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How To Upcycle Packaging Into A Gingerbread Garland

It’s shameful the number of cardboard boxes that arrive at our house in the build-up to Christmas! I try to ease my guilt over this mountain of cardboard by repurposing some of it into cardboard Christmas decorations like this gingerbread garland.

Last year I made some rather fun DIY Christmas decorations of penguins and snowmen from the cardboard packaging. I’ve even made 3D postage stamp ornaments with the packaging and giant cardboard ornaments.

This year I decided to up the ante this year with the repurposed Christmas gingerbread garland by adding lights.

One of my favourite parts of Christmas decorations is all the lights! They make the home seem so warm and cozy on those dark cold winter nights.

I love to use the copper string lights as they give a warm glow and are so versatile. I’ve used them in the past to make a giant led deer Christmas decoration and create some Christmas bottle lights.

Repurpose Your Christmas Packaging Into A Gingerbread Garland

This is a really simple green Christmas craft. The only real cost is for the lights. The gingerbread garland has a lovely rustic Scandinavian Christmas feel.

Upcycled Cardboard gingerbread house

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What you need to make an upcycled gingerbread garland

  • Scrap kraft cardboard – I used the packaging from some Amazon deliveries.
Cardboard packaging to turn into Christmas decorations.
gingerbread house template

How to make an upcycled gingerbread garland

1.. The first thing to do is to either draw freehand or print out the gingerbread house template. Then cut out each gingerbread house design. With a craft knife, cut out any windows that you would like the lights to shine through.

Cutting out gingerbread house templates

2. Next, place the gingerbread house template onto the cardboard packaging you are going to upcycle. Draw around the template with a black sharpie, remembering to mark the windows to be cut. Then cut out the gingerbread garland shapes.

I used a craft knife and cutting board for this. You can cut the cardboard with scissors but it gets tricky with the windows.

transferring the gingerbread houses
cardboard cutouts gingerbread house

3. Next, paint the trimmings on the houses in white paint. Use the original template as a guide. If you want neater lines, then try painting with acrylic paint pens onto the cardboard.

Painted cardboard gingerbread houses

Adding the lights to the gingerbread garland

Gingerbread house garland

4. Then, using a hot glue gun, glue the copper string lights to the back of each cardboard gingerbread house. Make sure that you glue the lights in a position so that they shine through the cut windows.

Leave a gap on the copper string lights of about 10cm between each gingerbread house.

Glueing copper lights to gingerbread house windows.

5. Finally, hang your gingerbread garland by pegging each house to a line of Christmas twine.

I love the simplicity of this garland. I think it looks great in my dining room against the framed wallpaper. If you want a more sophisticated look you could make these gingerbread houses with upcycled leather scraps.

Looking at it though does make me feel a little peckish. I do love a bit of gingerbread with my coffee this time of year, especially if it is the spiced Scandinavian Christmas gingerbread. I might actually make a gingerbread garland out of real gingerbread, just so I can eat it.

A gingerbread advent calendar would be fun, with a numbered gingerbread house to eat each day!

Repurposed gingerbread house
gingerbread house garland
Upcycled Cardboard Gingerbread garland

If you like this post you may want to check out these other upcycled Kraft Christmas posts.
Fun DIY Christmas Decorations Penguins
Homemade Advent Calendar From Kraft Paper
How To Make Repurposed Map Decorations

Upcycled Cardboard Gingerbread garland

If you are looking for more thrifty craft ideas check out

41 Eco-friendly Christmas Crafts - DIARIO DE NAVIDAD

Wednesday 28th of October 2020

[…] Transform cardboard boxes into a gingerbread garland with Pillar Box Blue’s free tutorial. […]

Little Christmas Houses Creative Decorating Ideas - Kelly Elko

Wednesday 27th of November 2019

[…] DIY Gingerbread House Garland  […]


Saturday 12th of January 2019

This is such a clever idea! We always have so many boxes around, especially during the holiday season. I love this idea to give them a fun new life as a decoration! Thanks for sharing at Merry Monday—I'll be including this in my Party Features next week.

Claire Armstrong

Saturday 12th of January 2019

Thank you so much. I love to think of creative ways to use up packaging.


Friday 30th of November 2018

Featured your lovely, diy house garland this week at the party. Pinned also. Best wishes for the Christmas season. Linda @Crafts a la mode Thursday Favorite Things Party.

Claire Armstrong

Saturday 1st of December 2018

Thank you so much I look forward to seeing it.

Nina Lewis

Tuesday 27th of November 2018

This is the cutest idea EVER!!!! I absolutely love these gingerbread houses. (They are also a lot less messy than baking and decorating real ones!) You are so creative -- you always amaze me with your clever ideas!

Claire Armstrong

Wednesday 28th of November 2018

Thank you Nina. The real ones would taste better though ?