How to Make a Run Down Gingerbread House

How to Make a Run Down Gingerbread House

Notice the real reason for the season in the background. I thought this made a nice juxtaposition.

I know I’m a little late to the Christmas party, but I just have to share this project with you. I bought a gingerbread house kit mainly to give Clara and Will an outlet for their creativity over the Thanksgiving break, although I knew that there was no chance in you-know-where that it would end up looking polished. Sometimes we just need to let our kids throw projects together and resist the urge to care about the appearance.

So in case you have a leftover gingerbread house kit or need something to keep your kids occupied during these dark winter days, here is a step by step tutorial on making your own run down gingerbread house.

1. Plan it for a stressful day

This is very important. If you are well-rested and calm, your gingerbread house may have a chance of turning out pretty. So make sure to plan this for a day when you have a million things to do, errands to run, and the baby is being fussy. Although you may start the day with good intentions, you will eventually just start looking for ways to keep your kids occupied so you can regain some sanity.

2. Choose an inferior product

Preferably one that costs about 10 times what the name of the store suggests it might cost. But don’t check that part until you’re ready to check out, your arms hurt from carrying the baby around, and you’re really tired. That will ensure you don’t put the product back and go next door to Kmart for a less expensive, nicer version. Also, don’t worry about checking the integrity of the product. If the walls are broken when you get home, just tell the kids you have some extra icing in the basement and you’ll get it later. When they go looking for the extra icing, thank your lucky stars that your children are go-getters. You wouldn’t actually want to help them by getting it yourself.

3. Let the kids handle the structural pieces

They are guaranteed to drop them, breaking them into even smaller pieces than they were in when you opened the box. When one starts blaming the other for the structural deficiencies, refer to the icing statement in #2 above.

Broken Roof

4. When trying to glue the pieces back together with icing, use too much

It is much harder for the broken roof and walls to stay together when you use too much icing. Also, don’t press the pieces together for very long, because that ensures that they stay in place.

5. When the house is finally stabilized, spread out the bags of candy and leftover icing and tell the kids to go crazy

It really is more important to do the dishes than to actively engage with your kids, so just let them do what they want. They don’t need direction, especially since that might result in more candy on the house and less in their mouths. Fighting over what candy goes where is ideal.

6. Finally, make sure to move the house after it is done, not before you start

Any walls and roof pieces that are still together will come undone, and you’ll be left with a specimen similar to the one below.

Side view gingerbread house

So there you are. A totally run-down, ready to be condemned structure that only a mother could love. Isn’t this what Christmas is all about?


About beckymaag

Hello and thank you for visiting Peace in the Pod! My name is Becky. I am a Catholic, a wife, a mother of three beautiful young children, and a child of God. I am imperfect but I am loved.
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6 Responses to How to Make a Run Down Gingerbread House

  1. Kaye says:

    good advice!


  2. Jennifer Rathbun says:

    Or you could just use hot glue like I did 🙂


  3. ellenr886 says:

    Hi Becky, I was referred to your blog by my coworker Caroline! She knows that I blog and I am in PA too. I actually work for the state lol and my blog is part time of course. Anyways nice to “meet” you. She also mentioned some sort of conference in lancaster that you had mentioned. Tell me more! LOL! My blog is


    • beckymaag says:

      Hi Ellen! Thanks for your comment! It’s nice to hear from people after I hit the publish button 🙂 I used to work in DOH HR and recognize your name. The conference is a Wordcamp somewhere in Lancaster on March 1st. It’s some kind of meetup for WordPress users. If you decide to go, I’d love to meet you!


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