Decorated Cookies | Tutorials

How to make Cookie Cutter Templates

Despite my sizeable cookie cutter collection, I still occasionally come across shapes that I don’t own but want to use for a project. When that happens, I usually make a simple cookie-cutter template. I’ve been making my own templates since 2009. And so, next time when you find yourself in a pinch, you can use a homemade cookie-cutter template to cut out your cookies.

Unbaked butterfly cookies on a brown parchment along with a cookie cutter template and a pen blade knife.

updated from 2010

HOW TO MAKE A COOKIE-CUTTER TEMPLATE

WHAT IS A COOKIE-CUTTER TEMPLATE?

It’s a shape template you can use to cut out cookies. Most commonly, you’ve probably seen Gingerbread House Templates. These are not cookie cutters. They are flat pieces of cardstock, or some plastic, and in some cases cardboard. Depending on the cookie-cutter template shape’s complexity, you can cut out shapes from the rolled-out cookie dough with: a knife, paring knife, Exacto knife, a retractable pen blade, and even a bench scrapper.

Hands holding a dress cookie cutter template.

SHAPE SHIFTER

Before you start working on your cookie-cutter template, look in your cookie-cutter stash to see if you could use other cutters for your project. Sometimes, all it takes is trimming one side of the cookie or using 2 cutters to construct the shape you need. Cookies made up of 2 or more cutters, are affectionately called “frankie” cookies.

 Baked cookies constructed from several cookie cutters on a parchment lined baking sheet.
“Frankie” Cookies

WHAT MATERIALS CAN I USE TO MAKE COOKIE-CUTTER TEMPLATES?

  • Mylar sheet (picture 1).
  • Piece of paper, cardstock (picture 2).
Hands holding cardstock and mylar plastic sheets.

And for sturdier templates use:

  • Cardstock will also work but it’s harder to cut out.
  • A heavy-duty quilting template sheet or a thicker binder divider sheet. These are very durable.
Clear binder divider sheet on a table.

CARDSTOCK AND PAPER TEMPLATE

The following method works for both paper and cardstock. For a mylar sheet/ plastic sheet, you don’t need to “laminate” the template.

  • Print or draw the template onto cardstock (step 1). Tape a clear tape onto the paper, from both sides (step 2-6).
  • Then cut out the template with scissors (steps 7-8).
  • TIP: I prefer to use cardstock over the paper. But if the paper is all you have it will work, too.
Piece of cardstock with a butterfly outline on a table.

WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE A CLEAR PACKAGING TAPE TO LAMINATE?

You can use the template without it but it won’t be as durable. And it might stick to the cookie dough more. If this problem arises dust a template with a little bit o0f flour.

Plastic and cardstock cookie cutter templates on a counter, along with pen blade and exacto knives.

HOW TO HAND CUT COOKIES WITH DIY COOKIE CUTTER TEMPLATES

  1. Roll the cookie dough between parchment sheets or silicone mats and flip it onto the parchment sheet. Don’t use sharp knives on a silicone mat; you’ll ruin it.
  2. Chill the rolled-out cookie dough until firm but not frozen.
  3. Protect your work surface. I like to slide parchment with rolled-out cookie dough onto a cutting board before I cut the cookies.
  4. Use a sharp knife. I prefer an Exacto knife or a pen blade to cut out cookies using templates.
  5. Try not to drag the knife thru the cookie dough; instead, move the knife up and down around the edge of the template.
  6. Cut out as many cookies as you can. Then remove the scraps.
  7. If the template sticks to the dough, dust it lightly with flour.
  8. Carefully lift cut-outs and transfer them onto a prepared baking sheet.
  9. Smooth any rough edges with your finger.
  10. Bake as usual.
  11. After cookies cool, you can attend to any left behind imperfections. Use a fine zester to shave off any bits that look odd.
Hand cutting cookies with a knife.

COOKIES CREATED WITH TEMPLATES

Remote control cookie decorated with small candies.
Remote Control Cookies from 2015
Decorated fisherman cookies, and shoe cookies.
Fisherman Cookies and a Shoe Cookies from 2010

Did you use this decorating tutorial to create beautiful edible art? Tag @hanielas on instagram and hashtag it #hanielas

MORE COOKIE DECORATING TIPS AND TUTORIALS

TO MAKE COOKIE CUTTER TEMPLATES YOU NEED

  • Find all the tool in my Amazon Shop (shop Cookie and Cake Stenciling Tools section)
  • Cardstock
  • Mylar Sheets
  • Heavy Duty Quilting Sheet
  • Exacto knife
  • Pen Blade (I really like using Pen Blade Number 10)
  • Clear Packaging Tape
  • Scissors

This post contains Amazon affiliate links that earn me a small commission, at no cost to you. I only recommend products that I use and love. Learn more about my affiliate policy here.

This post was originally published on March 25th, 2010. On June 24th, 2021 I updated this post with new pictures and step-by-step instructions.

Similar Posts

11 Comments

  1. OMG I can't wait to make these! I just made homemade sprinkles and these will be so fun to use them with thank you:)

  2. This is genius! I've been trying to find a robot cookie cutter that wasn't expensive for a while now, and now I can just make my own for a fraction of the price. Wonderful post. :]

  3. This will be very usefull, such a great idea.
    I needed a 5 petal flower, but couln't find a cookie cutter, now that I know this technique it will be easier.

    Thank you for sharing and I admire your cookies 🙂

  4. Wow!! This is amazingly usefull!
    I was looking for a cookie cutter of a 5 petal flower… but didn't find it, now that I know this, it's going to be super easy!

  5. Thank you everyone, glad you like this idea, I hope it will make your cookie making little easier and fun too.

  6. That is such a good idea!! I watched a girlfriends kids using cake spray mist & trying to make a template with office paper.. it was disaster, this would help them too!! Your Marie Antoinette cookies are the most beautiful cookies 🙂

  7. you are so amazing. and so patient! don't know if i could take so much time..but it sure pays off..your art is beautiful!!

  8. You are very welcome, hope this will help you a little when making your own cookie designs. Thank you for your compliment, it is nice to meet you.:-))

  9. Thank you so much for sharing! I will definitely be using this tip for cookies soon!!! (btw I've been oogling over your cookies on flickr for quite some time!!:)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *