These Tiny Cardboard Gingerbread Houses light up and are a fun and easy DIY project this holiday season!
As I was making these adorable little cardboard gingerbread houses, I was thinking that I don’t know if I’ve ever really talked about what I used to do for a job before this. I worked for an architecture firm doing 3D computer rendering and animation. So if you were investing in the construction of a building, we would show you really cool realistic computer generated images and walk-through animations showing you what the building would look like inside and out. I created complete 3D computer worlds with the buildings and materials and roads and trees and people and everything. It was definitely challenging and interesting and occasionally creative and I did like it. But what I liked best was that I had to mostly teach myself how to do it so I was constantly learning things and solving puzzles.
And the funny thing is, even though architecture has become almost completely computerized in the real world, when you’re in school, you do most of your work by hand. When I got my Masters, I spent 3 years doing hand drawings and building models with nothing but glue and and an exacto knife. I’m sure there is some rationale behind this kind of hands on design but really, don’t get me started on the lack of real world technological preparation I got in school. I sometimes like to joke that I don’t have a Masters of Architecture, I have a Masters of Cutting and Gluing. Little did I know that would actually turn out to be valuable later on!
Anyway, back to the point, I made these tiny, cute, little cardboard Gingerbread Houses our of recycled cardboard boxes. I’ll show you how I did it and it only took me a couple hours, but if you do not have a Masters of Cutting and Gluing, you might expect them to take a little longer. It’s worth it, in my opinion, because they are just so darn adorable! Even my husband saw them and said, “Awwww!” And they light up too! Here’s how I did it:
Tiny Cardboard Gingerbread Houses Supply List
Cardboard – use an old box!
Tracing Paper or wax paper
Tiny Cardboard Gingerbread Houses Instructions
1. Gather some cardboard and ruler and start drawing out your houses. I drew all the pieces before I cut anything. For reference, my houses were 4 inches by 3 inches. The tall one is 3 inches by 3 inches. I drew everything but the roof pieces. I won’t give you more exact measurements because the fun is really in designing your own!
2. Using a metal ruler and a brand new blade in your knife cut out all the pieces. Here are my best tips for cutting through corrugated cardboard:
- go slow, it will take a few passes to cut all the way through.
- If your edges start to look ragged or it get harder to cut, change to a new blade. I changed my blade twice during this project.
- sometimes it helps to turn the piece of cardboard over to see where you haven’t cut through yet. This can be helpful at corners.
4. Turn the cardboard pieces over and glue small pieces of tracing paper over the back of the windows and doors. This will make the houses glow and stop you from seeing the battery operated candle inside.
6. Now all you need is a roof! I waited to measure and cut the roof pieces because sometimes, the final product can be not exactly the size you planned due to inconsistencies in cutting or something not having perfectly right angles. So measure for the roof pieces once the body of the house is built. You can have the eaves hang over as much or as little as you want! After this, you’re done!
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