Making a paper template for your gingerbread house may sound like an obsessive, fussy sort of thing to do. But trust me, there’s nothing more frustrating than trying to assemble a house out of planks of gingerbread that aren’t made to fit together. No amount of icing can make up for bad design, friends. Plus there are a number of other benefits to the step that will come clear as this series of tutorials progresses. Start by determining how big you want your house to be. I think a good-sized house is about six inches wide. So, using a reasonably large-sized piece of poster board, I’ll mark the bottom six inches over from the left edge.
The body of the house should be about the same height as the width, so here I’m marking the poster board again, a little under six inches from the bottom edge.
Using a straight edge, I connect those points with lines. Hm, these pencil lines didn’t come out all that well in the photos, did they? I may need to redo these pictures.
Now for the roof line. An easy way to draw a roof with a consistent slope on both sides is to mark the middle of the house at the base. Since my house is 6 inches wide, I’m marking the base at the three inch point.
I do the same on the top horizontal…
…then I draw a long vertical along those points from the base of the house upward. Now then, you can choose any point along this line as your roof peak. Speaking for myself, I like a high-peaked roof. It gives you more head space in the attic, better snow and rain run-off, you follow me.
So I’m going to mark it quite high, up near the top edge of this piece of poster board, another five inches above my top horizontal. Now all I do is draw a line from the left corner of the house to the peak point…
…then the right, and I have the shape of my house as seen from the end.
The next step is to draw the side of the house, which is just a rectangle coming off the right side. I want my house to be about eight inches long, so I continue my top horizontal line out about eight inches, then square the box off.
I cut out the template and I have the base dimensions for my gingerbread house.
Now I trace the whole thing on another piece of poster board and cut that out.
I tape the edges together, and I have a paper model of what the finished house will look like.
What’s the point of all this? Because it helps me judge how large I want the roof to be. This piece looks good. It’s about 8 inches by 10 inches. I didn’t do the other side because, well….I’m not THAT uptight.
Now I cut my original template into two pieces…
…and I have everything I need for my basic house, a template for the front and back, one for the sides and another for the roof. I’ll use them to cut my dough pieces.
Oh sure, make fun of me if you want to. There’s method in all this madness, you’ll see.