Guest Project — Make Your Own DIY Cookie Cutters!!

10 Mar
 
 Hi – I’m Callye of Sweet Adventures of SugarBelle.
I’m an artist who expresses myself through cookies.

Martha Stewart is my hero…(don’t knock her, I LOVE her!)

When I was in High School, I’d cut school just to stay home and watch
her on TV.

I love to learn, when I get into something, I go at it full steam!

I am pretty much obsessed with decorating cookies. I do it almost every
day, and still my mind is OVERFLOWING with things I want to create!

 
Over the last two years I have really become obsessed with decorated cookies.  I make them every chance I get, and I am constantly coming up with new designs.  Although I’d love to have a custom cutter for EVERY shape I make, it’s not really economical or practical to do this for every design I come up with.
There are cookie cutter crafting kits available to purchase, but to be honest, I have a really hard time using them without the help of my husband and his tools, and to make matters worse, he doesn’t always get the design how it was in my head {I HOPE he’s not reading this} or do it on my schedule. Does this sound familiar to anyone?
Nine times out of ten , if I need an odd cookie shape, I make a plastic template. I actually have a {Plastic Cookie Template Tutorial} on my blog. 
However, there are some times that I really need a cutter and since I’m not one to wait around for the husband, I went on a quest to find a way to make them without  any assistance. 
I searched up and down the Internet, and eventually I ran across a tutorial to make cookie cutters from easily available household items.
Unfortunately, I was never able to find it again, but using the basics I learned from that tutorial, I began making my own custom cookie cutters.

This project requires the supplies above.  They include:
  • aluminum oven liners
  • scissors
  • gloves {very important}
  • permanent marker
  • pencil
  • Exacto knife
  • 4 inch template made from foam board {buy thepre- measured type and cut along the lines}
  • yardstick
  • clothespins
  • super glue
  • printer paper

 

First, trim all of the edges from the aluminum liner.  
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE wear gloves! 
The raw edges of aluminum are as sharp as razors and can REALLY hurt you.
 
For the record, I got the COOLEST pair of gloves from Woman’s Work, and I love them so much that they inspired the whole color palette I used for the cookies.
 I love the fact that they are made for smaller hands and I can work in them comfortably.  Plus, like I said, they are CUTE!  Just because a girl does tough work, doesn’t mean she can’t do it pretty =)
After the edges are removed, use the foam board template to mark off a four inch section on the aluminum.
Use the yardsitck to find the mid point of the section, and draw another line down the center. {There will be two 2 inch sections}
After you have marked it, cut along the farthest line, indicated by the arrow. The middle line is there to serve as a reference point when you begin forming your metal strip.
After you cut, fold the strip in half along the 2 inch line. I always do it along a straight edge such as a table to keep the folds sharp and precise.
Once you have done this, unfold the strip, and fold the left side in to meet the center line.
Do the same to the right side. Carefully fold it to touch the center 2 inch mark.
Then, fold this in half again, making sure the sharp outside edges are folded to the inside where they cannot harm you.
Just in case it was hard to understand by the photos, I also included a diagram of the folding steps.
When you reach step three, fold it in half once more.
All this folding will leave you with a strong but flexible aluminum strip.
When this is done, I always take my scissors and run them back down the strip to really straighten and flatten the edge, which will eventually be the cutting edge of the the cutter.
Now you are ready to make a cookie cutter.
A while back, I saw an adorable set of lower case serif font alphabet cutters that I really wanted. I was really bummed that they weren’t available to purchase, so I decided to make my own.
Before I began, I sat down and sketched out the way I imagined my letter cookies to look. You can also print an image from your computer, but since I already had a pretty solid idea, I sketched mine.
The sketch doesn’t have to be perfect, it’s only a guide.  If you look at mine you’ll see I did alright on the “j” but the “t” got a little bit scratchy.
When I finished I used a permanent marker to outline the drawing, taking care to avoid a lot of the more intricate little curves and corners.
It’s a common misconception that an EXACT cutter is needed to make cookies in a certain shape.
Personally, I am not really concerned with exacts.  I take a basic cookie shape and use my icing to tweak the design.  It’s a lot less stressful this way, and also leaves room for a little creative flair.
Now for the fun part!

The next step takes a little practice and patience.
Using your sketch, start shaping the aluminum around the design.

Just a little tip, when you are forming curves, find something round to bend the metal around.  I used an old rolling pin here, but you could use dowel rods, PVC pipe, or anything else around the house.
It’s also helpful to keep a pair of needle nose pliers handy, just in case.  Most of the time, I don’t use them but you never know when you might need them.
When you get the shape just right, tighten everything up and measure where you should cut off the overlap.
I’d give it about an inch or so, then snip off any excess.
Use super glue to attach the ends and clothes pins to secure them until dry.
I’ll admit, it’s not the prettiest cutter ever, but it will make beautiful cookies.  I have several of these that have lasted a very long time.  Every once in a while, one will come un-glued, but I just re-glue it, and it’s as good as new.  In a pinch, I’ve even used hot glue and and staples to close the cutters.
I use this method most often to make cutters for” fad” designs.  It’s great in situations where I am making too many cookies to hand cut, but I won’t use it often enough to justify investing in a custom cutter. 
I also live in a rural area so I don’t have access to specialty supplies and have to mail order almost everything.  This allows me to make my own cutters with things I can pick up locally and without waiting on shipping.
Is anyone surprised at the end result? It always amazes me that such simple everyday things can be used to make such pretty cookies.
I made these sparkly “j’s” in honor of my hostess today.  Thank you for having me, Jen!
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! For more fun tips and cookie adventures, come visit my blog, The Sweet Adventures of SugarBelle , I’d love to see you there!
Thanks Callye! Those sparkly J’s are adorable!!!
I love this idea – the possibilities are endless!! 
You will find so many great ideas on Callye’s blog, like:
 
{Turn left-over Royal Icing into Decorative Cookie Embellishments}
{How about Lego Man Cookies?}
 {Turn Different Shaped Cookie Cutters into a Leprechauns}
And so much more!!


You will love all of the Cooking Tips and Inspiration at Sugar Belle!
xoxo
 
PS — Jill at Envirocraftiness is spotlighting her favorite blogs and today she is spotlight TT&J. I feel so honored!! Thanks Jill!!! 

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