gingerbread sewing cottage… the sweet side

With a blog title as mine, I may give the impression that I might actually be good at crafting gingerbread houses. I’m not. I’ve only made three. The first was in high school (no photo evidence), the second is here, this is the third. I think it has to do with the precision necessary. And precision requires patience. And moving carefully. I don’t have patience and can’t move carefully. As such, I’m terrible at sewing. I mean really, really not good. I’ve tried. I’ve dabbled in knitting, crochet, needlepoint, even a bit with needle and thread and my sewing machine. But it does not come naturally to me.

Which is why I’m so impressed by those who do it well. Like Cheryl from Sew Can Do. I spotted this amazing Princess Leia baby hat and was smitten with her site immediately. Just look at this fabric garden. Or this doctor felt kit. Or, the best yet, this felt playhouse tutorial. And check out her shop, The Green Hedgehog, and tell me you don’t ooh and aah over everything. Yep. If I had skills with a needle, this is exactly the kind of stuff I’d want to make. And so we struck up a bit of back and forth with our mutual oohing and aahing over those-skills-the-other-has-that-we-covet. And we decided to team up on a theme: Gingerbread Houses. She represents fabric, and I represent sugar. Here’s a sneak peek on Cheryl’s creation, which you’ll real ALL about tomorrow, right here on my blog.

Hey look, Mr. and Mrs. Stitch are going out for a walk.

I probably should’ve researched a bit how to make a gingerbread house with a sewing theme. But aside from checking out Martha, I just made stuff up myself, including the template I used. If the sewing theme isn’t clear, I’ll point out the button roof and path, the “rick rack” trim (impressed I knew that term sewing experts?), the ball of yarn yard decor, the laced up sides… See the details below and find how-tos at the end of this post.

how to make a gingerbread sewing cottage

you will need:*
gingerbread cookie recipe
royal icing recipe
this template

food coloring (white and preferred colors)
4 disposable frosting bags
5 standard couplers
4 size “3” decorating tips
4 rubber bands

sharp knife and/or dough scraper


black edible writer
DumDum red lollipops
Twizzlers Pull n’ Peel

lollipop sticks
ice cream cones
rolling pin
confectioner’s sugar
1 1/2 inch square cookie cutter
1 1/2 inch circle cookie cutter
1/2 inch circle cookie cutter
light corn syrup

white sprinkles (optional)

*I cut Martha’s recipe in half, which makes two small cottages plus extra. Thumbs up on the recipe, though the pepper was a bit too bold for my taste. Use any recipe for traditional royal icing. For food coloring, I use Americolor soft gel pastes (Bright White, Red Red, Electric Pink, Electric Green, Egg Yellow and Sky Blue). Find fondant, the decorating bags, couplers, decorating tips, and lollipop sticks in the baking aisle of the craft store. You’ll also find the cookie cutters there, or fondant cutters. Note that these sizes may only be found in the sets of circles and squares. You may find a black food coloring pen in the craft store. I use Americolor Gourmet Writers. For tips on finding supplies, click HERE.

step one: bake your cookies
Print template(or use your own), cut out shapes with scissors, prepare dough according to recipe, chill it, roll it out about 1/8 inch thick and cut out the template shapes. Be sure to cut out two of each shape. I used a dough scraper to cut the sides easily. Lay shapes on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. To make the lacing holes, line up the template next to the side of the cookie, and use the lollipop stick to make the holes. Poke the stick in the cookie and rotate it to widen the hole to about 1/4 inch thick. Bake according to recipe and let cool.

step two: prepare your royal icing
Prepare the royal icing according to the recipe. Add confectioner’s sugar until the consistency is thick enough to hold it’s shape. Tint most of the icing white and tint some with your other colors. I also used red, light blue, and lime green, about 1/4 to 1/3 cup for each color, for the wreath on the door and to decorate the trees. Prepare frosting bags with couplers and tips and fill with each color. Tie closed tightly with rubber bands.

step three: assemble your house
Pipe lines of white royal icing as glue to assemble the house. Let dry overnight. Meanwhile, start the decorations.

step four: prepare your decorations
Prepare your decorations according to the instructions below and set aside to dry overnight. Tint chunks of fondant by kneading in drops of food coloring. Start with a couple drops and add more until desired color is reached. If fondant gets sticky from overhandling, let sit out at room temperature for 15 minutes until easily pliable. For everything here, you’ll need: lime green, pink, light blue, red and yellow.

Buttons(for the roof and sidewalk): On a surface dusted with confectioner’s sugar to prevent sticking, roll out fondant (I used red, pink and blue) about 3/8 inch thick. Cut out a 1 1/2 inch circle. Center the wide end of a coupler on the circle and press to make an impression. Poke four holes in the center with a toothpick. For the small buttons, cut out 1/2 inch circles and just poke four holes with a toothpick.

Door: Roll out fondant of desired color about 1/8 inch thick. Use the template to cut out a door shape. Use lime green icing to pipe a wreath, add red dots, and draw a black dot with the edible writer.

Windows: Roll out yellow fondant about 1/8 inch thick. Cut out two 1 1/2 inch squares. Draw a “+” with the edible writer. If desired, pipe some snow with white frosting and add white sprinkles. For the round window, follow the instructions for making buttons.

Trees: Roll out lime green fondant about 1/8 inch thick. Wrap around an ice cream cone and snip away excess. Unwrap. Pipe some frosting on the ice cream cone to use as glue. Wrap the fondant back around the cone, smoothing, and seal at the back (you’ll have a seam at the back). Tuck ends under and make a point at the top. Pipe rick rack with white icing and pipe dots with blue and red frosting.

Yarn balls: Snap off about half of the stick from a Dum Dum lollipop. Unravel a couple single pieces of the Twizzlers. Wrap around the lollipop, securing ends as needed with light corn syrup. Stick the cut end of the the stick in the licorice to hold it in place.

step five: put everything together
Separate four pieces of the Twizzlers. Thread each one through the holes in the side of the house. If the holes are too small, carefully open a pair of scissors, insert one blade, and slowly rotate. To attach the fondant pieces, pipe white royal icing to use as glue. Layer buttons on the roof (3 rows of 3 per side). Attach the door and windows. Pipe rick rack with white around the door and sides of windows. Arrange house on desired surface, lay down the small buttons for a sidewalk, and add the yarn balls and trees.

Feel free to share (nicely)! While my blog's photographs and text are protected by copyright, I do allow (and encourage) you to share ONE photograph with credit to "the decorated cookie" and link to this blog post. PLEASE don't reprint any part of the blog post and PLEASE don't post a photo without credit. Thank you!


  1. Butter Hearts Sugar says

    Wow wee!!! I'm just sitting here staring at your beautiful gingerbread house in awe. Its so clever, every little bit of it. I love the colours.

  2. bridget {bake at 350} says

    Oh my stars, girl! YOU are the BOMB!!! (do people still say that?)

    Cutest gingerbread house EVER!!! Stumbled and tweeted and if I can think of anything else, I'm doing that, too! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Sue says

    The creative things you dream up astounds me, Meaghan! I'm not a seamstress, but immediately recognized all of the (darling) sewing elements of your gingerbread house! "Sew" CUTE! I LOVE it!

  4. Kathy Martin says

    When you described your experience with sewing, it reminded me of me! I got a D in sewing back in high school! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Anyway, I can do hand stitching. I'm impressed with your gingerbread house. It's very cute! Your first one was too. You are pretty darn good at it! At least better than myself! Thanks for the tutorial! Merry Christmas! :)

  5. shaz says

    Awww, that is so beautiful! My MIL is an avid patchworker, and I wasn't going to make a gingerbread house this year but this would be a perfect edible gift for her. Thank you for the inspiration.

  6. K o r i says

    Your cottage is adorable! My mom, sister and I have a tradition of making gingerbread houses each year and love it…such a fun Christmastime activity. Happy holidays to you!

  7. Hester Casey (Alchemy Ireland) says

    That is the cutest gingerbread cottage I have ever seen and your instructions and illustrations are crystal clear.

  8. Dish&Dirt says

    Your pic caught my 4 year old son's eye and when we took a closer look at your post, wow from both of us! So adorable!!

  9. Dish&Dirt says

    Your pic caught my 4 year old son's eye and when we took a closer look at your post, wow from both of us! So adorable!!

  10. Dish&Dirt says

    Your pic caught my 4 year old son's eye and when we took a closer look at your post, wow from both of us! So adorable!!

  11. Dish&Dirt says

    Your pic caught my 4 year old son's eye and when we took a closer look at your post, wow from both of us! So adorable!!

  12. Chic Cookies says

    I've such gingerbread making insecurities, you all made my day! Such high praise! Dish and Dirt, 4 year old views top all. I always get my 3 year old's opinion.

  13. BigFatBaker says

    Amazing post! I love your gingerbread house and I am totally envious of your skills. I made one the other day, but unfortunately not as beautiful as yours. Maybe one day!
    Congrats on making foodbuzz top 9!

  14. Emily Z says

    This is SO cute. I have never made a gingerbread house, ever! I love your step by step guide, so thorough! Cute as a button! (pun intended!) Congrats on making the Top 9!

  15. AnniesArtifacting says

    I'm completely blown away!!!!

    Not is it only THE BEST looking Ginger Bread House I've ever seen.

    But You Are SOOOO Creative!!!

    I don't think I could ever even try that!!!

    It's too beautiful to believe it's food…lol
    You are THE BOMB!!!

  16. lindsay harmony says

    Oh my goodness this is my absolute favorite post of yours! This is sooooo adorable/gorgeous! I love it and you make it seem so effortless!

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