How to Make a Custom Cookie Cutter

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This tutorial will teach you how to make a cookie cutter with materials found at the hardware store (or easily ordered online).  Make any custom cookie cutter shape you want with just a few simple tools!

Collage of DIY cookie cutter pictures with text overlay reading "How to Make a Cookie Cutter."

I knew I wanted sugar cookies in ballet pointe shoe shapes for the Sugar Plum Fairy party. I even bought a cutter from the local cake decorating store. I didn't especially like the one I bought, but it was the only one they had. I settled. But when it came time actually to make the cookies, I couldn't find it anywhere. I still haven't found where I put it several weeks later, in fact. I didn't have time to drive all the way to the cake decorating store all the way in Phoenix proper (it was closed, anyway), but Lowe's was about a mile away and still open. I decided, in desperation, to try my hand making a custom cookie cutter.

Dessert table from the Sugar Plum Fairy birthday party, featuring ballet shoe cookies made with a custom cookie cutter.
I already knew I wanted the shape of a classic pointe shoe, and I wanted to hang them from a small white Christmas tree on the dessert table. So I headed to Lowe's in search of likely materials, and was surprised at how easy it turned out to be. To make your own cookie cutter, you'll need:

Materials for making a DIY cookie cutter.

DIY Cookie Cutter Materials:

  • aluminum flashing (in the roofing section of your local hardware store)
  • some scissors you don't care about making seriously dull, or tin nips if you want an excuse to buy a new tool
  • pliers (I just used small jewelry pliers I already had)
  • metal adhesive or epoxy (I used some metal jewelry glue I already had around, but epoxy is easily bought at the hardware store)
  • pencil and paper for sketching your idea
  • ruler, for tracing a straight line
  • utility knife (optional--you could use the scissors instead)
  • clamp

How to Make a Cookie Cutter:

First, use the ruler and utility knife to score a strip of the aluminum flashing, approximately one inch wide. I just used the width of the ruler. It's important to make the strip perfectly consistently wide, if you want the cookie cutter to work well. Cut the strip using the old scissors you no longer care much about, because cutting through the metal will dull the scissors terribly.  You can also buy a pair of tin nips--scissors designed to cut through metal like this.  

You can also just buy perfectly cut 1" strips of aluminim from Amazon!  I didn't have the time for this particular project, but if you do, that's a MUCH easier option than cutting your own metal.

Jewelry pliers pinching over the raw edge of a strip of aluminum to make a cookie cutter.

Next, I scored another line a few millimeters in from the edge of my strip, and used the pliers to bend it over to create a smoother edge so the cookie cutter wouldn't also be a hand cutter. This worked fairly well, but next time I make a cookie cutter, I think I'll skip this step and instead try running a bead of caulk or glue on the top edge.

Use a paper and pencil to sketch a to-scale version of the cookie cutter shape you'd like to make. Carefully bend your strip of aluminum to match the shape of your sketch. I mostly used my hands, but sometimes the pliers came in handy, especially for sharp turns.

DIY cookie cutter being bent into shape based on a sketch of a ballet shoe.


Trim off any excess aluminum, but be sure to leave some overlap for gluing the ends together. Glue the overlapped portion with an adhesive designed to work with metal. Use the clamp to hold the edges tightly together while it dries.

Custom cookie cutter in the shape of a ballet shoe being clamped while being glued.

There you have it! Once the glue dries, the cookie cutter is ready to use! Mine cut very nicely, and was exactly the shape I'd imagined when I came up with the idea of ballet shoe cookies hanging from their ribbons in the Christmas tree.

Ballet slipper cookie made with a custom cookie cutter.

Other Sugar Cookie Tutorials and Recipes:

Navigational image leading to cut out sugar cookie recipe.
Navigational image leading to painted unicorn sugar cookie decorating tutorial.
Navigational image leading to succulent sugar cookie decorating tutorial.
Nicole Wills, creator of Tikkido

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