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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Homemade Christmas

This year, inspired by the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, the boys made a log cabin "gingerbread" house.  They used cookie icing, which get hard when it dries and sticks like glue to hold it all together.  The logs are pretzel rods and the roof is made from gingerbread flavored graham crackers (it smells wonderful!)  We found a chocolate Santa that looks like a gnome and a peppermint tree to add a finishing touch.  The wreath is a gummy lifesaver wreath from our advent calendar.  We have used gingerbread house "kits" in past years.  This one was more challenging and required more engineering, but I think the boys did a great job!

I have been collecting old glass ornaments--some from my grandparents' and some found at the thrift store.  I was thrilled to find a box of Shiny Brites at The Salvation Army Store for 50 cents last summer!  They are still in the box, and I love the front of the box as much as what's inside.  I found a wire locker basket in the closet organizer section at Target for around $5, strung it with lights, and put my Shiny Brites on display on the hearth. 

These little houses are made using scrapbook supplies and photos peeking out the windows.  When you open the front door, you can see Santa.  Some Schleich deer have moved in too!

This is our "Festivus" tree--an old display rack, another thrift store bargain, strung with lights and decorated with various scrappy projects During the rest of the year, it serves as a display for photos and seasonal decorations.


TyKes Mom said...

Hehe, I love the Festivus tree! What creative ways to use items for decorating. Thanks for sharing! I would love it if you would link up to my Frugal Christmas Week (http://the-north-forty.com/2011/12/04/frugal-christmas-week-link-up/) so my readers can check this out as well! Thanks!

Kim @ Homestead Acres said...

Oh I love the log cabin gingerbread house!

Caroline said...

I love the paper houses. Did you use a pattern for those? They are adorable!

learning table said...

For the houses, I did use a template. Here's a link to some like them:


I got mine at my local scrapbook store on clearance when they were closing:( The pieces came flat, and you have to assemble them.

I think it would be pretty easy to draw out a plan for one on cardboard (like a cereal box) and make your own. You would need to outline the four sides and leave a little flap to glue. I would score the folds with an exacto blade before folding, and you'd want to cover the outside with paper before assembling. You could cut windows with the blade. The window boxes are separate pieces folded into rectangles, and the chimney is a separate little "box." After cutting and folding the foundation, place a piece of cardboard on top to gauge how large you want the roof to be. If you use quick-drying tacky glue, it's a cinch to put together.
I covered them with patterned papers and glittered the roofs. I put photos inside some of the windows and left some windows "open" so lights shine through. You can use a small stand of battery-operated twinkle lights clustered inside.

Here is a link to a free template for making Halloween houses--though they are smaller:


You could enlarge the pattern and adapt the house for any season: I think little valentine candy cottages would be cute.