Gingerbread House Decorating Contest

Red with string lights and pine branches and gingerbread house

2023 marks our third annual Hartland Public Library Gingerbread House Decorating Contest! We want to see your most creative gingerbread houses to display here at the library this December. Once they’ve been displayed, two gingerbread houses (one staff favorite and one patron favorite) will win prizes to a local business, so grab your icing and gum drops and get started on construction!

Gingerbread House Decorating Rules & Guidelines


  • Registration is not required.
  • Base and Height: All entries must have a sturdy base to situate their gingerbread house on, no larger than 18” x 18”. The gingerbread house itself can be any size in height.
  • Ingredients: The entire display, except for the base, must be made of edible materials, with lollipops on sticks being the only exception. Please make sure that all ingredients are non-perishable—we don’t want anything spoiling!
    • We recommend using Royal Icing only for icing purposes, as buttercream will spoil.
  • Be creative! Your gingerbread house does not have to be a ‘normal’ or ‘traditional’ style.


  • Drop your gingerbread house off anytime between November 27 and December 8.
  • When you bring the gingerbread house into the library, please pick a name for it and let reference staff know so they can get a placard made for it!
  • If you bring your gingerbread house in after December 8, we will be happy to display it, but that will significantly decrease your chance at getting higher vote totals.
  • Gingerbread houses will be on display in the library from November 27 through December 31.

Voting & Winning

  • There will be two winners: a patron favorite and a staff favorite. The same gingerbread house cannot win both.
  • Every patron will be able to vote for their favorite gingerbread house once using a specially-created voting ballot.
  • The voting period will be from December 9 through December 22.
  • The winner of each category will be announced on December 27 and will win one of two local gift card prizes.

2022 Winner of Public Vote: The Christmas Gumdrop Cottage by MollyGingerbread house with gumdrops and colorful candy

2022 Winner of Staff Vote: Santa's Surf Shack by ConnorGingerbread house with yellow icing and fondant parrot