My husband and I decided to make a Painted Lady for our first stab at a gingerbread house. I found this template and thought if I "de-Halloween'd" it we would get what we were aiming at. I think it worked out quite well. Thank you to Ray Keim for his wonderful template!
Sorry about sideways pics!
Step 1: Getting everything ready
A Painted Lady needs to have at least 3 contrasting colors, so I made my gingerbread a light brown, then divided it and colored part of the dough pink and part green.
The hardest part was at the beginning, getting all the architectural units to hold together with the royal frosting. They needed to sit for a little while - not very long, but still a little while - with support so that they would dry in the right position and be stable. I ended up doing a frantic search around my house for understructure bits that were the right size. Things like spools of thread, marshmallows and small boxes just to hold things in place for a few minutes. It worked out alright, but I swiftly got off to a messier start than I had anticipated.
Step 2: Important-detail-thinking-ahead-step
Cutting out the windows is optional, you can just create them with exterior decorations, but I wanted them to be actual holes. I had to re-cut them after baking the gingerbread to "true" them back up to the template. I used sour ribbon-style gummy candy in green to give a window pane / curtain detail so that you wouldn't be able to see in to the empty house. If I hadn't covered the windows, I would have been compelled to put something inside the house, and I had already bitten off plenty with this project!