t go overboard buying extras.
  • Do not—I repeat, do not—take the kids with you to pick out supplies. Just buy inexpensive candy of your own choice, and they’ll have a blast with it anyway.
  • The gingerbread & candy should be edible for about a week after. Take your pictures, enjoy it for a day or two and then start nibbling. Candy is for eating!
  • A can of frosting, a box of graham crackers & any candy you have around the house can provide an hours worth of entertainment for younger kids.

Then, there’s the idea of making a gingerbread house from scratch—there are dozens of gingerbread recipes out there, and it certainly sounds frugal. I just haven’t attempted it myself. Does anyone make their own gingerbread or are you decorating one a professional has baked?

4 Responses to “23 Days Until Christmas: The Gingerbread House”

  • Amys blah, blah, blogging December 02, 2010 @10:52PM Reply

    We made it from scratch last year. Betty Crocker has a gingerbread mix so I bought a bag of that, made sheets of it, cut it out and then used frosting and candies we had around the house. I think we paid $1 for the whole thing. Given, it did not look like the perfect ones you get from the store, but we didn’t care. It was fun and every time someone came over they thought it was the best!

  • Heather Sokol December 02, 2010 @11:25PM Reply

    Nice! I’m so glad you shared that – I’ve always wanted to make my own, but it seems much more complicated than I’m willing to do. For that kind of savings, though, I think I’ll give it a shot next year!

  • Eternal Lizdom December 03, 2010 @9:01AM Reply

    We’re a graham cracker and icing kind of family. :) I was JUST sharing old blog links on Facebook with someone from the graham houses we’ve done the past few years.

    My mom went gingerbread crazy for a few years. She has tested all kinds of gingerbread recipes and is very set on how she makes her gingerbread. It isn’t completely edible- I mean, you can eat it but you won’t enjoy it so much. This stuff is so hardcore that my mom has been known to make the pieces and even save them until Easter to build houses then!!

    We go to Conner Prairie every year to enjoy the gingerbread display there.

  • Malia December 03, 2010 @9:01AM Reply

    We’re going to attempt doing it from scratch this year. I’m both excited and nervous!

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