How to Decorate a Paper Gingerbread Man

Are you looking for a fun and festive way to decorate your paper gingerbread man? Look no further!

How to Decorate a Paper Gingerbread Man

Decorating a paper gingerbread man is a festive and creative activity that captures the essence of holiday cheer. This delightful craft not only fuels the imagination but also provides a wonderful opportunity for individuals of all ages to express their artistic side. Whether planning a craft day with the kids, seeking a unique decoration for your home, or simply looking for a fun, holiday-themed project, creating your own decorated paper gingerbread man is an engaging way to celebrate the season.

In this guide on how to decorate a paper gingerbread man, we’ll walk you through the steps to bring your paper gingerbread man to life, from the basic materials needed to a range of decorative ideas that will inspire joy and creativity.

What are the Benefits of Decorating a Paper Gingerbread Man?

Decorating a paper gingerbread man has numerous benefits, including:

  • Developing Creativity: The open-ended nature of this activity allows for endless possibilities, encouraging individuals to think outside the box and unleash their imagination.
  • Strengthening Fine Motor Skills: Cutting, gluing, and manipulating small pieces of paper all contribute to improving hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.
  • Promoting Mindfulness: Taking the time to focus on a creative activity can be meditative and promote a sense of calmness and relaxation.
  • Fostering Family Bonding: Decorating a paper gingerbread man with loved ones creates a shared experience, promoting communication, teamwork, and quality time spent together.

These are just a few of the benefits that come with decorating a paper gingerbread man. Now, let’s dive into the steps to create your own decorated masterpiece.

What Will You Need?

To get started on this festive project, you’ll need the following materials:

  • Paper Gingerbread Man Template: You can find free templates online or draw your own.
  • Colored Construction Paper: Choose various colors to create different decorations for your gingerbread man.
  • Markers, Crayons, or Paint: These will be used to add details and color to your creation.
  • Scissors and Glue: These basic craft supplies are essential in bringing your gingerbread man together.
  • Optional Materials for Added Decoration: Consider using glitter, sequins, ribbon, or other craft supplies to give your gingerbread man some extra flair.
Different Decorations for Your Gingerbread Man

Once you have all your materials gathered, it’s time to start decorating!

10 Easy Steps on How to Decorate a Paper Gingerbread Man

Step 1: Cut Out Your Paper Gingerbread Man

Start by printing out or drawing a paper gingerbread man template onto a piece of cardstock or construction paper. Then, carefully cut along the edges to create your gingerbread man outline. Additionally, you can use this as an opportunity to personalize your gingerbread man by drawing different facial expressions or adding unique details.

Step 2: Choose Your Decorations

Before diving into decorating, take some time to plan out the decorations you want to use. This is a great way to get creative and experiment with different ideas before committing them to paper. You can also let your imagination run wild and create new and unique decorations.

Step 3: Cut Out Your Decorations

With your decorations planned out, it’s time to bring them to life. Use colored construction paper to cut out shapes and designs that will embellish your paper gingerbread man. Consider classic decorations like buttons, eyes, a mouth, and clothes, or venture into more unique and personalized accents such as bowties, spectacles, or patterned outfits. Each piece adds character and charm to your creation.

Use Colored Construction Paper to Cut Out Shapes

Step 4: Glue Your Decorations

Once your pieces are cut out, arrange them on your gingerbread man. Play around with the layout, seeing how different placements affect the overall look. After you’re satisfied with your design, use glue to carefully attach each decoration. Remember, a little glue goes a long way to prevent any messiness.

Step 5: Add Details

After gluing on your basic decorations, it’s time to focus on the details that will bring your paper gingerbread man to life. Using markers, crayons, or paint, you can add intricate details such as facial features, patterns on clothing, or unique textures. Consider drawing stitches around the edges for a sewn look, or add a dash of sparkle with glitter glue for buttons.

This step is where you can really showcase your personality and style, giving your gingerbread man its own identity. Remember, the goal is to have fun and be creative, so there are no wrong choices here. Every added detail helps make your paper gingerbread man a unique piece of art.

Step 6: Create a Background

Once your paper gingerbread man is fully decorated, consider creating a festive background to display it. You can use a large piece of construction paper or cardstock as your canvas. Draw a winter wonderland scene, a cozy gingerbread house, or a simple, colorful backdrop that enhances your gingerbread man.

This step lets you expand your creative project and ties your decoration into a larger holiday theme. Cut out additional paper elements like trees, snowflakes, or candy canes to add depth to your background. Glue your gingerbread man onto this festive scene to give him a home and bring your holiday vision to full life.

Step 7: Add Final Touches

Now that your paper gingerbread man is set against a festive background take a moment to review your work and add any final touches. This could include more glitter to mimic freshly fallen snow, drawing additional details on the background elements, or perhaps creating a frame with colored paper to give your artwork a polished look. Final touches are all about enhancing the overall aesthetics and ensuring that your creation is exactly as you envisioned it. Remember, the beauty of this project lies in its uniqueness and the personal flair you bring to it.

That Your Paper Gingerbread Man is Set

Step 8: Display Your Gingerbread Man

With your paper gingerbread man and its festive background complete, it’s time to show off your artwork. Find a prominent place in your home where it can be admired, such as on the refrigerator door, in a picture frame on the mantelpiece, or attached to a window for passersby to see.

You can also create a display area by hanging several gingerbread men together on a string as a unique, homemade holiday garland. This not only adds a personal touch to your holiday decor but also shares your creative spirit with family and visitors. Celebrate your accomplishment and enjoy the festive cheer your paper gingerbread man brings to your home.

Step 9: Share Your Creation

After crafting your paper gingerbread man and displaying it proudly, consider sharing your creation with others. Snap a photo and post it on social media, or if you’re feeling especially festive, create a digital card featuring your gingerbread man to send to friends and family.

This step extends the joy and spirit of the holiday season, allowing you to share a piece of your creativity and hard work with loved ones. Encourage others to join in on the fun and create their own paper gingerbread men. This can spark a delightful exchange of festive crafts and spread holiday cheer far and wide.

Step 10: Reflect and Create More

After sharing your creativity and enjoying the festive environment your paper gingerbread man has contributed to, take a moment to reflect on the process. What did you enjoy the most about creating your gingerbread man? Were there any challenges you faced and overcame? This step is not just about concluding the project but also about inspiring your next creative endeavor. Think about other holiday characters or themes you can explore with the same technique.

Paper Gingerbread Man Has Contributed

Maybe a paper reindeer, a snowman, or even a whole gingerbread family. The skills and imagination you’ve honed in creating your gingerbread man can now serve as a foundation for more intricate and diverse projects. Remember, the joy of crafting comes not just from the finished product but from the process of creation itself. Enjoy the holiday season with more paper art projects that spread joy and creativity.

By following these steps and letting your imagination run wild, you can easily create a charming paper gingerbread man that will add a touch of whimsy to your holiday decor.

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

  1. Use a Variety of Materials: In addition to paint and markers, consider using fabric scraps, sequins, and buttons to bring your gingerbread man to life. These materials add texture and interest, making your creation stand out.
  2. Incorporate Scent: For a sensory twist, add cinnamon or ginger spice to the paper before or after decorating. This not only makes your gingerbread man more authentic but also adds a delightful aroma to your craft.
  3. Interactive Elements: Implementing flaps or movable parts, like arms and legs that can be positioned, adds an interactive element. This can be particularly enjoyable for children, who can play with the gingerbread man as a puppet.
  4. Personalization: Encourage personalization by adding names, important dates, or special messages with fine-tip markers or letter stickers. This is an excellent way to transform your gingerbread man into a memorable gift or keepsake.
  5. Layering: Experiment with layering different papers or materials to create a 3D effect on parts of the gingerbread man, such as a raised bow tie or a protruding candy button. This technique adds depth and makes the decoration more visually appealing.

With these additional tips and tricks, your gingerbread man craft will surely be a hit. Have fun getting creative and making unique versions of this classic treat!

5 Things You Should Avoid

  1. Avoid Overcrowding: While using every decorative item you have is tempting, overcrowding your gingerbread man can make it look chaotic rather than charming. Aim for a balanced and harmonious design.
  2. Steer Clear of Water-Based Glues on Thin Paper: Water-based glues can cause thin paper to warp or tear. Instead, opt for glue sticks or double-sided tape to keep your gingerbread man looking neat and tidy.
  3. Don’t Use Sharp Objects Without Supervision: Avoid using sharp objects like scissors without adult supervision if crafting with children. Safety should always come first in any craft project.
  4. Avoid Permanent Markers on Porous Surfaces Without a Backing: Permanent markers can bleed through porous papers. Always test your markers or add a backing to your gingerbread man to prevent any unwanted stains on your work surface.
  5. Resist the Temptation to Use Food Items: While decorating with real candy or icing might be tempting for a more authentic look, these can attract pests or get messy over time. Stick to non-perishable materials for long-lasting crafts.
Water-based Glues Can Cause Thin Paper to Warp

By avoiding these common mistakes and following the tips and tricks mentioned above, you can create a beautiful paper gingerbread man that will be a joy to decorate and display.

5 Different Theme Ideas for Decorating a Paper Gingerbread Man

  1. Winter Wonderland: Decorate your gingerbread man with snowflakes, icicles, and a cozy scarf to create a wintery scene.
  2. Holiday Cheer: Use traditional holiday colors like red and green, along with festive decorations such as holly and candy canes, to give your gingerbread man a festive touch.
  3. Fairytale Theme: Transform your gingerbread man into a character from your favorite fairytale, such as the Gingerbread Man from the classic story or even Shrek.
  4. Under the Sea: Use blue and green paper, along with sea creature decorations like seashells and starfish, to create an ocean-themed gingerbread man.
  5. Superhero: Turn your gingerbread man into a superhero by using bold colors and adding a cape and mask made from paper or fabric. This is a fun idea for kids, who can use their imagination to create their own unique superhero designs.

By incorporating different themes into your gingerbread man decoration, you can create endless possibilities and enjoy exploring your creativity.

What Type of Paper Should You Use for Decorating a Paper Gingerbread Man?

When choosing the paper to use for your gingerbread man, it’s essential to consider the material’s appearance and durability. Here are some options to consider:

  1. Construction Paper: This is a popular choice for its bright colors and affordability. However, construction paper may not be as sturdy as other paper types, and it can easily tear when using wet glue.
  2. Cardstock: This type of paper is thicker and more durable than construction paper, making it a great choice for creating 3D elements or using water-based glue without worrying about warping.
  3. Scrapbook Paper: Scrapbook paper comes in various patterns and textures, making it ideal for adding visual interest to your gingerbread man craft. It’s also sturdier than construction paper but not as thick as cardstock.
  4. Tissue Paper: Tissue paper is a lightweight and delicate option that can add a beautiful translucent effect to your gingerbread man. It’s great for layering or using other materials.
  5. Wrapping Paper: Wrapping paper is another fantastic option for adding patterns and designs to your gingerbread man. It’s also relatively sturdy and can be easily cut and glued onto your craft.
Construction Paper May Not Be as Sturdy

Ultimately, the type of paper you choose will depend on the specific design or technique you are using. Experiment with different paper types to find what works best for your creation.

What Can I Use for Gingerbread Glue?

Traditional gingerbread is made with a combination of flour, sugar, and molasses to create a sticky dough. If you are looking for a more edible option for your paper gingerbread man, here are some ideas for “gingerbread glue”:

  1. Icing: You can use royal icing or homemade frosting to decorate and adhere decorative elements to your gingerbread man. However, this will add a layer of stickiness and may not be suitable for long-term display.
  2. Honey: Honey is another edible option for “gluing” your decorations onto the gingerbread man. It’s also a popular ingredient in traditional gingerbread recipes, adding an authentic touch.
  3. Corn Syrup: Corn syrup has a similar consistency to honey and can work well as an adhesive for paper gingerbread crafts. It’s also a popular ingredient in traditional gingerbread recipes.
  4. Glue Stick: If you want a non-edible option, a glue stick is an excellent choice for adhering decorations to your gingerbread man without damaging or warping the paper.
  5. Double-Sided Tape: For a more precise and mess-free option, double-sided tape can be used to adhere decorations onto your gingerbread man. It’s also easy to remove if you make a mistake or want to change your design.
Double-sided Tape Can Be Used to Adhere

Whatever option you choose, make sure it is safe for use with paper and will not damage or discolor it over time.


How to decorate a paper gingerbread man is a delightful activity that combines creativity, tradition, and festive spirit. Anyone can create a charming and personalized gingerbread man decoration by selecting the right materials, avoiding common pitfalls, and applying imaginative themes.

Whether you choose cardstock for its durability or scrapbook paper for its visual appeal, the key is matching the paper type to your envisioned design. Furthermore, choosing the right adhesive—be it edible options like icing or practical ones like glue sticks—ensures your creations remain intact and vibrant.

This guide aims to inspire your decorative endeavors, encouraging a blend of originality and traditional charm in crafting your paper gingerbread man. The process not only celebrates the festive season but also sparks joy and creativity, making each gingerbread man a unique piece of art to treasure or share.

Angela Ervin

Angela Ervin

Angela is the executive editor of DIY quickly. She began her career as an interior designer before applying her strategic and creative passion to lifestyle and home. She has close to 15 years of experience in creative writing and online content strategy for housekeeping, home decorations as well as other niche efforts. She loves her job and has the privilege of working with an extraordinary team. She lives with her husband, two sons, and daughter in Petersburg. When she's not busy working she spent time with her family.

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