Easy Free Templates for Gingerbread Houses

Use an easy free template for a gingerbread house to make your own gingerbread house from scratch. Make a traditional gingerbread house, or a cabin or a-frame house.

Get the never-fail gingerbread house recipe here and read all our pro-level tips for decorating a beautiful gingerbread house, too.

printable free template for gingerbread house

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Basically, ever since I was born… we have had a family tradition to decorate gingerbread houses.   My lovely mother would make about 14 gingerbread houses from scratch every year.  I think that practically makes her a saint.. have you tried it? I have, and just making 4 or 5, was HARD work!

Gingerbread houses free template
(My 12 year old self decorating gingerbread houses!)

Since I’ve had little babies (crap, they aren’t really babies anymore…they grow TOO fast), I’ve been a little more relaxed about homemade vs store bought.  For example, last year we bought some at Ikea for about 2 bucks a pop. Worth every penny!  

This year I decided to buy them again.  Only I bought a little Wilton mini gingerbread town kit from Walmart. Each had 4 houses, so we bought 2 to make a whole town!

free template for gingerbread house A-frame cottage

Gingerbread Village Kits

Make less holiday stress and build a whole village from just one premade gingerbread house kit — great for families so kids can build and decorate their own gingerbread house. Plus, check out all these fun gingerbread kits I found at Joann’s!

It is amazing how much easier it is… next year, I think it would be fun to make them again from scratch, but I will tell you how I feel then! We can always build the kits and enjoy eating the gingerbread as drop cookies instead.

What’s important to me is the tradition we have together, and I love that the easy gingerbread kits can maintain the tradition *and* my sanity as a busy mom.

Gingerbread houses free template

Printable Free Templates for Gingerbread Houses

We loved these tiny houses so much that I had Justin draw up some free printable fancy gingerbread house templates so you could use our recipe (below) to build your own! He is so awesome!

Just click the button below to download the PDF templates.

Get the full resolution printable templates here

The free template for gingerbread house patterns are not to be used for sale, please do not repost these anywhere.

Gingerbread House Shapes

Justin drew up three different free templates for gingerbread houses for you.

A traditional large cottage with a peaked roof:

large cottage pattern free template for gingerbread house

A more rustic slant top cabin:

top cabin pattern free template for gingerbread house

A darling little A-frame gingerbread house template! This one is so fun to decorate all the roof space.

a-frame pattern free template for gingerbread house
free template for gingerbread house small cottage

How to Make a Gingerbread House Template

If you’re looking to build a custom gingerbread house, here are a few tips for making a gingerbread house template:

  • Choose simple shapes and keep corners square. This ensures that sides are symmetrical and the house can stand.
  • Factor in the width of the baked gingerbread. To be strong, pieces are generally going to be 1/4 – 3/8 inch thick so make sure your walls, side pieces, roof, roof overhang, etc account for that.
  • Keep windows and doors supported by enough dough around them (and cut out holes for windows and doors *after* placing the dough on the baking sheet, or cut and bake the whole sheet of dough in the pan like Jenny does.)
How To Make Homemade Gingerbread, From Remodelaholic

Gingerbread house cookie cutters are a great option, too!

How to Use a Gingerbread House Template

  1. Cut out the printable gingerbread house template pieces with scissors.
    • If you’ll be using the gingerbread house shapes for multiple houses, be sure to print on thick paper or even a glossy photo paper.
  2. Once you’ve rolled your gingerbread house dough to an even thickness, either on the counter or cutting board or right in the pan like Jenny does, place the template pieces carefully on top.
  3. Cut out the pieces with a sharp knife, keeping the knife as perpendicular to the dough as possible for straight edges.
  4. Transfer the cut gingerbread to the pan (or leave it in the pan if you’re following Jenny’s method) to bake.
  5. After baking, trim the edges as needed (using a knife or kitchen scissors) and let the gingerbread sit at least overnight to harden. Soft gingerbread is delicious but hard gingerbread makes the best houses!
Gingerbread houses free template printable and recipe

The Best Gingerbread House Recipe

This recipe has been used in my family for years! This gingerbread dough bakes into either sturdy shapes for for building gingerbread houses or delicious easy chewy gingerbread drop cookies, too.

Mama’s Gingerbread House Recipe

This recipe will make 4 large gingerbread houses or 7-8 small gingerbread houses.
Print Recipe


  • 1/2 c butter softened
  • 1 cup Crisco shortening
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • 1/2 c molasses
  • 2 t baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4+ cups all purpose flour (add more to knead and roll out dough)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients: baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger salt and 4 cups flour. Stir with a whisk, and set aside.
  • Cream the butter, shortening and sugar together.  Add the eggs and molasses, combine.  Now add the dry ingredients to the wet, about a cup at a time till completely incorporated.
  • On a clean counter surface, spread out about 1/2 cup flour, pour the dough onto the flour and knead in more flour until it is a good consistence for rolling.  Use a rolling pin to roll to a 1/4 inch thickness, and cut out the shapes.
  • Place with just a little room for each shape on the cookie sheet bake for 9 minutes, keep a close eye so they don’t burn, if you roll them out too thinly they can!)


After pulling them out, it is helpful to trim any skiwampus edges that some times occur when baking.   I just QUICKLY and carefully stick the template on the cookie and cut off any strange edges.  DON”T burn yourself!  Be careful!  This step will help your houses come together clean and straight!
Because this recipe uses primarily shortening, it does NOT need wrapped in plastic wrap and chilled. You can if you want, or if you need to mix the dough one day and bake another. 
Gingerbread houses free template

How to Build Gingerbread Houses

We have a whole post about how to build gingerbread houses!

Read all of Jenny’s pro-level gingerbread building tips here.

You’ll want sturdy gingerbread with clean edges.

And that means trimming the edges of home-baked gingerbread house pieces when they’re fresh from the oven. Keep your template pieces so you can trim them easily.

For a gingerbread kit, use a long sharp knife to cut apart the pieces and then file off any rough edges using a small knife or even a zester.

You’ll need good frosting to glue the house together.

There are dozens of gingerbread house frosting recipes using eggw hites — my go-to is the Wilton Meringue Powder Recipe. It’s easy to make and the icing is like super strong glue that dries quickly and also makes great snowy icing effects! One small tub makes plenty for our family gingerbread building.

If you buy a kit — do yourself a favor and make this frosting instead. Use the frosting from the kit to decorate the house, not to glue it together.

You’ll need candy and decorating supplies.

One thing we do really love about the gingerbread house kits is that they come with the tiny fun candies, like the little Christmas light candies and holly berry candies. (You can sometimes find extras in the same aisle as the kits, like this candy variety.)

We also like to pick up:

  • hard clear candies like Jolly Ranchers or Lifesavers (to make stained glass windows)
  • Pez – the tiny rectangles are great for bricks, fences, and other accents
  • M&Ms — red, white, and green, and great for gingerbread house lights, doorknobs, etc
  • rope licorice – outlines and details so well
  • gumdrops
  • marshmallows (large and mini) – to make snow piles and snowmen
  • Nilla Wafers and wafer cookies
  • candy canes (mini and regular)
  • Smarties and Neccos

In the quest for fun that’s also NOT just sugary sweets, we also use some of these non-candy decorations for our gingerbread houses.

Non-Candy Alternatives for Decorating Gingerbread Houses


The gingerbread kits sometimes look and taste like cardboard (although I’ve never eaten a homemade gingerbread house, either!). So take a shortcut, skip the baking and use clean cardboard for building your houses (or trees, people, pets, fences, etc). Just apply frosting and have a hay day!  

Clearly a cardboard gingerbread house is just to display… no baking, no eating, good holiday fun without the calories!

Graham Crackers

We love the elementary school graham cracker houses built around a milk carton, and graham crackers are a great way to add walkways, roof textures, or other elements to your gingerbread house and landscaping.

IKEA gingerbread house, free template for gingerbread house and decoration ideas


Breakfast cereals are fun additions, and a great snack for the littles to eat some as they decorate.

  • Froot Loops and Cheerios both make great decor elements (or mini wreaths!) and shredded wheat,
  • Shredded wheat looks like a thatched roof on your gingerbread house — and snow-covered, too, if you get the frosted shredded wheat.
  • Wheat, Corn, or Rice Chex (or any other varieties) make great roof tiles.
  • Golden Grahams look just like a terra cotta tile roof.

Pretzel Sticks

Pretzels sticks or rod pretzels are great for building fences, outlining walkways or doorways, or making your house look like a log cabin.

(I really wanna hear your ideas!!! Leave me a comment with other less sugar ideas!!)



Gingerbread houses free template

Easy Cool Gingerbread House Ideas

Powdered Sugar

The royal icing is white to look like snow — make it look even more fancy by sprinkling the house with powdered sugar! A bit of sugar in a duster or sieve makes it all magical.

Writing and Details

You can color the royal icing, of course, or buy these easy Cake Mate writing icing for super easy small-tip frosting tubes for small details or writing a house number or family name.

Stained Glass Windows

This is one of my favorite easy gingerbread house ideas! It looks difficult but it’s easy — just a few minutes and some hard candy (like Jolly Ranchers).

Read how to make gingerbread house stained glass here.

Then you’ll just cut a hole in the plate or cardboard directly under your house and add a small battery operated light to illuminate the colorful candy stained glass window.

free template for gingerbread house and how to make stained glass windows in a gingerbread house


Making Gingerbread Houses Fun for Kids and Easy for Parents

I’ve learned a few things, since I’ve become in charge of continuing on this gingerbread tradition in my own family. 

  • Making stained glass candy windows is the coolest. thing. ever! Totally worth the extra time and the kids think it’s magical. (Read how here.)
  • Building on heavy duty paper platters (larger than plates) are fast and cute!
  • You don’t need too much candy… ( I always buy too much!)
  • Giving them away is more fun than eating them! (I have never eaten a gingerbread house… They are for display to me, so I don’t get that!)
  • Let the kids eat some candy as you build gingerbread houses. It is much better then yelling at them the whole time, and it makes it fun for everyone.
  • Buying kits can be a life saver! Enjoy the tradition without stressing about the time and effort baking.
Gingerbread houses free template

 What great ideas to you have to share?

Be sure to have fun with it!   Creating with candy is so fun!!!


 Remember to check out all our 12 Days of Christmas posts from this year and others! 

Day 1: Santa and Reindeer Paper GarlandDay 2:  Pipe Cleaner Ornaments, Kid Friendly
Day 3: Sugar Free Pumpkin SteamersDay 4:  Fudge Brownie S’mores Pie
Day 5: Joy String Art TutorialDay 6; Snowman Wreath Tutorial
Day 7: Kids Advent Calendar Day 8; Free Christmas Stocking Pattern and Tutorial 
Day 9: Faux Fur Tree SkirtDay 10: Kids Christmas Art Gallery
Day 11: Free Templates for Gingerbread HousesDay 12: Christmas Photo Booth Ideas


More Family Christmas Traditions and Ideas:

Printable Free Template For Gingerbread House, Free Patterns For Cottage Cabin A Frame Gingerbread Houses, Remodelaholic

First published 11 Dec 2013 // Updated 9 Dec 2022

Website | + posts

Cassity Kmetzsch started Remodelaholic after graduating from Utah State University with a degree in Interior Design. Remodelaholic is the place to share her love for knocking out walls, and building everything back up again to not only add function but beauty to her home. Together with her husband Justin, they have remodeled 6 homes and are working on a seventh. She is a mother of four amazing girls. Making a house a home is her favorite hobby.

We love hearing from fellow Remodelaholics, so let us know what you like about this and leave any questions below in the comments. If you've followed a tutorial or been inspired by something you've seen here, we'd love to see pictures! Submit pictures here or by messaging us over on Facebook.

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  1. What a lovely tradition. I believe it is one of the nicest ways to get the whole family together and keep the kids entertained while teaching them how important is to respect the holidays and the family traditions. God Bless!

  2. We build ours on silver trays (mostly the cheep fake ones from dollar tree), they make any house look fancy smancy and they are easier to move. We’ve had a wonderful time making them this year.