If you’re going to use candy to decorate your gingerbread house, there are a lot of options.
I like to do candy houses as opposed to the ones that are more piped, so I use a lot of candy to make different accessories and decor elements.
These are some of the ones that I like and how they can be used.
Please note: Some of the candy names on this list are registered trademarks that belong to various candy companies. I’m not associated with any of the companies and by mentioning them I’m not implying any kind of connection or endorsement. Some of the links below are affiliate links that will pay me a small commission at no cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
M&Ms and Skittles
M&Ms are a classic addition to any gingerbread house because they’re so versatile as far as how you can use them.
They can trim the edges of a little house, or you can pave an entire walkway with them.
They come in many colors, including special-edition holiday versions, and they last a long time, so you can stock up when they’re on sale.
The downside is that they do tend to be more expensive, especially for the holiday colors, so compare the prices and weights of the different sizes of bags.
You might not need to buy more than a small bag if you’re only doing one house, so planning ahead can also save some money.
Skittles are a similar shape to M&M’s, but they’re different colors.
They might not be as expensive because they’re not chocolate, so it’s worth comparing the price if you’re not looking for specific colors.
You can use these types of candies for trim and edging, to cover large areas like tiles, or for small details like doorknobs.
You can also use them to make patterns on the house.
Red hots are small red dots, so they’re good to use for making a polka dot design on a roof, or to cover an entire section like small tiles.
You can also place them on the joints of piped lattice lines to add to a piped pattern. Since they’re red they fit in with a red and green holiday color theme.
They can also be used in a garden where you need little red dots that will represent candy flowers.
These are small, round, pastel colors, so they make a nice candy roof when you tile the entire roof with them.
The colors are soft enough to go with a winter theme, and if you add some royal icing snow to them they’re really cute.
They can also be used as edging on walkways if you stand them up to make it look like there are raised paver stones on the side of walkways.
Licorice sticks are a lot more useful than people think.
You can use them in strips to cover the sides of a house to make a log cabin, or cut them into smaller sections to use as bricks if it’s red licorice.
If you have patience, you can even cut them in half to make curved pieces that can be used to create a Mediterranean-style roof with red tiles.
They can also be used for things like mailbox posts and small tree trunks.
Stack a bunch of them together to make a chimney, or use them individually as drain pipes on your house.
Twizzler Pull and Peel
I love pull and peel licorice because you can use the thin strips in so many ways.
If you cover the entire roof with icing, the thin licorice strips can be bent into curves and used to create patterns on the roof. If you can get some in different colors you can do some cool artwork on the roof.
You can also use the thin strips to make window sashing or flower stems in the garden.
Necco wafers are flat, round discs that come in pastel colors. (Click here to see them on Amazon)
They can be used for roof tiles, paving stones in the garden, or to create a design on the house walls.
If you break them into uneven pieces, you can apply them to the iced side of a house to create a stonework look. They’d also work well on a chimney for that appearance.
Candy canes are a Christmas candy staple, and they can be used to frame the doors of a house, or for things like light poles in the gingerbread house landscaping.
Mini candy canes can be placed around the windows of a house, or they can be used to put two together to make a heart shape that can decorate the roof.
You can also break them to make straight sections that can be used for fence rails or gateposts.
Peppermint candies that are the traditional round shape can be used individually as decorative elements, or you can do things like stack them together to make a chimney.
They’re often used to make a design right above the front door, either using one or more in a little design like a window.
You can also attach one to the front door like a little wreath.
Chewing gum sticks or tape
Chewing gum sticks or gum tape is a really good way to make shingles for a roof, but it will take a lot of gum!
Because you can cut the gum really easily with scissors, you can make little sections the size that you want, and they can be used as shingles on the roof, or for bricks on the wall.
You can also cut out small shapes if you use a small pair of scissors, then use those on the house as decorative elements.
They can also be placed together to make wood slats for a front door.
Chiclets are small, square pieces of gum that are relatively flat, so you could use them for window panes or for covering an entire roof.
They could also make little flower boxes if you glue them together in a square or rectangular shape using royal icing.
Gumdrops are another classic that can be used to decorate a house all over, or to add to the ridge of a roof.
They can also be used to line a walkway, or for landscaping elements.
They can be flattened out and cut into shapes to use for leaves or other details in mini flower pots, and I’ve also used them as the light in a streetlight.
Since Lifesavers are round with a hole in the middle, you can use them as the base for a streetlight or mailbox pole by inserting a pretzel stick or a piece of Twizzler into it and attaching with royal icing.
People also use Lifesavers on the houses themselves as a decoration, or to melt them to use in windows.
You can make stained glass windows by crushing lifesavers and filling the baked gingerbread window with them on a sheet of parchment paper.
When you put the wall in the oven, the candy will melt and fill up the window.
Reeses mini cups
Reeses mini peanut butter cups are the perfect size to use for flower pots, and you can also stick them onto the house itself without unwrapping them.
Since these are just milk chocolate on the outside, they look cuter if you leave them wrapped in the colored foil that they come in.
You can get red, gold, silver, and green foil-wrapped versions during the Christmas season, so those can be attached to the gingerbread house with royal icing to add some color to it.
Using breakfast cereal like Chex, Froot Loops, Shredded Wheat, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch is pretty common for making gingerbread house roof material.
If you’re making a thatched roof Shredded Wheat is going to give you a good result, and if you’re looking for a low-cost alternative for color, there are a lot of cereals that are very colorful that will work.
Full-sized Hershey bars are sometimes used to make the entire house, which isn’t really a gingerbread house, but most people wouldn’t be sad about it.
You can also break the bar into pieces to make smaller rectangular parts that can be used for window shutters or as a front door.
Mini chocolate bars can be used for bricks or to make steps that go up to the front porch.
Hershey’s kisses are a good option for candy that will be left in the wrapper, because they come in silver foil normally, and in colored foil for special holiday versions.
They’re also a popular choice for eating, so if you leave them wrapped when you attach them to the house it will keep them protected for when someone wants to eat something off of the house later.
Chocolate-covered pretzels or square pretzels
Chocolate-covered mini pretzels are cute to use to make gates and fences, or to place over the door of the house as a decorative ornament.
They come in chocolate and white chocolate versions, so you can use the white ones to make a winter-themed house trim that hangs off the edges of the roof.
The little square pretzels can be used for windows, or to make fences and gates in the garden.
You can also line an entire roof with them, then insert smaller candies in between the spaces of the pretzels.
Gummy bears can be used to attach to the house as a decoration, or for more structural purposes.
The candy they’re made from can be melted and used as edible glue, but be careful if you do that because it can be a burn hazard.
You can also melt them down and pour them into a silicone mold to make other shapes that can then be used on your house.
The bears can also be assembled in the courtyard of your house to be the citizens of the gingerbread land.
Peppermint puffs are the peppermints that look like a little barrel shape, so they can be used for chimneys, flower pots, or other items that need to be bulkier.
They can also be stuck to the house if you want a peppermint theme or just a border.
Starbursts are another candy that can be used in a couple of different ways. They’re square and are the consistency of a hard taffy, so you can melt them and they’ll solidify when they cool off.
Because of this, you can melt them if you’re careful, then pour the liquid version into a silicone mold to make other shapes.
They can also be microwaved for a very short time to soften them up, then flattened out to make other things like flower petals.
I used them recently as the window panes on a house, since they’re square and four of them made a nice symmetrical window.
Animal crackers aren’t really candy, but I’m including cookies in this list because some of them come in very useful shapes.
I found some animal crackers in the shape of unicorns, and others that are iced in different colors. You can use these in the design of your house, or to make a little gingerbread barn or zoo.
Regular animal crackers can also be decorated with candy or piped icing to jazz them up, then those can be included in your gingerbread house design.
If you’re making a tiny sleigh, the animals can be set up to look like they’re pulling it.
Pepperidge Farm Gingerman cookies
This is another cookie that can be used with gingerbread houses that makes the process easier.
If you don’t want to make your own gingerbread men, these cookies are already shaped like the little gingerbread men, so it takes the baking step out of it.
You can decorate them and add them to your gingerbread house design in the yard, or add them doing random things for amusement’s sake.
For free downloadable templates and gingerbread house patterns, click here.
Jellybeans come in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes, so they make a good addition to gingerbread house decorating.
They can be used to cover the house itself, or to create patterns on the edges of the roof.
They can also be used to make stonework designs in the yard or on the sides of the house in places where you want something that’s a little more 3D.
For Halloween houses, use black and orange jellybeans, and for Easter houses, there will be a lot of uses for them since you’ll have the egg theme involved in that.
Rolled fondant isn’t really a candy either, but it’s made from sugar and gums and you can roll it out to make shapes that you cut out with cutters.
You can also use rolled fondant to make figures since it’s like sugar play dough. You can model snowmen and animals to put in the yard of the house.
Fondant can also be used in silicone molds to make lace to put on the house, or you can make fondant icicles and attach them to the roof edges.
Tootsie rolls (the small kind) are useful to make things like trees and log piles.
Since they’re already the shape of small logs, you can warm them up and stretch and roll them a little to vary the shape, then stack them like a little woodpile outside your house.
You can also stand them up vertically to make tree trunks or decorate the edges of a roof with them for a chocolate-themed house.
Use these small tile-like candies for bricks or to tile a wall or a roof.
They can also be used vertically to line a walkway, but they do look like tiny bricks, so that would be their primary purpose.
Cover the whole side of the house with them and fill in around them with icing for mortar.
Any kind of cake decorating sprinkles can be used to create a dusting of color on the roof of a house, or to cover an ice cream cone to make colorful trees for the yard.
You can get a lot of different sprinkles and jimmies in colors and designs specific to holidays, and if you shop around you can get specialty mixes on sale after the holiday.
Save them until the following year to decorate your gingerbread, they’ll be fine to use and eat.
To make colorful trees, roll an ice cream cone that’s been covered in royal icing in sprinkles so that it gets covered.
Peeps make some Christmas tree-shaped marshmallows during the Christmas season, and they make instant decorations for outside your house.
For Easter-themed gingerbread houses, the peeps chicks and bunnies are the perfect addition. They come in a bunch of different colors and they’re a fast way to add some flair to your design.
These are small, colorful candies that come in random shapes, and also in some fruit shapes.
If you want a banana tree, Runts are your best friend. They have tiny banana-shaped candies that you can add to a tree to make a tropical scene.
You can use them on the house itself to add some color by pressing them into icing on the roof or making a little wreath of them around the doors.
Swedish fish are perfect for koi ponds if you want to get elaborate in your landscaping.
Pour a pool full of jello that has Swedish fish in it, and there’s your pond.
You can also melt the fish and use them in silicone molds the same way that you’d melt gummy bears. They can be used to make other things, or to use as edible glue. Be careful working with hot sugar, though, it’s a burn hazard!
Wilton is a company that makes cake decorations and tools for cake decorating, and they have a line of sugar lay-ons that they make every year in different shapes.
I’ve seen Christmas trees, gingerbread men, gift boxes, and snowmen through the years, so keep your eye out.
Using these are easy, you just press them onto the icing to decorate the walls of the house. They have flat backs, so they’re not 3D but they work up against a flat surface.
Wilton also makes sprinkle assortments and other tools for decorating like luster dusts and rolled fondant.
Nerds are really small, colorful dots of candy, so they need to be used in groups to cover any real amount of space.
You can use them to decorate other candy because they’re so small, or you can put them on marshmallow snowmen for eyes and mouths.
They also have rope Nerds, which are ropes of sticky candy that are covered with little nerds, so those would be good for trimming long strips or walls or seams.
Dots candy are like short, round gumdrops without the sugar coating. They can be used to create a hobnail effect on houses or just to line a roof seam with a colorful string of them.
Since they’re kind of round, they can also be used in the garden to make colorful rocks that don’t need to be flat.
Chocolate and white chocolate chips
Chocolate and white chocolate chips are an affordable way to decorate houses because they cost a lot less than candy, but they’re really still candy.
You can use these with the pointy side up, or the round side up for a different look. If you get mini ones you can sprinkle them all over the house.
Again, not really a candy, but wafer cookies are the perfect size for a lot of things.
Cut them to size with a bread knife, then place them around windows for shutters.
They have a diamond pattern pressed into the surface, so they’re a little decorative on their own, but you can also add some smaller candies like red hots into the diamond spaces to make them more colorful.
They can also be used for pavers in the garden, or to make window boxes since they’re long.
Marshmallows and mini marshmallows
Marshmallows are an inexpensive way to decorate a gingerbread house because they take up a lot of space.
You can cover the entire roof with mini marshmallows that are either white or in pastel colors, and it’s an easy way for little kids to decorate.
Marshmallows can also be rolled and shaped into balls if you work them enough, so you can make them into snowmen or mounds of snow that form drifts around the house.
There’s also a way to make a version of rolled fondant from marshmallows, so that’s one way to make a sugar clay.
Fruit leathers can be used to make sheets of color that can be applied to windows, or used on the ground to look like water if you can find some blue versions.
You can also cut shapes out of fruit leather with scissors, or cut strips to make ribbons for candy gifts.
If you take some other candy and wrap them in fruit leather, you can make some tiny Christmas presents to put under a tree.
You can also cut pieces out to make shingles for the roof.
Kit Kat candy can be cut to use for bricks for walkways, or to make plank-looking sections to add to the sides of a house for a siding look.
Cut them into smaller pieces using a bread knife that won’t tear them up, and use them for bricks.
Kit Kats also come in both regular and white chocolate colors, so you can make a pattern with them if you use them in combination.
You can also cut Kit Kats into tree shapes to make decorations for outside the house. Cover the trees with icing and other colorful candy and put some gifts under the tree.
You can get cotton candy in little containers now, and it comes in handy for smoke coming out of chimneys, as well as for mounds of snow.
The one thing to watch for with cotton candy is humidity, because it will be destroyed by moisture in the air if you live in a humid climate.
If you’re in Florida, you might want to go with real cotton balls for a longer-lasting chimney smoke.
On the other extreme, if this kind of cotton candy dries out, it will get hard, but you’ll be able to crush it up to make candy snow!
Gumballs and malted milk balls
Small, round candy can be used for piles of snowballs if you use white ones, or for a colorful decoration on the house itself.
If you make a light outside the house or over the front porch, you can use a yellow gumball as the light part of it.
For a light post in front of the house, a licorice post and gumball light can be some of the components.
Large gumballs can be beach balls if you have a gingerbread beach scene or a swimming pool tableau!
Not technically candy, but shredded coconut can be used to sprinkle on the roof to make it look like snow, or you can dye it green and use it for grass.
To color shredded coconut, put it in a ziplock bag and add a few drops of food coloring. Close the bag, then knead the color in, adding more if you want it to be darker.
When the color has been spread through the coconut you can use it for grass. Or color it tan and use it for a straw look on a barn floor or a thatched roof.
Using lollipops on sticks on your gingerbread house can add a dramatic look if they’re large ones that are applied to the side of the house.
You can also stand lollipops up in the garden to make “trees” in different heights. Cut the sticks to size, then insert them into a marshmallow or another candy that has a hole in it (you might need to make the hole) that’s strong enough to hold it up.
A lollipop forest can be cute, too. You just need to make sure that whatever you insert the sticks into is strong enough to hold them up.
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