Wednesday, 28 November 2012

A Felt Gingerbread House

Ta-da! Welcome to my slightly over the top, kitsch, bordering-on-tasteless felt gingerbread house.

I'm not even going to pretend I made this for, or with, the children. It was all for me. Greedy crafting. I made it over Saturday and Sunday evenings when they were tucked up in bed. I couldn't let them near the glue gun, you see. Too dangerous. Also, they might mess up my bobble trim and button arrangement. 

I'm sorry, but I love it. I really do. It makes me happy just to look at it. I don't have a very good track record with proper, edible gingerbread houses so this was much more satisfying to make. And I can get it out year after year.


I have put together a tutorial below should you fancy making your own. It's the best sort of crafting - minimum effort for maximum effect.

You will need:

  • One cardboard box plus some extra cardboard. The sort of box that deliveries come in works best, rather than trying to make a template. Mine measured 17 x 18 x 25 cm. You need really thick, sturdy cardboard to take the weight of the glue and fabric.
  • 6 sheets of brown crafting felt.
  • Felt scraps in other colours for the doors and windows.
  • 1 metre of bobble trim.
  • 2 metres of lace trim.
  • About 12 drinking straws or pipecleaners.
  • Buttons in as many colours as you like. I used 54 on each side so 108 in total.
  • PVA glue. I also used a glue gun to fix the bobble trim and buttons. You could probably do this with PVA, if you're very patient, but the glue gun did make it a whole lot easier.
  • Scissors.

To make:

  • Start by looking at your box and deciding how best to attack it with the scissors. 
  • I cut off the two longer top flaps and cut into the two shorter ones to make the pointy sides. 
  • There was not enough cardboard left from my first box to make the two roof pieces so I went in search of more. I am the sort of person who hoards boxes and bubblewrap and all manner or rubbish in the garage for just this sort of thing. I cut two pieces of cardboard for the roof, making them slightly bigger than the roof hole so that I would have a chalet style over-hanging roof.

  •  Cover the box with felt one side at a time. I roughly measured each piece, cut it and  then used an old child's paintbrush to cover it with PVA glue, then attached it. You can trim the messy edges later.
  • Cover your two roof pieces with felt.

  • Using your glue gun, attach the two roof pieces to the base of the house.
  • Add lace trim around the house wherever you like - I put mine along the roof top, eaves and base of the house.
  • A couple of paper drinking straws hide any untidy joins along the peak of the roof and on each corner.
  • Attach the bobble trim at the base of the roof so that is looks suitably "snowy".

Now, a person with more taste and restraint than me would have stopped here. The contrast of the white lace against the dark brown felt is gorgeous.

But no.

I added felt windows edged with more drinking straws, a front door, a little dog and kennel at the back and many, many buttons on the roof.

Fun was had styling it in a suitably Christmassy fashion. I found this paper tree in the Christmas decorations box in the loft. I searched Angus's box of toy animals for a cute little deer; I had no luck but did come up with this white rabbit. It was that or a polar bear.


  1. wow! that is amazing, I love the buttons on the roof, so cute and cheerful

  2. it is so adorable. you really do make the best things. love the button roof. xo

  3. i love it!! i have dreams of making felt and real gingerbread houses. last year i bought the instructions for this amazing felt gingerbread house:
    maybe i'll actually get it made by next christmas.
    i especially love the last photo with the snow :)

  4. It's so precious...I love it! And I love that it is homemade. The buttons on the roof are adorable!

  5. I hereby declare you Mrs Christmas! The Christmassy-est blogger that ever there was x

  6. Gillian, this is absolutely amazing! Love the styling again. I can imagine this in the pages of a magazine - you are very talented. x

  7. Oooooooh LOVE LOVE LOVE! it is sooooo cute, how clever.
    i REALY need to make me one :o)
    love jooles x

  8. I think it's the best ever gingerbread house, not in the slightest over-the-top! Well done, crazy lady! :)

  9. Gillian, it's gorgeous! And you know, what comes off it in waves is the delight you clearly had in making it! Crafty activities just for oneself and for the sheer delight in the doing are not to be underestimated. They cheer the daily routine no end. Now is there a suitable box to hand in the recycling bin to have a go myself?! I must go and see before other matters crowd in! E x

  10. It's a-ma-zzzzzing!! I love it! I might even have a go at my own one. Thanks for the tutorial. Sarah x

  11. Love it, love it, love it ... you are clever ... off to raid the recycling bin for a box ... thanks so much for sharing your tutorial ... Bee xx

  12. That is gorgeous, much better than one you eat as, like you say, you can get it out each year. I have always failed at making the edible sort too they always end up as a sticky mess!

  13. Dear Gillian
    That gingerbread house is a thing of beauty and therefore a joy for ever (or as long as it lasts!). It obviously makes you so happy and that comes across in your blog post.
    Best wishes

  14. oooo WOW!!!! This is amazing Gillian!! How fun! I love that you did this while the kids were in bed, pure indulgent adult crafting :D

    your style is beautiful, so imaginative!! You've inspired me now :)

  15. You really are a very clever crafty person you know!
    And very generous too as you have shared a fab tutorial so there could be a little village of gingerbread houses being built now due to your inspiring post.
    I will be a wonderful Christmas decoration to bring out year after year. I can feel the love from here!!
    Lisa x

  16. You SHOULD love it! It looks amazing! Now, mind making me one too ;-) x

  17. Oh my goodness, how wonderful! You are so clever, I absolutely love it, fansnowytastic!!! xxx

  18. Fabulous, and I think I'd have more success making this than an edible one too with your wonderful tutorial. I just love the little dog and kennel at the back.

  19. Fab. I love, love, love it! May even try making one! Though I doubt the end result would be worthy of a show and tell!

  20. I LOVE it! Such fun!!! You're so inventive, it's wonderful following what you come up with :D

  21. Hello Gillian,
    That is so, so sweet, well done you! What a lovely thing to be able to get out each year too!

  22. Looks good enough to eat!! I love this so much - all I wanted to do was sit and play with bits and glue with you!!

  23. That truly is the best thing I have ever seen Gillian - what a pro. Santa will be head hunting you to help out the elves next year! x

  24. This is absolutely brilliant! I bet you had to fight the urge to make the door open and decorate the inside too. xx

  25. Hi Gillian, this is so much fun!! Not only a gingerbread house with a button roof, but a pooch and kennel too. Fabulous-o!!

  26. That is a GORGEOUS creation of yours. Love it so much!

    I would like to invite you to enter the Pacifica gift set giveaway at my blog now:

  27. WOW is just about all I can blurt out at the moment!

  28. OH MY GOD. This is amazing! I would try to do this but...I am afraid it would not look nearly as good as yours! :-)

  29. Wow, it's wonderful!!!! You did a good job. Congratulations. Good weekend for you and your family.

  30. This is so so cute! I absolutely love the button roof!

  31. Gillian, I adore this - it's amazing! it's exactly the kind of house I wanted to live in when I was a little girl... is it available for holiday rentals? I love the fact that you've created a real heirloom decoration too, that I can imagine will still be brought out (albeit perhaps a little worse for wear) when Bella and Angus bring their own children home for Christmas :-) Just gorgeous.... x

  32. This is amazing Gillian, what a treasure! That button roof is so perfect! x x

  33. That is, without doubt, the finest gingerbread house I have ever seen. Fantastic!

  34. Best not to be restrained on a project like this! Love it and love the way the tree is adorned with bobble trim too. You can never have enough pompom trim!

  35. hello, I came over from Tammys blog, the journey. This is just great! when I was little a lady down the road made me something similar plus a witch and two children made fro pipe cleaners! I've still got it kept all these years! anyway, nice to meet you, enjoy the run up to christmas! Heather x

  36. Great idea! I am making this!! You might like some of my crafty Christmas makes over at my blog
    Thanks Verity x

  37. I'm kinda laughing at myself over how much I love your blog. I almost never get super excited over a blog but have been really loving all of your posts. I think this one was the very first one I ever saw, probably through a link on pinterest...
    Anyway, I love what you do. I love everything about your gingerbread house. Adorable!


  39. Hi Gillian,I just popped over from Bunny Mummys blog,She mentioned Your Christmas chutney. I've loved reading over your last christmassy posts and Your so organised ,You put Me to shame :o) I just had to write and say how much I love the gingerbread house and thankyou for sharing how you made it,i would love to have a go at this.happy week ahead,I'm looking forward to reading lots more,xxx

  40. Hi, I love your gingerbread house!!! Thanks for sharing all the photos and for the detailed instructions!

    I just finished making an edible gingerbread house yesterday for my boss and was tempted to ask him to never eat it because it's such a shame that after 7 hours of hard work making it, it will be destroyed within 5 minutes on Christmas Day. (Not that mine was a masterpiece like yours!!)

    I think this felt gingerbread house is the perfect way to create a beautiful and personal gift that can last forever (or at least longer than 5 minutes!)

    Merry Christmas! :-)

  41. I shall be making this in the autumn and linking back to you, best wishes Kath

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