How To Make A Festive Cardboard Gingerbread House For Your Pets Using Old Boxes

Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

'Tis the season for coziness and merriment. Include your furry friends in your holiday traditions by making them a whimsical gingerbread house that will never go stale. It's the purrrfect present where they can curl up for naps by the fire and dream of chasing sugarplum fairies. Plus, it'll keep them distracted from climbing the Christmas tree!

Things You'll Need:

  • 2 medium cardboard boxes
  • Box cutter
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Painter's or masking tape
  • Non-toxic acrylic craft paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Oil-based white paint pen
  • Cardstock
  • Felt (optional)

Step 1

Tape the bottom of one box closed.

Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

Step 2

Cut off both side flaps on the top of the box.

Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

Step 3

Use a ruler to draw a triangular point on the front and back flaps, and then cut out with scissors.

Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

Step 4

First, use a pencil to lightly draw a door and windows on the box, and then use a box cutter to cut them out. I opted for an arched door and two arched windows on the front of the house.

Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

I also cut square windows on each side of the house. I left a cross-shape intact in each window to mimic a window pane.

Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

Step 5

On the second box, you'll essentially break it down to use for scraps. Cut off two sides of the box and tape them together to form the roof.

Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

Step 6

Tape the roof to the top of the house.

Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

Step 7

Paint the house. I used a light brown color for the house and a salmon color for the door. Be sure to use non-toxic paint since your kitties will be hanging out inside the house.

Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

Step 8

While the paint is drying, draw a U-shaped roof shingle onto cardstock and cut it out. Use it as a template to trace identical shingles on several different colors of cardstock and then cut out all the shingles.

Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

Step 9

Tape or glue the roof shingles in place on the roof, alternating the colors. You'll want to overlap the sides of the shingles on top of each other slightly. Also, overlap the row above on top of the row below for an authentic look.

Tip: I found that taping the shingles onto the roof was easier than gluing because it gives you the freedom to move the shingles around if needed.

Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

Step 10

Now for the frosting! Use an oil-based white paint pen to create gingerbread frosting designs. It may look intimidating, but it's actually as simple as drawing dots, circles, hearts, and swirls. I drew dots around the door and windows.

Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

I drew half circles along the sides of the house with a dot in the center.

Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

On the front of the house, I drew a heart with a teardrop shape on either side. I also drew a teardrop shape above the door with a swirl on either side.

Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

Step 11

Of course, I had to add a bit more cuteness. So I hung a felt holly wreath on the front door, added a felt candy cane on either side of the door, and lined the bottom sides of the house with paper gumdrops.

Tip: For the wreath, I cut holly leaves out of green felt and berries out of pink felt and hot glued them in a wreath shape. For the candy cane, I cut the candy cane shape out of white felt and cut thin strips of pink felt to create the stripes. For the gumdrops, I used the leftover paper from the roof shingles and cut out small U-shapes. To give them a sugared look, I dotted the tops with the white paint pen.

Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

Happy holidays, fellow cat lovers!

Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse
Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse
Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse