A Cardboard Christmas

"The theme is cute things but like... giant."

"So theme is just giant things?"


Ah, the staff holiday party. It's a time of merriment, joy, and the occasional yankee swap scandal. This year's decor theme was "giant things," which led to some truly impressive creations. 

Julia started us off with a towering stack of presents that left everyone wondering where she found the time (and wrapping paper) to pull it off. And Tara outdid herself with a fantastically massive photo backdrop, complete with jaw-droopingly beautiful balloon arch. 
2023 Staff Holiday Party at Two River Theater

So naturally, I thought to myself, "What's missing? Oh, right. Giant cardboard gingerbread houses." I grabbed some oversized cardboard boxes and started carving away like Michelangelo on a hot chocolate high. A huge round of applause for Bailey, who made them glow!

My newfound love for cardboard houses did not stop at that. In fact, it completely consumed my Christmas season. I found myself cutting up every Amazon box in my home to craft my own cardboard Christmas at home. 

It's a Wonderful Cardboard Life 

If you're looking for a fun and budget-friendly way to decorate your home for the holidays, let me recommend turning all those cardboard boxes into decorative gingerbread houses! With just a few simple supplies, it is easy to transform plain cardboard boxes into a festive holiday village. 

To make your own house you will need a large piece of cardboard, scissors, a ruler, a pencil, some colorful markers or paint, and any other decorative items you would like to add such as glitter, stickers, or ribbon. For some helpful tips on how to craft a cardboard gingerbread house, check out the link provided: step by step crafting instructions
Not only are these DIY gingerbread houses a great way to get yourself into the holiday spirit, but they're also a fun activity to do with kids. My daughter had a grand time coloring in the houses and telling me what I should draw on each one. Draw a monster! Draw a witch! Draw a pirate! Draw a ghost! Cleary, someone was not over Halloween yet. 

I added tissue paper to the inside of each window, which I had to reinforce with packing tape because my toddler liked to push the paper through. The paper gives a soft glowing effect when you add lights to the inside of your houses. 

I thoroughly enjoyed designing this window display. Although I cannot pinpoint the exact reason, my favorite feature was the bell of this schoolhouse. It just rings out fun holiday joy.  

And of course, I built the biggest and the best for the little one, who spent a portion of Christmas morning watching Toy Story nestled within her cardboard house.

She plays with the cardboard house just as much as she plays with the kitchen set that was originally in the box. But don't worry, she still adores the kitchen set.

Build Your Own Cardboard Gingerbread House

Build your own holiday gingerbread house using the instructions below. Or check out our Etsy shop to purchase a complete gingerbread house craft kit!


For more window decorations and displays at Two River Theater and at home, take a look at these previous posts.

Learn how to make your own paper small world, with step by step instructions for crafting a little paper village.

 And be sure to check out my craft kits, paper decorations and digital downloads at  #TableSettingIsMyLife on Esty.


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