A sweet gingerbread house and some holiday sewing

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This is the second year we've made a gingerbread house, and considering how fun it is (and how enthusiastic Maia is about it), it won't be the last. I can see this becoming another yearly tradition for us. We used this recipe this time which worked well and made enough for the gingerbread house pieces plus plenty of gingerbread boys and girls to decorate. We worked on the house over three days — one for mixing the dough (which should chill overnight), one for cutting out and baking the pieces, and one for assembling and decorating the house.


Maybe next year Daphne will help us decorate our gingerbread house. She LOVES to wear Maia's cooking apron and, of course, to be in the middle of everything we do. I'm thinking I need to sew her a mini version of Sew Liberated's Montessori child's apron for Christmas. Which, of course, means I need to get sewing. Now. I always see Christmas from way off, but every year it sneaks up on me just the same. I have so much I want to sew, but not so much time left.

Besides a pixie-sized apron for Daphne, there are a few other gifts I'd like to sew over the next couple of weeks if I can swing it.

  • Dress up clothes for Maia – She loves to dress up with her friends, and especially loves everything frilly and girly right now.
  • Felt wool hats for both girls, maybe using this tutorial.
  • Amanda's mouse pad from Handmade Home.
  • Leg warmers to keep Maia cozy when she wants to wear tights and dresses every day.
  • I felted a few wool sweaters recently and am trying to think of gifts I can sew with the felted wool. So besides the hats above, I could sew felted wool potholders, coasters, balls, bags…

Any other ideas? Are you doing any last minute holiday sewing and crafting?

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  1. says

    Your gingerbread house looks wonderful! I’ve always want to try making one from scratch but I always have lots of engineering challenges even with the kits with the tray to prop the pieces in. I need to work on my icing piping skills :)
    I’m planning to sew Meg a long skirt with a ruffle on the bottom (something she’s been requesting). I knitted several pairs of leg warmers for Meg a few years ago and now she wants more and Claire wants some too.

  2. Rose says

    Hi Jean, I’m wanting to make the hooded cloak (from your previous post) for my 4 year old and was wondering if you have any guidance on the approximate yardage I need to buy and also WHERE in the Asheville area still has decent selections of fabric for sale(I’m thinking red velvet exterior and red satin lining). Thanks so much! Rose

  3. says

    It depends on how long you want the cloak to be. Maia’s is not long — just down below her bottom I think — and requires about a yard of fabric. So one yard of your exterior and one yard to line. I mostly buy my fabric at Hancock (or yard sales, etc), so can’t help you with good places to buy fabric besides there. Good luck!

  4. says

    Love the gingerbread house! Such cute photos of the girls having some holiday fun. My boys enjoyed making their gingerbread houses, too. this year, my older one also decided to make a house out of peppermint candies, which proved to be challenging and fun.
    Love the smell of gingerbread, so imagine that your home smells like ours does at the moment, too.
    So festive!
    Happy holidays!

  5. Sara McClelland says

    I did a lot of freezer paper stencil shirts for the kids in my life this year- it worked out great as a last-minute gift! Super quick, dries fast, colorful, uses their initial….all good things for this busy time of year!
    I also used felted sweaters to create wreaths (but did the majority of the work over the summer when I’m not teaching….) and they came out splendidly. I think I found the tutorial over on design*sponge a year ago or more….
    Happy holidays!

  6. says

    We just got done making the dough from that very same recipe!!! It’s our very first attempt at a gingerbread house. Was your dough a bit crumbly?

  7. tasha says

    I am in love with good old Martha Stewart; This is the first year of motherhood, and there have been 5 now, in which I truly feel domesticated enough to really dig Martha. So, I am crazy about all the different little felted sweater stuffed animals on her site. SO cute!

  8. says

    that is so strange as I saw a gingerbread house kit in the shop this year and yearned to make one with my children. Off to nose at that site now, thanks for the link :-)

  9. says

    wow! you guys did such a good job on this! i will try to make one too when my little half brother and sister arrive to visit us on the island. i hope to be as successful as you were.
    p.s. i love these shots of both girls. they’re so cute at their different ages/developmental phases.

  10. Carly says

    Great ideas. My almost four year old daughter insists on wearing skirts and dresses EVERY DAY. We live in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and we woke up to -40 weather this morning. I don’t know why I never thought of leg warmers! Thanks!

  11. says

    Your gingerbread house is darling. :)
    Mmm, I have dress-up clothes on my list, too. Better get busy with that.
    Wanted to say thanks for the link to our Ice Lanterns the other day, I appreciate it.
    I’d like to do more for Solstice… let’s hope it gets cold again!
    Have a lovely day.

  12. KRW says

    What a great gingerbread house, and what fun to start a family tradition! My daughter and I had lots of holiday traditions when she was small. Now, I’m trying to recreate that with my grandsons. Just found a piggybank that comes in its own barn with real doors at http://www.piggybankexpress.com. I’m so excited about giving them the piggys this year.

  13. says

    Willow and I make a gingerbread house each year. yesterday morning I found Cedar naked on top of the fridge eating all of the candy off of it! It didn’t last long!!
    I’m making lots of fun stuff out of felted sweaters this year too! Mittens, hats, potholders, slippers. . . . oh for the love of felted wool!!

  14. Ann says

    My boys made plush “monsters” of their own design from felted sweaters. Very easy to sew around the outside.
    I also just cut off the end of the sleeves and cut a thumb hole so they can wear them to fill the gap between mittens and coat – keeping their wrists warm and snow free.

  15. says

    With felted wool, you could make some coffee mug cozies for gifts. I’ve been wanting to make a wrap-around cozie for my french press. Probably a knitted item though. My husband slugs down the coffee so fast maybe it’s a lost cause! :] Happy craft cramming!

  16. amy d-s says

    for leg warmers for my boys, i just cut the feet out of my worn knee high socks. then they already have the elastic and everything. on the same old sweater theme, but less work.