Gingerbread House Lantern

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By General Crafts Contributor Michelle

DIY a gingerbread house lantern you'll be able to use every year!

Create a new twist on the old-fashioned gingerbread house with this fun clay project–Make a Christmas keepsake to enjoy for years to come.

Shop for the materials you need

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Here’s what you’ll need to make your own:

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Working on your cutting mat, roll half of your block of clay to approximately 3/8-inch thick. The clay is very stiff, so I found that initially pounding it flat with your rolling pin really helps to get it thin faster.

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Pound it to about 1/2-inch thick, then try rolling it the rest of the way to 3/8-inch thick. Lay your pieces onto the clay, and use your knife to cut around them. To cut the windows, poke the lines, piercing the paper with the tip of your knife to make the outline on the clay below, then peel off the paper pattern, and cut them out. Carefully peel them off your cutting mat, and lay them where they can dry. Be sure to lay your pattern piece over them after you move them, to make sure they line up and are squared-up–we don’t want crooked pieces!

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Use small cookie or clay cutters to cut designs into your house pieces so the lights will show through when your project is finished. Save any cute cut-outs you make with your cutters, or roll out the scraps and make little gingerbread men, stars, hearts, or other cute shapes to decorate your little Christmas tree later.

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I used a drinking straw to make nice, little round holes in the roof and sides. You could also cut designs with your craft knife. The clay drys quite strong, but try not to get too elaborate with your cut designs, or else your house may become fragile. To dry, lay your pieces somewhere flat where they will be undisturbed. Mine took a day and a half to dry, and I flipped them half way. You can dry them in a low oven on a cookie sheet (follow instructions on package), but make sure your cookie sheets are perfectly flat, because we don’t want the pieces to bow.

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When your pieces are dry, use your hot glue to assemble the house. I suggest running a bead of hot glue along the bottom of the piece you’re placing, place it, and then run a bead of glue up the seam to secure it. Don’t worry too much about it the glue showing, because we’ll cover it up later when we decorate. Assemble the walls of the house first, placing the peaked sides opposite each other, and the flat ones opposite each other.

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Glue the roof onto the angled top of the assembled house.

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Run a bead of hot glue along the top roof seam.

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Using the tube of snow writer, add “frosting” designs to your house. Be sure to decorate the seams so the hot glue doesn’t show. Decorate your little “cookie” cut-outs that we’ll use to decorate the tiny tree.

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Let the snow writer dry according to package directions.

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Place your two largest paper mache trays back to back, the smaller one stacked on top of the larger one. Use your hot glue to glue the back of the small tray, to the back of the larger tray, centered. We will be placing the house inside the largest tray, the smaller one is the pedestal.

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Using your 1-inch flat paint brush, paint your tray display red. Let dry. Decorate with gold acrylic craft paint, using your small round paint brush. Let dry.

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Use the hot glue to adhere the tiny clay “cookies” you made earlier to the little Christmas tree. Use the snow writer to add snow to the branches of your tree. Let dry.

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Use your small paint brush to paint Elmer’s Glue-All onto some of the “frosting” designs on your house. Sprinkle with Diamond Dust glitter, tap of excess. Let dry.

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Un-wrap your lights, remove the plastic tab from the batteries so your lights will work. Uncoil your wired lights, and make them into a loose spiral. Carefully turn your house over, add a small dab of hot glue to the underside of the roof, and adhere the wire at the top of the lights to the inside of the roof. Glue the wire between the lights as needed, to hold them inside your house. I only had to add a dab under the roof, and one in the middle–the wire coil should hold them up pretty well.

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Place the house onto the tray, feed wire for the battery pack under the bottom edge of the house. Glue the tree next to the house. Place the snow to cover the base of the tree, around the house, and to hide the battery pack.

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Now hit the switch, and light up your pretty house! (Note: The lights appear purple in the photos, they really make white light, they just photographs as a purple hue.)

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This little house is pretty by itself, or your could decorate it even further with decorative candies, chenille stem candy canes, or other pretty bits and bobs.

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While this little house may look good enough to eat, it’s even better because it’s built to stand the test of time, and enjoy for Christmases to come.

DIY Gingerbread House Lantern

Happy Christmas Crafting!

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