Would you like to start a new family Christmas Tradition? This DIY gift is a great way to start one. Reading Christmas stories aloud is something the whole family will enjoy and benefit from. What are your favorite Christmas stories? Make you favorite Christmas stories a special gift and the gift will keep giving every Christmas when the books are read again. At my house the favorites are How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Twas the Night Before Christmas. In order to read the books aloud, you first have to be able to find the books. Why not create a fun storage bin for your favorite Christmas stories so it is easy to find them year after year? This bin is easy to make and it doubles as a Christmas decoration.
Here is what you need:
The Bin and the Books
You should buy or find the books you want to put in the bin and then figure out how big your bin should be. It is possible to buy smaller copies of a lot of Christmas stories and Dollar Tree has small Christmas books. You can use one of the Dollar Tree crates that has a solid bottom, if you decide to use smaller books. How the Grinch Stole Christmas is the same width as the base of the gingerbread house so I had to use a larger crate that I got at Jo-Anns (on sale and used a coupon).
Decide how you want to decorate your Dollar Tree DIY Gingerbread House. You could paint it and stop there or you can add additional items such as:
- Faux snow. There are many ways to make faux snow. You can use puffy paint, air dry clay, salt dough or caulk. Depending on what you use you might want to cover it with white paint and white glitter OR you could just use white paint and white glitter. Epsom salt can be used to add sparkle too. I made my own salt puffy paint for the snow.
- Christmas lights. There are lots of options for lights too! You can use little faux lights, small jingle bells, beads, buttons or pinecones. Glitter glue or glitter paper are good options.
- Trees. If you have painting skills then paint! Pieces of bottle brush trees or pieces of faux pine florals can be used, just hot glue them on. Faux candy canes or other faux candy could also be glued on.
- The front door. A tiny wreath with a mini bow can be made from a pipe cleaner and a scrap of thin ribbon. If you are a stickler for the details (like me) make a door knob out of a tack, brad, button or bead.
Here’s how to make the DIY Gift:
- If the bottom of your crate is slatted, find, cut and glue some scrap wood in to fill in the gaps. I glued two paint sticks together and they fit perfectly in the gap in the bottom of my crate.
- Remove the string from the gingerbread house and fill the hole in with caulk.
- Paint the entire crate and the front and back of the gingerbread house. If you want it to look like real gingerbread, use Apple Barrel Nutmeg Brown paint.
- Once the paint is dry on the crate, glue felt on the bottom.
- Paint on the details on the gingerbread house. I used Waverly white chalk paint on the snow, Waverly maize chalk paint on the windows and Waverly crimson chalk paint on the house trim. The window trim was painted using an Arteza paint pen.
- I made my own salt puffy paint for the snow. Even though I used bleached flour, it still was not pure white like snow. I applied it to the rooftop and the windows using a squeeze bottle and let it dry for 24 hours.
- Paint your snow white. If you want it to really sparkle, wait until the paint is dry, then brush on some Mod Podge and sprinkle on some white glitter.
- Glue on some Christmas lights. The ones shown in the picture are made from glitter paper scraps.
- A mini wreath can be made from a pipe cleaner, felt or pine wire ribbon (seasonal item available from Hobby Lobby).
- Follow this video to make a tiny double bow using a fork.
- When your gingerbread house is finished, glue it to the front of your crate and apply your faux snow to the base of the house.
- When it is all dry, place your favorite Christmas books in the crate.
Here’s how to Start a New Family Christmas Tradition with this DIY Gift
On Christmas Eve, present your creation to your family. Have everyone get comfortable before bed and enjoy the stories together. Keep the bin and the books with your Christmas decorations so you will have them to read every year. I hope you enjoy reading Christmas stories together on Christmas Eve as much as my family always does.