Recycled Gingerbread Houses

Sugar and spice and everything nice! These upcycled gingerbread houses made out of recycled cartons are a blast to create with your little ones. You can make your village as big and detailed or as minimal as you want. All you need are a few basic materials and some imagination!


  • Recycled milk or juice cartons in various sizes
  • Recycled cereal boxes (optional)
  • Non-toxic brown acrylic paint
  • Non-toxic white acrylic paint
  • Paint brushes (thick and thin)
  • Water
  • Cloth
  • Newspaper


  1. First, make sure all of your cartons being used are washed well and dry. 
  2. Next, set up your station to start painting. Lay your newspaper down to be sure not to get paint on your beloved tables. Start by painting your cartons white for a base coat and let that dry. 
  3. Using your brown paint, start painting your houses. You’re going to need 2–3 coats, so make sure you let each coat dry in between painting or you’ll get streaking. 
  4. Once all of your coats are dry and you can no longer see any logos on your cartons you are ready to add some details. Outline your carton house with white paint and a thin paint brush. Add windows, doors, decorative art, icing icicles, hearts, shapes, candy canes, and so on. 
  5. Take some recycled cereal boxes and cut out some gingerbread boys and girls to add them to the town. Run, run, run as fast as you can go and catch yourself a gingerbread land! Just another great way to add a little more cheer to your holidays! 

Caitlin Peck is the creator of The Little Bungalow, a place to feel inspired and decorate your little bungalows with love and creativity. Caitlin is a photographer, graphic designer, clothing designer, and full-time mommy who lives by the sea. She escapes the world of demands into hobbies and crafts that delight her life and that of her boys.

Follow her on Instagram for more crafts and coastal inspiration.