Cardboard Craft

Supersize a Gingerbread garland, with this cardboard craft idea. Surprising results for easy and inexpensive Christmas decorating.


Age: 12 and up

Difficulty: Easy

Time Scale: 3 out of 5


  • Large pieces of corrugated cardboard (thinner pieces for gingerbread men and thicker pieces for heart shapes)
  • Jute string
  • About 1/4 yard Red and white gingham material
  • 1/4 yard Green and white gingham material
  • single hole punch
  • scissors
  • pencil
  • black felt pen
  • liner brush
  • 1/2 inch paint brush
  • old toothbrush
  • clear float medium
  • Craft paint in:

             Cinnamon brown



If you have a Costco in your area, it is a good place to get large sheets of cardboard for this project. They are about 4 foot square and are used on the pallets, between the grocery items. The really thin pieces that are more like heavy paper, do NOT work well. They are the wrong color so they need to be painted. When they are painted, the paper curls. I tried this and it was annoying and time consuming. With the proper color and thickness of cardboard, this cardboard craft is easy and requires minimal painting.

On with the instructions!

Cardboard Craft


Draw out six heart shapes on to a fairly thick piece of cardboard. The hearts should be about 61/2 inches wide across the top and 91/2 inches long. Make sure the corrugated lines are running up and down.

Use heavy duty scissors to cut these out.


Put the corrugated side to the front. Pinch the edges and bend back slightly to curve and shape the heart. This makes a huge difference on how this looks. It makes this cardboard craft go from flat and one dimensional to actually having some shape to it.

Print out the Gingerbread man template. Draw out three large gingerbread men on to another piece of cardboard that is a bit thinner than the one that was used for the hearts. The corrugations shouldn't show as much. There also should be one side that is slightly darker. This should be the front. The gingerbread men should be approximately 16 inches wide by 20 inches tall. Wouldn't this be a tasty snack, if these were made from REAL gingerbread!?

Cut these out. Use your thumb nail to bend the outer edge back slightly.

Use the hole punch to make holes in each side of the heart and on each hand of the gingerbread man.

Paint the heart red. When dry, use an old toothbrush to spatter paint cinnamon brown. Let dry and spatter with a mixture of white and brown to make an off white color.

Now for the painting on the gingerbread man. Easy! Use a half inch paint brush to add two white lines to the legs and arms.

Paint on three white buttons.

Add three curly cues on his forehead for hair.

Use the black felt pen to add eyes.

Mix a small amount of red paint with white to make pink. Add circles for his cheeks.

Use a bit darker pink to make a mouth.


Let dry. He still is not quite right. Still a bit plain looking. Spatter paint with cinnamon brown. It should be looking better but still not quite there yet.

Mix a small amount of brown paint with float medium. Add some shading under the arms, between the legs and around the edge of the head. What a difference! Now he looks like he is fresh baked from the oven! I considered going one step further and actually adding some cinnamon but decided it wasn't necessary. You could try it, if you like. It would sure make him smell good.

When the paint is dry it is time for assembling this giant garland.

Cut two pieces of jute 20 inches long. Tie one piece to the left hole on one of the hearts.

Cut six pieces of jute 12 inches long. Tie one of these to the right hole on the first heart. Now tie this string through the hole on the gingerbread mans hand. Space the heart and the gingerbread about 4 inches apart. (The string is cut to 12 inches only to make it easier to tie.) Continue tying the pieces together. Heart, gingerbread, heart. Start with a heart  and finish with a heart on the other end. Add the other 20 inch piece of jute to the end.


Rip the gingham material into strips 11/2 inches wide by about 5 inches long. Tie on the jute, alternating the red and green strips. All done now and ready to hang up.

This is so inexpensive, it can be made even if you are on a really tight budget.

Hasn't this cardboard craft turned into the cutest Christmas decoration you have ever seen? 

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