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Graham Cracker House: The Sugar Chalet

The Sugar Chalet

Total Time Needed: Weekend Project

As any builder will tell you, gingerbread house construction is traditionally tricky. But not so with this Alpine chalet. Made from a revolutionary new building material - graham crackers - it's a cinch for even first-time home builders.


  • Craft knife and scissors
  • Cardboard six-pack container
  • Masking tape
  • Yellow cellophane
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Royal icing
  • Graham crackers
  • Pretzel nibs
  • Vanilla wafer cookies
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Red licorice twists
  • Golden Grahams cereal
  • Cherry Starburst candies
  • Large marshmallows
  • Starlight mints
  • Life Savers candy
  • Confectioner's sugar
  • Small pocket flashlight


The Sugar Chalet - Step 1

1. The Basic Structure: Using a craft knife (a parent's job), cut out windows on the long sides of the container. Tape a square of cellophane inside each window. From one of the short sides, cut out a door to one side of the center seam. To make sure the flashlight will fit inside, try putting it through this door (cut out some of the inner structure so you can center the light).

2. Onto the corrugated cardboard, trace and cut out a peaked wall for each short end of the container. From one peaked wall, cut out a hinged door in the same place as the one on the container. Tape both cardboard walls in place. Cut out a 12- by 9-inch piece of cardboard, then fold it in half for the roof. Lay it on top of the container, trimming if necessary, and tape in place.

The Sugar Chalet - Step 3

3. The Siding: Starting at the front of the house and ending with the roof, apply royal icing to each surface using a butter knife, then press on graham crackers. (Tip: Leave a 1/4-inch margin along the bottom of the house. The crackers may settle as they dry.) Resize any crackers that don't fit by nibbling!

4. The Trim: Now you can decorate your house however you like, using icing to affix the decorations. We used rows of pretzel nibs and vanilla wafer cookies on the walls, accented with mini marshmallows and licorice-twist trim.

5. The Roof: Cover one side of the roof with icing. Apply the bottom-most row of Golden Grahams, then overlap each successive layer, working upward. Repeat for the other side. Add a licorice ridgepole.

6. For the chimney base: cut two Starburst candies in half diagonally and attach them to the roof with icing mortar. Top with more Starburst bricks. Use scissors (parents only) to cut long, thin triangles from the large marshmallows. Attach these along the eaves with icing.

7. The Final Touches: Add any other decorations you like, such as Starlight mint ornaments, a Life Savers wreath on the front door, or confectioners' sugar snow. Allow all frosting to dry (about one hour), then turn on the flashlight and carefully slide it inside the house.