DIY Thrifty High Gloss Gingerbread Cottages

It's so easy to make these high gloss gingerbread cottages using just plain ceramic houses and a couple of simple craft products! Watch my video tutorial to see exactly how I decorated these sweet little houses.

glossy gingerbread cottage with retro deer and bottlebrush trees

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Hi friend, are you a fan of gingerbread? Every Christmas my mom baked gingerbread men. My favorite part was always the frosting!

But it's fun to decorate with gingerbread too! Last year I shared a really cute DIY gingerbread man sign and some gingerbread men cookies that I made out of air dry clay. While I love eating gingerbread cookies, it's fun to make gingerbread decor that lasts from year to year!

During my Target run last week, I spotted these ceramic houses in the Dollar Spot and thought it would be fun to transform them into gingerbread houses. Last year I picked up some of the flat wood houses and turned them into a gingerbread village using just puffy paint.

To my delight, as I was checking out, these houses had been marked down to $1.50 because they were technically Halloween decor. I loved the shape and size of the houses as well as the charming chimney and I knew they'd look adorable as gingerbread houses.

How to make thrifty glossy gingerbread houses

If I were you, I'd run to my local Target today to see if they still have some of these clearance ceramic houses. If you can't find them, you can still pick up these $5 Target ceramic houses and they'll work just fine. Or use this ceramic village that comes with trees!

Supplies: Other than the ceramic houses, you'll need white puffy paint (it doesn't matter if it's glossy or matte), you'll need nutmeg brown acrylic paint and pumpkin orange to make the perfect gingerbread color, a small craft brush, and you'll need a can of Triple Thick Glaze by Rustoleum if you want that high gloss look.

Let's make some gingerbread houses!

Paint houses brown

I haven't found the perfect gingerbread brown color in a bottle, so I mix my own. To get the perfect gingerbread color, add about 3 healthy squirts (approx 3 Tbsp) of the brown paint onto a paper plate. Next, add about 1 tsp of the pumpkin orange paint and mix those together well. Adjust as needed and then paint your houses. I needed two coats for the best coverage.

Add gingerbread trim

Using the puffy paint, embellish your house to look like a gingerbread cottage. You can do as much or as little as you want! Add dots and lines and scallops. You can't really mess this up! If you think you messed it up, just add a lot of snow!! You can get some additional tips by watching the video below.

Spray with glaze

Once the puffy paint was completely dry (I left it to dry overnight), I headed outside to add the high gloss finish. This spray does an amazing job of creating glass-like porcelain and I'm so impressed with it! Just check out how amazing these DIY porcelain pumpkins turned out.

Follow my tips in this video to get the best results. Leave houses outside overnight to fully dry (or put them in the garage).

That's it! Have fun decorating with your DIY gingerbread houses! I tucked some copper fairy lights inside mine and because the light are on a timer, I can enjoy the twinkle without have to turn the switch on and off!

glossy gingerbread cottages in front of Christmas tree lights

Can you see how glossy they are?

This little retro inspired deer ornament was the perfect accompaniment, as were the bottle brush trees!

gingerbread cottages styled on white wood tray with ornaments and Christmas greenery

I've been moving the houses around my home, to find their best spot! I'm loving this little vignette I create on my $20 farmhouse beaded wood tray but I'm not sure that's where they'll end up for good.


I loved making these DIY thrifty gingerbread houses, and know they will be fun to unpack every year!

Are you inspired to turn a few ceramic houses into these glossy gingerbread cottages?

Pin it to remember it!

gingerbread cottages with decorative trim, retro deer, ornaments and Christmas lights
bringing beauty to the ordinary,


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  1. Cindy,
    These turned out so cute. I'm going to share a link to your tutorial on my Dirt Road Adventures this week.


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