Elements and Principles of Design The Gingerbread Way

Time Frame: 2-4 classesGingerbread Interior Design


  • Create a gingerbread house’s room using all the elements and principles of design.


  • Review the elements and principles of design, “who can think of one of the elements of design?”


  • Gingerbread Dough
  • Royal Icing
  • Candy
  • Stiff Cardboard for bases
  • Heavy books
  • Piping Bags
  • Toothpicks
  • Newspaper or large paper for covering the workspace
  • Paper towels

Background for Teachers

  • Don’t have time or the resources to bake gingerbread in class? You can have the students make the icing and gingerbread dough or walls at home and bring them in to school. Be sure to provide a storage area so they can drop off their gingerbread immediately upon arriving at school so the gingerbread doesn’t get broken in their lockers.
  • The other option is to skip out on the gingerbread all together and have the students create a diorama using a shoe box for a similar effect minus the cooking and loads of sugar.
  • If you want a multi-class project you could also possibly have your culinary classes make the gingerbread dough and icing for the interiors class.
  • If you are worried about budget for all the supplies ask students to bring in additional candy beyond a minimum of __________ that you will provide.


  • You may want to put students in groups or pairs to make this project go faster if you only have a few days to work on it.
  • Have the students make a plan for their room, possibly finding pictures online or drawing a sketch.  They should also plan out how they are going to implement each element and principle of design, by using gingerbread, candies, and frosting.
  • Once the plan is made, students should make their dough and cut out their sides of gingerbread. The ones I made are 10 x 6 and 8 x 6.  I also doubled the walls so their is an outside wall and an inside wall. Having double walls makes the structure sturdier.
  • To make furniture you create large rectangular lumps of dough which will the bottom of the couches or chairs and create a long snake shaped in a half rectangle which will be the back of the couch/chair and this piece is baked separately.
  • To create tables simply bake rectangular lumps of dough and create flat pieces in what ever shape desired to be the table tops. These will get “glued” together with icing after they are finished baking.
  • To create lamps or trees simply find some gummy candy the right color and shape and stick tooth picks through them into a gingerbread base for stability.
  • To create a rug like the one pictured: the rug is made out of rolled out gum paste that has been brushed with vanilla and sprinkled with coconut.
  • To create pillows for the couches: the pillows are made out of marshmallows cut the long way with a pair of sharp scissors.
  • To create the centerpiece: gum paste small cylinder base with a pull-apart Twizzler stuck into it before it hardened. The Twizzler was then bent an pinched into place.
  • Gum paste is an edible clay that hardens completely. It can be purchased at your local craft store or Walmart in the cake decorating section. Gum paste can also be dyed different colors. To do this put on rubber gloves then put a toothpick full of cake coloring in the middle of the gum paste and knead the color in with your hands.


  • Students will hand in a paper with their houses that list each element/principle with an accompanying sentence describing how the element/principle is used in their gingerbread rooms.




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