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Traditions are my favorite part of the Christmas season. In our family, one of our traditions is making gingerbread houses.
For as long as I can remember, we have gathered around the kitchen table to construct our edible gingerbread houses. After a usually frustrating time getting a solid structure, we use whatever energy is left to add candy to decorate the house.
As my brothers and I have gotten older, this tradition has grown to involve our spouses and kids. And it gets quite competitive!
While screen printing on graham crackers isn’t going to work, I have found the next best way to craft tribute to our family tradition.
While browsing in Cricut Design Space, I found this template for a milk carton. I have designed a frosting cut file that matches up perfectly with this template. Here’s a look at how to cut, screen print, and assemble these adorable gingerbread house containers.
Supplies Needed to Screen Print Paper Gingerbread Houses
For this project, you will need the following supplies:
- Cricut Maker and Cricut Design Space (I highly recommend getting a Cricut Access membership if you don’t have one!)
- Fine Point Blade and Double Scoring Wheel Tool
- 12″x12″ tan cardstock
- Double sided tape
- Single hole punch
- 3/8” ribbon or twine
Screen Printing Supplies:
- Speedball hinge frame or screen printing press
- Speedball acrylic white ink
- Graphic squeegee
- Oracal 651 vinyl
- Transfer tape
- Painter’s tape
How to Make Paper Gingerbread Houses
- In Cricut Design Space, find image #M3EE51 and size it to 11.5″ wide.
- Follow the “Make it” steps using both your scoring tool and fine point blade to cut and score the cardstock template. TIP: Cut a few extras in case you don’t get a perfect screen print.
- Purchase and download my frosting design. This design is created specifically to use on top of Cricut's #M3EE51 image.
- Cut the design on Oracal 651 vinyl. Don’t forget to mirror the cut.
- Weed the design, removing the pieces where the white ink will go through. The weeded design should look like this:
- Transfer the design to your screen printing frame and remove the tape.
- Tape a piece of paper to your frame base or pallet. Make sure it’s lined up under your vinyl design.
- Line up one of your cardstock pieces under the screen (on top of the paper you just taped down). Adjust until the cardstock is perfectly lined up. This spot in the photo on the left is the easiest to use when trying to see your alignment:
- Once your cardstock is perfectly aligned under your screen, trace the outline of your cardstock. This is what you will use to align each of your pieces during the screen printing process.
- Add painter’s tape around your vinyl design to cover any areas of open screen. I do this step after tracing my template because I find it easier to see through the screen in step 8 without the tape.
- Squeegee one coat of ink over your screen printing frame.
- Lift your frame to reveal your screen printed box.
- Allow the ink to air dry for an hour before assembling.
- Use the score lines to carefully crease the folds of your cardstock.
- Apply a strip of double sided tape along the tab.
- Fold your box together using the taped tab to hold it together.
- Pinch the top tabs of your box and push the inset areas of your roof together.
- Using a hole punch, make 2 holes in the top tabs.
- Fill your boxes with your treats!
- Tie the box together using 3/8” ribbon.
Why is a hinge frame or screen printing press important for this type of project?
You will need to line up the screen printing frame perfectly on top of your cardstock cutout. In order to print more than one, you will need a way to accurately align your screen and cardstock print after print. I used a hinge frame but a screen printing press would work just as well.
What to put inside your gingerbread boxes
These gift boxes are perfect for co-workers, neighbors or friends. You can adjust what you fill the boxes with based on your budget. Here are a few ideas:
- Christmas cookies
- Individual size packages of Buddy Mix or S’mores
- Gift cards
- Christmas socks
- Travel size Bath & Body Works lotions or hand sanitizers
- Hot Cocoa Kit (mix, marshmallows, peppermint sticks)
- Homemade treats
I hope you enjoy creating these gift boxes as much as I did. If you have any suggestions for how you plan to fill your boxes, add your ideas in the comments below!