Gingerbread House Patterns

Pieces for gingerbread house

Gingerbread house patterns are essential tools in a successful Christmas decoration craft project.

House Designs

Making and decorating a gingerbread house is a fun craft for both the young and young-at-heart. Almost any structure can be turned into a festive holiday food treat. Designs include:

  • Victorian houses
  • One room houses
  • Cottages
  • Two-story houses
  • Barns
  • Stables
  • Churches/chapels
  • School houses

The basic construction of each design is relatively similar: four walls and a roof. Mastering a basic one-room cottage is essential before moving onto expert designs that require a more skilled hand. Elements like doors, chimneys, trees and windows may be the same, but putting a more complex house together might call for additional knowledge and helping hands.

Making Gingerbread House Patterns

A pattern is necessary because the structure must be stable and fit together. Gaping seams will cause walls to fall and roofs to collapse. To make a simple gingerbread house pattern, follow these steps:

  1. Decide how big you want your house to be. Remember the old saying-the larger they are, the harder the fall.
  2. Measure a long side wall onto cardboard.
  3. Measure a short wall onto cardboard.
  4. Create the roof pattern. A longer rectangle will create the main part of the roof.
  5. Measure the height of the roof.
  6. Draw a triangle. The bottom should be the same length as the short side wall and the tip should be as tall as the height of the roof.
  7. Cut out the patterns.
  8. Attempt to tape the house together. If it works, you can cover the cardboard in wax paper and cut out the dough. If it falls apart, adjust your measurements until you have found a pattern that stands.
  9. Add a window or two and a door.

Write the measurements for each piece on the back and cover in wax paper. This way, you can easily store the patterns with your Christmas cookie cutters for the next year.

Premade House Patterns

Not everyone has the time or inclination to create a gingerbread house pattern from scratch. Luckily, the plethora of free Christmas stuff you can find online includes patterns.

Intricate designs and patterns can be obtained from expert home builder Bob Villa, who took on building a gingerbread house. Tips and tricks are listed along with four different patterns from simple to intricate. The patterns included are for A-frame, colonial, saltbox and side gable style houses.

Troubleshooting

Making a gingerbread house from a pattern for the first time can be difficult, even for an experienced decorator. Use these helpful tips to get your house constructed without any "overtime" labor:

  • Mix a double batch of gingerbread dough from the start.
  • Allow for slight shrinkage of the dough from the original pattern when it bakes up.
  • Choose a royal icing recipe that is thick and consistent.
  • Fill in gaps and holes with icing and cover with a candy decoration.
  • Construct the house on a sturdy base, using icing to secure the bottom edges.
  • Candy canes and pretzel sticks can be used as support structures on the inside of the roof and walls if necessary.

Regardless of whether you make the pattern yourself or use a template from someone else, you are liable to find yourself wishing you had a few extra pieces of dough to fix some problems. For this reason, you may want to mix up a double batch of gingerbread right from the start. Turn the second batch into holiday cookies or tree ornaments.

Use a Kit, Skip the Pattern

Instead of using a pattern and making gingerbread dough from scratch, pick up a kit that includes everything you need. Kits can be found at kitchen and baking stores, craft supply shops and even in the holiday section of your local discount store.

Kits usually include all ready baked dough, assembly instructions and candy Christmas decorations to put on the house. Some may have a recipe for the dough and pre-formed molds to put the dough in, requiring no patterns or measuring. Try these kits:

More Information

Want to learn more about creating the perfect gingerbread house? Check out these helpful LoveToKnow Christmas articles:

Gingerbread House Patterns