How to Make “Faux” Gingerbread House Gift Boxes

All you need is a little puffy paint and a kraft box to create a festive and creative Christmas gift box! We explain how to do this in our tutorial on the “fake” gingerbread house gift box.

One of my favorite family traditions is baking gingerbread houses and eating gingerbread cookies! When my kids were younger, we tried to decorate gingerbread cookies and houses every year. Most of these houses were pretty messy and overloaded with my kids' favorite candies!

colorful gingerbread house on the kitchen counter
Dutch Row House's Year of Gingerbread

As my kids got older, they took decorating the gingerbread house more seriously. Now that they are in their 20s, I frequently have to mediate disagreements over our gingerbread house's annual theme and decorating guidelines.

colorful gingerbread house on the kitchen counter
The Liberty of London inspired the Gingerbread House for my daughter, who had just returned from a semester in London.

(If you find yourself in a similar situation with adult children, my advice is to say, “Everyone can decorate the house however they want!” LOL!)

(the year of pink bubblegum and flagship gingerbread)

We are by no means experts in decorating gingerbread houses, but my family and I really enjoy the creative process of making the houses each year.

Decorating elaborate gingerbread houses has grown in popularity in recent years. Inspired by this trend a few years ago, I thought decorating kraft gift boxes to look like gingerbread houses would be fun.

Instead of icing we used puffy paint and a brown gift box in place of the gingerbread.

Gingerbread house paper gift boxes in front of the Christmas tree

This would be a great craft project for a kids party!

One of the best things about this gift set is that you can use it year after year!

TIP: You can do something similar with brown paper lunch bags and paint pens.

Gingerbread house paper gift boxes in front of the Christmas tree

A few years ago, I briefly mentioned these DIY gingerbread gift boxes in my article on creative Christmas gift wrapping ideas. Today I'd like to share a little more about how to make them.

Gingerbread Gift Box Supplies

close up of gingerbread house gift box painting process
  • Sturdy, brown (kraft) gift box with removable lid.
  • White puffy paint
  • Pencil
  • Ruler

First step: draw the house

close up of gingerbread house gift box painting process

The first step is to decide what you want your home to look like. Do you want multiple windows? A big door? Do you want to draw the roof? If you're stuck for ideas, you can get inspiration by looking at real gingerbread houses.

I recommend drawing your design on a piece of paper before starting your box.

Using a ruler and pencil, draw your design on your box.

Second step: decorate

close up of gingerbread house painting process

The next step is to paint the drawn lines with puffy paint. Before you begin, invert the paint dispenser and tap to remove any air bubbles. This will help prevent paint splatters.

Trace the outline of the lines. Be careful when decorating, as the paint takes a little time to dry. We used Tulip puffy paint, but you can try other brands and thicknesses until you find what works for you.

close up of gingerbread house painting process

The final step is to let it dry. Do not touch it until it is completely dry. Do not place anything on the painted surface, as it may stick when stored.

Decorating Tips:

  • As you can see, the painting won't be perfect, but I think that's part of the charm of this craft.
  • Go slowly and practice on a piece of paper until you get a feel for how the paint flows from the tube.
  • You can use a straight pin to spread and even out the paint a little.
  • Watch where you put your hand so as not to dirty the already painted parts of the box.
  • You can trace items like post-it notes, spools of thread, and cookie cutters to help you draw precise shapes on the front of your box.
DIY kit in the shape of a gingerbread man garland, a great neighbor gift for Christmas!

If you're feeling really festive, this gift box would be adorable to hold our DIY Paper Gingerbread Garland Kit!

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