What you need:
* 2 sheets of cardstock (8 ½” X 11”) for each gingerbread house
* 1 sheet of translucent vellum paper (with or without design) for each gingerbread house
* Exacto knife (or any craft knife with a very sharp blade for cutting out the doors and windows)
* Decorative scrapbook scissors (for cutting the edges of the roof)
* Pattern for gingerbread houses (see below)
Step #1: Copy the pattern for one of the gingerbread house designs onto cardstock. You can either print it directly onto cardstock and / or use a white cardstock copy of the pattern to trace onto colored cardstock.
Step #2: Cut out the doors and windows on pattern and then trace those cutting lines onto the colored cardstock.
Step #3: Very carefully cut out the doors and windows on colored cardstock. BE VERY CAREFUL to cut only the inside, top, and bottom of doors or windows that have “shutters” that open and close. All other windows and doors can be cut out completely.
Step #4: When all doors and windows have been cut and folded open, trace the pattern onto the other sheet of colored cardstock to match the front of the gingerbread house.
The back does not need to have the doors and windows cut out unless you will be displaying them where all sides can be seen.
Step #5: Carefully cut the slits on the sides opposite the tabs. Using the edge of a table knife or the edge of scissor handles, very carefully fold the sides along the lines below the roof lines on the front and back of each gingerbread house.
Step #6: When the sides have been folded, cut a sheet of translucent vellum paper to fit inside the front of your gingerbread house and glue in place. When the glue is dry, trim off the excess paper around the roof line.
Step #7: Insert the tabs from the front of the gingerbread house into the slits on the back of the gingerbread house; then insert the tabs from the back of the house into the slits on the front of the house to make the “walls” of your gingerbread house. You can tape the tabs in place if necessary.
Step 8: After all of your gingerbread houses have been completed, arrange them on a table top or mantle with fluffy cotton all around and tiny white lights under each cottage to shine out through the doors and windows. Enjoy your beautiful holiday display, and share it with your friends and family!