Hoppo Bumpo (n): A children's game. Played by folding one's arms and hopping on one leg. Aim is to bump opponents, so that they lose their balance. Last person standing wins.

December 12, 2008

Gingerbread-cottage-along: house plans

Previously on Gingerbread-Cottage-Along ...
Introducing the cottage-along
Selecting a gingerbread recipe

Today in the Cottage-Along I am playing architect and looking at house plans. The type of structure that you decide to build is really only limited by your imagination ... and perhaps a little experience.

If you want some inspiration take a look at Flickr, where you will find the most amazing, beautiful and dazzling array of photographs of gingerbread structures. See if you can locate the Seattle Space Needle inspired creation - its not necessarily festive, but really quite amazing!

Link to gingerbread creations on Flickr

In order to build a cottage you will need a template for the walls and roof. If you are making your first ever cottage, here are some options:

  1. purchase a gingerbread house kit with pre-made pieces (low stress and almost guaranteed success!)
  2. buy a gingerbread house cutter
  3. use a pre-designed or self-drafted template

When I first started making cottages, I copied a pattern from the Australian Women's Weekly on to cardboard and used this as my template. A manila folder or some firm cardstock works very well. Its not particularly durable though - the grease in the dough tends to leech into the cardboard. I ended up re-making the pattern each year.

Later I wised up and re-cut my template in plastic. I used an old-fashioned overhead transparency, but a piece of template plastic, available from sewing, quilting or craft stores would be ideal. This can simply be wiped down and re-used.

Last year I decided to simplify the process and bought a gingerbread house cutter (pictured above). There loads of these on the market. You could try a cake decorating store or look on the Internet. The one I purchased is a very simple cookie cutter style.

The cheapest option, however, is to draft your own pattern (try and test it in cardboard first) or look for a pattern on the Internet. This gives you the flexibility of creating a different cottage (or other creation) next year. If you consult Mr Google you will find dozens, if not a hundred, patterns that you can download for free.

Link to Google search

A quick look reveals some wonderful freebies. I love this very cute version at Cottage Living. Its a free PDF pattern, with a little chimney and a really sweet, slightly-scalloped roof. For something with a bit of pizazz, you could try Gingerbread House Heaven. There are two good basic patterns available. Both include instructions. If you feel more adventurous, they also have some PDF patterns - including a castle and a clock tower - for sale.

Are you cottaging-along? What kind of design are you going to make?

Next: humidity-proofing a gingerbread house (Monday 15 Dec.)

(Download 11-page PDF of all related posts)


  1. I have a box of gingerbread walls and roof ready to assemble - from IKEA of course! The kit is quite cheap but I'm still trying to decide whether to make it or not...will be very interested to see your suggestions for storage as this is the bit that puzzles me - how to display it and keep it free of little fingers or ants.

  2. oh wow I have just been over to your link to Flickr some of those houses are waaay over the top! amazing.can't wait to see yours

  3. When planning, try to integrate the pros and remove the cons. For example, if you love your basement wet-bar, plan one for your new home. If you hate how your bedroom windows face the morning sun, arrange your bedroom placement so this is not a problem.

    House Plans


Thanks for dropping by! I love hearing what people have to say. Leave a comment if you like.