Craft your way to classic Candyland cuteness befitting birthdays, baby showers, and Christmas décor. This tutorial for gingerbread people banners and treat gift boxes are part one of a DIY party decorating series with easy projects and free printables. Using some or all of the ideas, you’ll be sure to delight the inner-child in all of your guests. Sweet!
Every Candyland village needs to be populated with gingerbread people, and it can be accomplished by more than just the menu. Gift your guests with take-home treat boxes that also serve to decorate your buffet.
Begin with readymade gingerbread people shaped paper maché boxes. These are widely available in stores beginning in the fall, and may be purchased online the remainder of the year. (Find discounts for online craft merchants in the side bar from Le fidèLe Design’s affiliates.) I found mine on sale at half off, making them 50 cents each. Use an acrylic paint color in a shimmery brown so that a top coat is unnecessary. (I used DecoArt’s elegant finish espresso metallic paint, because I already owned it, and it coordinated with my banner.)
Separate the tops from the bases, and paint the little guys. I set them rim side down onto a plastic bag, so that I could just peel them off when they dried. (On other surfaces, the paint sometimes acts as glue.)
Allow them to dry overnight, then use hot glue to adhere tiny pom-poms. They make the cutest dimensional eyes, nose, and buttons! I chose colors that would coordinate with my other décor elements, and tried to intentionally randomize the combinations on each “gingie”.
Another idea is to fill them with numbered papers that correspond to larger gifts or game elements.
Make a banner of gingerbread people adjoined in jubilant Candyland solidarity, using one of the two following methods.
Foam gingerbread people shapes may be located at just about every craft store in the fall and winter, and may be purchased online the rest of the year. You can choose from many sizes in matte and glitter. I wanted to use the glitter guys to match my houses.
Glue on tiny pom-poms that coordinate with your décor. Use hot glue in the same eyes, nose, and button pattern with which you made the treat boxes.
Punch a hole in each hand of the “gingies” in order to string it into a banner.
Make a loop of thin ribbon through holes in two “gingies”, and tie a knot to connect them. I alternated between three different colors from the same spool of clearance ribbon.
The second method is to right click on my printable image above (free for noncommercial use), and select print. Then print them in color and photo settings on sturdy cardstock (so that they don’t curl when strung). Cut them out, and punch holes into the white circles in the arms. Choose to leave them as is, or add more glitter to the images. Then tie on ribbons to join them (as in the previous method). You can also glue pom-poms over the images in the prints to add dimension to your project.
Use the gingerbread person image without white holes for other décor or signage. Simply adjust your printing sizes to make smaller “gingies”. Do this by printing at a smaller percentage (i.e. at 50%) or by printing them as photos (i.e. wallet size). Or… you can get Kinko’s to do it for you! These little guys also make cute kid’s craft puppets when taped to a popsicle stick, so you can utilize them as a party activity for the little ones.
Check out the rest of my Candyland craft series: Hard Candy Lanterns, Candy Ornaments, & Conversation Heart Garlands and Game Board Treat Tower & Easy Buffet Display as well as the final party post on Candyland Themed Party Décor Ideas.