Gingerbread House Inspiration + Helpful Tips for Your Edible Architecture!

Will you be decorating cookies, baking gingerbread, or creating a magical gingerbread house this year during the holidays? Gingerbread House Inspiration + Helpful Tips for Your Edible Architecture may ignite your passion for these sweet symbols of snowy winter wonderlands.

Sweet and petite simple gingerbread house cottage upon a jadeite cake pedestal - Design Improvised. #gingerbreadhouse #christmasdiy #holidaybaking
Design Improvised – Darling Gingerbread House Inspiration as well as Smart Holiday DIY Ideas.

I independently selected products in this post—if you buy from one of my links, I may earn a commission.

Gingerbread House Inspiration + Helpful Tips for Your Edible Architecture!

Because you can skip all the pastry torture time in the kitchen with these creative ideas for edible and non-edible gingerbread.

Winter Gingerbread House
Winter Gingerbread House…hello pastel pretty holiday indeed.

You’ll find traditional and fanciful examples decorated by artistic champions to inspire, candy houses, chocolate houes, and kits for instant decor, BUT ALSO simple ideas for holiday crafters of any age.

Need a uniform for decorating gingerbread? I love this Dolly Parton’s apron of many colors (and if you know her famous song about her childhood coat, you’ll be extra fond of these!).

Dolly Parton Adult & Kid Aprons
Dolly Parton Adult & Kid Aprons – such a festive holiday apron indeed.
Burt’s Bees Baby® Women's Holiday Rugby Striped Pajama Set - Red
Stripe Pajamas

I have always loved the simplicity of the petite little gingerbread houses (above) Design Improvised chose for a kids party.

A jadeite pedestal makes everything look sweeter and darling!

1. Sub Waffles for Gingerbread

Need an excuse to dust off that Belgian waffle iron? This one makes a very geometric brunchy statement, and should it fail, all of those sweet receptacles for syrup will still successfully deliver deliciousness.

Whimsical waffle gingerbread house - Target. #gingerbreadhouse #wafflehouse #christmasdiy #holidaybaking
Target – Darling Gingerbread House Inspiration as well as Smart Holiday DIY Ideas.

2. Hot Glue Graham Crackers

While they may not be edible, this is a smart and easy way to pre-assemble gingerbread houses for a decorating party. I have done this with homemade prebaked gingerbread for a December birthday party, and it was a hit!

Gingerbread houses pre-assembled with hot glue for a decorating party - Eat This Up.
Preassembled graham cracker gingerbread houses – Eat This Up

3. Gingerbread House Boxes

Aren’t these sweet? Continuing with the gingerbread decorating party theme, you could skip traditional candy houses and decorate boxes. The template makes assembly a snap, and markers or paints will get the job done.

Gingerbread house box diy is a sweet way to package holiday goodies and Christmas cookies for gifts! #gingerbreadhouse #giftbox #christmasdiy
1000 Details – Darling Gingerbread House Inspiration as well as Smart Holiday DIY Ideas.
Printable Advent Calendar Gingerbread Houses DIY Paper image 6
LittleLlamaShoppe on etsy – Gingerbread House Village Printables

4. Cardboard Gingerbread Houses

A white chalk marker, some glue, and a cardboard box are about all you need for this easy craft.

Darling gingerbread gift boxes by The House That Lars Built. #gingerbreadhouses #giftboxes #diy #holidaycrafts
DIY Gingerbread Gift Box – The House That Lars Built

How to Build a Gingerbread Gift Box

Cardboard diy gingerbread gift box is a simple project requiring a box, glue, and a white chalk pen! #cardboardboxcraft #christmasdiy #gingerbreadhouse
Walmart – Darling Gingerbread House Inspiration as well as Smart Holiday DIY Ideas.

5. Decorate Pre-made Gingerbread Cookies

When I served as a room mom, it was a challenge coming up with a DIY for the annual class Christmas party mainly because time was always short!

How perfect would a costume-y festive apron like this (above) be for hosting any holiday shindig?!?

Since kids love decorating cookies, keeping the activity as streamlined as possible was key. Some years, I brought scallop-edged Swedish Pepperkakor ginger cookies since they easily transform into snowflakes with white icing. (This is breaking with traditional Swedish tradition since the cookies are eaten un-iced, so do forgive!).

I would prepare a big batch of homemade buttercream, fill individual baggies, and instruct students to snip a corner of the baggie to easily pipe icing on cookies.

Gingerbread Tin With Cookies
Gingerbread Cookies, Williams-Sonoma – Darling Gingerbread House Inspiration as well as Smart Holiday DIY Ideas.

6. Get Creative Customizing a Kit

Even if you decide to use a premade gingerbread house kit, there will still be plenty of room for creativity!

Magnificent pink gingerbread shop gingerbread house by Sprinkle Bakes! #gingerbreadhouse #candyhouse #pinkChristmas #holidaybaking
Sprinkle Bakes…certainly an inspiring holiday gingerbread house indeed.

Inspiration for Decorating Your Gingerbread Cottage

Charming pink gingerbrread house on a pedestal. #pinkchristmas #christmasbaking #gingerbreakhouse #candyhouse
Sweetopia…certainly an inspiring holiday gingerbread house indeed.
Whimsical and darling gingerbread house decorated with lots of pastels and pink. #gingerbreadhouse #christmasdecor #christmasdiy #holidaybaking
Certainly an inspiring holiday gingerbread house indeed.
Amazing gingerbread house is a summer cottage! #gingerbreadhouses
via CakeCentral…certainly an inspiring holiday gingerbread house indeed.

Alternatively, bake the gingerbread and simply enjoy the aroma as it bakes without any construction at all!

Here are some gingerbread recipe ideas.

Decorate Your Christmas House With Nuts & Cereal

Charming gingerbread house cottage by Katlig.
Photo/Design: Katelig..certainly an inspiring holiday gingerbread house indeed.
Fanciful and charming gingerbread house stone cottage - WorthPinning. #gingerbreadhouse #christmasdecor #diy
Worth Pinning…certainly an inspiring holiday gingerbread house indeed.

When Gingerbread Decorating Looks Like Martha Was Here

Magnificent white gingerbread house cottage with trees and snow - Art-korova. #gingerbreadhouse #whitechristmas #diy #baking
Art Korova…certainly an inspiring holiday gingerbread house indeed.
Charming and fanciful gingerbread house - Family Holiday. #christmasbaking #gingerbreadhouse
 Family Holiday…certainly an inspiring holiday gingerbread house indeed.
Detail of icicles from frosted snowy roof of a charming gingerbread house cottage. #gingerbreadhouse #christmasbaking #holidaydiy
Certainly an inspiring holiday gingerbread house indeed.

My Childlike Wonky Candy Cottage

I’m terrible at cake decorating and gingerbread everything! The only thing I can really handle is making the most delicious tasting gingerbread. So my imperfect attempts should encourage you to go for it.

Gingerbread House Ideas & Inspiration #hellolovelystudio #pinkchristmas #gingerbreadhouse
Hello Lovely Studio…certainly imperfect indeed.

Pink sticks of bubblegum are the main design element. Gingerbread people cookies can be left plain or decorated.

Old fashioned hard candy sticks in delicious stripes also work well – but definitely use something to precisely made clean cuts! Mine look ridiculous in these photos!

Old-Fashioned Candy Sticks (80 pc)
Old fashioned candy sticks

You can buy royal icing or find a recipe for it here.

Wonky and quirky pink chewing gum gingerbread house - Hello Lovely Studio. #gingerbreadhouse #pinkchristmas #candyhouse #diy
Hello Lovely Studio…certainly a childlike candy house.

Trees were formed with gumballs, pretzel sticks, and gumdrops.

Wonky and quirky pink chewing gum candy house - Hello Lovely Studio. #gingerbreadhouse #pinkchristmas #candyhouse #diy
Hello Lovely Studio…certainly a fun way to decorate with gum.

Alphabet cookies can spell out any sentiment you like.

Candy house Ideas & Inspiration. #hellolovelystudio #christmasdecor #pinkchristmas
Hello Lovely Studio…certainly wonky indeed.

White cotton candy makes great snow – it starts out fluffy and cotton-like before evaporating within a few hours and lying flat.

Candy house with pink chewing gum sticks. #hellolovelystudio #gingerbreadhouse #christmasdecor #pinkchristmas

Magnificent Gingerbread House Creations to Inspire

Fanciful and magnificent gingerbread house with three stories - Goodies by Anna. #gingerbreadhouse #holidaybaking #christmasdiy
Goodies by Anna…in case you love a festive and fanciful Christmas gingerbread fantasy house.
Magnificent prize-winning gingerbread house by Glenda Tant called "Christmas in Venice." #gingerbreadhouse #christmasbaking #holidaybaking
Jason Tarr…in case you admire a festive fantasy Christmas gingerbread house.
Magnificent prize-winning gingerbread house by Glenda Tant called "Christmas in Venice." #gingerbreadhouse #christmasbaking #holidaybaking
Jason Tarr…in case you admire award winning fantasy gingerbread!

Rock Candy Trees

No matter the size of your gingerbread house, rock candy sticks work magically for trees since they glisten and resemble psychedelic quartzy Christmas evergreens. (Also notice how effective a monochromatic color scheme works: in this case, slightly varying shades of pink boost fantasy factor…sigh!).

Charming pink accents on a gingerbread house cottage with pink rock candy trees. #gingerbreadhouse #pinkchristmas #holidaybaking
Gingerbread and Candy House inspiration in case you’re ready to create!

Gumdrop Gabled Roof

Gumdrops are your best friend as a gingerbread house builder since they are easily sculpted into varying shapes, cut open to reveal sticky insides that can be pressed into place, beautiful on their own with their sugary frosted snow exteriors, and perfect for massing on a rooftop as magical, balloon-like roof tiles.

Isn’t the tall gingerbread house below reminiscent of a Paris apartment building!?!

Magnificent sugar cookie townhouse with fanciful gumdrop decorated roof! Solodke. #gingerbreadhouse #candyhouse #gumdrops #holidaydiy
Solodke…certainly one of my favorite sugar cookie houses!

Heart Shaped Candies

Is it any wonder that a heart shaped anything pulls at our heartstrings? If you can find heart shaped chocolates for decorating your house…hurray! If you cannot, think about forming your own hearts from gumdrops or cutting heart shapes from Swedish Fish or fruit leathers.

Sweet gingerbread house with fanciful candy decorations by Finla Noronha. #gingerbreadhouse #holidaybaking #christmasdiy
Finla Noronha…in case you love a colorful holiday gingerbread cottage.

Topiary Trees

In the gingerbread house below, topiary trees have been formed with pink lollipops, brown sugar (I think), and thimble-sized caps or plastic toys, but you can easily substitute gumdrops for the base by molding them to your taste.

Adorable gingerbread house with hearts, stars, and pink
Local Cakemaker…in case you love inspiration for holiday gingerbread decorating.

Think Lollipops & Ice Cream Cones

Old fashioned swirly whirly vividly striped lollipops and suckers look right at home for homemade gingerbread houses and add to the nostalgia and romance. These turquoise blueberry beauties may just inspire you!

How to make them stand in place? Styrofoam will work for a base, and in some cases, gumdrops!

Quirky and fanciful gingerbread house decorated with ice cream cones and bright color candies - Allas.Se #gingerbreadhouse #holidaybaking #christmasdiy
Allas…certainly charming indeed.

Round and Round Candy House

The beautiful gingerbread house below incorporates round wafers which soften the home’s overall design and presentation. Even the royal icing is piped in lacy, delicate patterns as opposed to strong straight lines.

Colorful and fanciful gingerbread house decorated with circles - King Arthur Flour. #gingerbreadhouse #holidaybaking #christmasdiy
King Arthur Flour

Cupcake Chimney Smoke

Isn’t this sweet white cupcake adorned with a single red candy perfect for simulating chimney smoke from a candy cane chimney?

Cupcake chimney on a fanciful candy house decorated with vanilla wafers. #gingerbreadhouse #christmasbaking #holidaydiy
Inspiring ideas for decorating gingerbread houses…certainly charming indeed.

Notice too how the vanilla wafer cookies as roof tiles are not uniformly placed but are staggered artfully to suggest an aged rooftop? (Pssst…need lemondrops for house landscaping like above?)

Move Over Gingerbread

Your magical Christmas candy house need not be made of gingerbread or any cookies at all should you choose to build walls of chocolate.

Chocolate bar candy gingerbread house with Kitkat and Hershey - MyCupcakeAddiction. #gingerbreadhouses #christmasbaking #candyhouses #chocolatehouses #chocolatelovers #holidaybaking #holidaycrafts
My Cupcake Addiction – see the tutorial video for this chocolate bar house below!

How genius is this candy bar Christmas house (or church!)?

Isn’t the chocolate bar base genius for stabilizing this house?

Ingredients for chocolate bar candy gingerbread house by My Cupcake Addiction. #gingerbreadhouses #chocolatehouses #candyhouses #holidaybaking #holidaytreats

How fun to “research” candy bars for their potential for shiplap, board and batten, and log cabin architectural textures.

White Chocolate Candy House

You can also build a candy or cake house with silicone molds to fill with chocolate or brownie batter…

Cheerful Skittles Embellishment

Maybe you will opt for happy hued Skittles, a few gumballs, red hots, and peppermints for your gingerbread house design which can be completed in just a short amount of time…so simple lovely.

Adorable mini gingerbread house on jadeite pedestal and gold and white tablescape
Design Improvised…in case you need a holiday party theme!

Mini is Awfully Merry

This wee little gingerbread house looks adorable with its vivid and unexpected color palette and crisper look with royal icing only on the roof.

Miniature Gingerbread Houses with vivid colorful Polymer Clay
Petit Plat…in case you love wee little cottages.

Frank Lloyd Wright Approved

Who says you have to stick to a gabled roofline for your gingerbread house? Go Midcentury Modern with a flat roof and minimal embellishments for a creative spin on holiday house splendor.

Gingerbread house with midcentury mod style. #gingerbreadhouses #holidaybaking #gingerbread #christmasbaking
via Vogue…certainly clever indeed.

If you plan ahead in your gingerbread making, you can cut an arched door and position it to be open like the house below which adds to the warm hospitable flavor of the whole design.

Adorable gingerbread house with malted chocolate balls on roof
Casas Deliciosas

Fairytale Turret

To create a tower or turret like the wondrous candy house below, you could incorporate a simple plastic kitchen funnel (with its base snipped off) for the roof atop a cylinder which only appears to be gingerbread. The addition of bright candy decorations and little fairy lights inside is pure magic.

Magical and darling, this candy house turret has been decorated whimsically with colorful candies - Lizon. #gingerbreadhouse #holidaybaking
Lizon…certainly magical indeed.

Wafers & Old School

Don’t forget the geometric lovely and sweet scale of candy wafers to construct your gingerbread houses. The chocolate bar candy house below is also illustrative of the power of limiting yourself to old fashioned candy only for a truly vintage-inspired gingerbread or candy house.

Hershey's chocolate decorated candy house - BHG. #gingerbreadhouse #candyhouse #christmasdiy #christmassweets
BHG…in case chocolate is your favorite gingerbread.

Pin this post for future reference! And DO VISIT my Christmas Boards HERE and HERE to save even more lovely inspiration!

If You Decide to Make it a Party

Doesn’t the beyond lovely tablescape below take your breath away and perhaps make you yearn to host a gingerbread house making party (which would float the boat of every girl or grandma)?

Beautiful Christmas party tablescape with holiday candy house building ingredients
Design Improvised…ideas for gingerbread decorating are inspiring indeed.

Gold dotted gift wrap or kraft paper, chevron gift wrapped boards, plastic paint palettes to house candies (just 50 cents per palette and free shipping!) and partially constructed gingerbread houses await the creativity and imaginations of the lucky party guests.

For holiday decor interior design inspiration, jump over HERE!

I independently selected products in this post—if you buy from one of my links, I may earn a commission.

Peace to you right where you are.

-michele

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8 Comments

  1. Amy
    November 14, 2019 / 11:58 pm

    So many festive ideas…where do I start!?! 😍

    • Michele
      Author
      November 15, 2019 / 7:48 am

      Hahaha – you can’t go wrong no matter where you start. I want to try a sugar cookie house this year! 🙂

  2. Carol S.
    November 15, 2019 / 12:54 pm

    These are all so fabulous and inspiring!! Thanks for sharing.

    • Michele
      Author
      November 15, 2019 / 1:08 pm

      I needed the inspiration to get crafting and creating – nothing like being held accountable by an inspiration blog…hahahaha! Have a lovely weekend, Carol.

  3. Marilyn S.
    November 21, 2020 / 7:14 am

    Hey Michele – at my age…… That’s what I mean when I say “Eye Candy”! Just so much fun , whimsy , details and deliciousness in one little house .

    I’m pulling out the Christmas decor today and this post was just what I needed to get going!

    Thanks

    • Michele
      Author
      November 22, 2020 / 8:28 pm

      Yay! I hear you – HAHAHAHA. Good for you. I am trying to deep clean before I pull out boxes, but that is taking some time! So happy you enjoyed.

  4. Amy
    November 23, 2020 / 2:29 pm

    So many great ideas…love the mid-century modern one for something out of the box! Ha! But your little house w/ pink sticks of gum has been one of my favs ever since I first saw it! 💕

    • Michele
      Author
      November 23, 2020 / 2:53 pm

      Thank you, Amy! Do you know that for some reason, I can’t find pink sticks of gum this year to make another one? They just aren’t there on the internet! I want to try the midcentury mod one since it looks doable! 🙂

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White Slipcovered Sofa
French Basket
Courtney Lamp Base
Antique Chinese Wood Rustic Round Stool
French Country Bed
Tuscan Terracotta Urn Vase
Round Farmhouse Table
Rustic Reclaimed Elm Cabinet
Deconstructed Wingback Bed
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Milagro Heart
Linen Slipcovered Chairs
Rustic Farmhouse Stool
Edgecombe End Table
Silver Rectangle Accent Table
Black Metal Accent Table
Galvanized Console Table
Gabriel Chevron Quilt Set
Metal Martini Table
Marble Subway Backsplash in My Kitchen
French Wire Laundry Basket
White Ruffle Bedding
White Linen Club Chair
Handmade Sunburst Mirror
Wide Pine Sideboard
Linen Napkin Set
French Country Lamp
Venetian Mirror
French Lidded Baskets
French Panel Mirror
Distressed White French Country Chandelier
Antique Chinese Weathered Bench
French Country Headboard
Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
Antique Brass Pharmacy Floor Lamp
Linen & Burlap Tufted Ottoman
Gertrude Wood Bench
Italian Candelabra Chandelier
Colleen Slope Arm Linen Chair Set
White Ruffle Quilt Set
French Louis Style Arm Chair
Avignon Coat Rack With Hooks
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Reclaimed Wood Dresser
Louis Upholstered Bench
French Accent Chair
Pamela Arm Chair
Sweater Weave Basket
French Wood Chandelier
Terracotta Pots & Basket
French Country Wood Chandelier
French Linen Dining Chair
Gustavian Cabinet
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Bar Stool
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
Rattan Armchair
Diptyque Oyedo Candle
Cross Back Dining Chair
French Country Candle Holder
French Industrial Metal Chairs (4)
Designer Favorite Wall Mirror
Holborn Lantern Pendant
French Country 6-Light Chandelier
Rustic End Table
French Country Upholstered Arm Chair
Cedar & Blossom Candle
French Ticking Stripe Pillow
Jute Area Rug
French Candle Style Chandelier
Rustic Industrial Farmhouse Shelves
Belgian Linen Sofa
White Ruffle Bedding
Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
Linen Modern Wing Chair
French Country Farmhouse Baskets
Concrete Pillar Table Lamp
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Style Lamp
Modern Farmhouse Lamp
White Slipcovered Sofa
Scrubbed Wood 5-Light Chandelier
Arched Champagne Wall Mirror
Moravian Star 1-Light Pendant
Highback Armchair
Mini Pendant Light
White Vase Set
Round Woven Placemat Set
Fireclay Farm Sink (Reinhard, 30″)
Matelasse Coverlet
Quilted Coverlet
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Linen Duvet Set
Round Marble Side Table
Rustic Pedestal Farm Table
Teak Farmhouse Stool