Back in December I did a crazy blog series called "Holidays Handmade."
For a week I posted at least three tutorial posts every single day. There were some amazing guest bloggers and lots of fantastic projects. But it was a lot to digest. So I thought that this week we might do "Christmas in July" and highlight some of those awesome crafty projects in case you're already planning what to make for the holidays this year. I'll post one tutorial and highlight several others all this week (except on Friday).
Let's get started....
This guest post is from Valerie Mangan. She is going to blow your mind with a mixture of cookies and crafting. Yum!
Hi – I’m Valerie and I am thrilled to be part of Julie’s Holidays Handmade series!
I’ve been a cookie baker for a long time. It started as a small holiday activity and has blossomed into a year-round business. My favorite cookies to make are iced shortbread. I’ve made all kinds of shapes and try to come up with something new each holiday season. Not only do we eat them in our house, we decorate with them, too! I’m happy to be here sharing a few cookie projects with you!
Here’s what you will need:
- A good, sturdy shortbread recipe (the one I use can be found here).
- A batch of royal icing (recipe can be found here).
- Misc. cutters (squares, circles)
- Gel food colorant
- Manila tags
- Paint brushes
- Pizza Cutter
- acrylic stamps
- assorted ribbon, string, stamps, cardstock
- Rolling pin
STAMPED COOKIE TAGS
Yes, you can stamp on cookies!
- Acrylic stamps work best.
- Stamps that have less detail give the best impression.
- In order to get a good print, you will dent the base coat of icing – but it’s ok – it adds a nice texture.
- You can stamp with other things besides stamps. (I used chipboard letters to make the initials on my cookie tags.)
To make these tags, I used a manila tag to cut the shape since I don’t have a cutter in this shape. A simple way to do this is to roll out your dough, lay the tag on top and use a pizza cutter to cut around the shape. Use a straw to cut out the hole for the ribbon.
A word about royal icing –
Be not afraid. It’s all about the water with this kind of icing. Royal icing is made from confectioner’s sugar, meringue powder and water and dries to a smooth, hard surface. It will take some trial and error but once you get the water content down, it will be smooth sailing. The easiest way to put down the base coat of icing is with a small icing spatula. Dont worry if it runs off the sides, you can trim it off as it dries. (If it’s too thick, it will leave a lumpy, uneven surface – we don’t want that for this project.)
Once your surface is dry, you are ready to stamp.
Choose your stamps and your colors.
Gel colorant is highly concentrated food color so you will not need very much. I used it to paint the color right onto the stamp with a paint brush. (You might want to thin it out with a small amount of water.)
Once you’ve painted the image – press the stamp onto the cookie surface. Don’t be afraid to dent the icing – or to miss spots with your impression. Precision is not necessary and your image can be touched up later with a paintbrush if you like.
Once the cookies are cooled and the base coat of royal icing has dried you can start to paint on the detail. Using the same gel colorant, watered down slightly, I painted just as I would with watercolor. The possibilities are limitless here!
I added the cookies to some stamped kraft cardstock cut into the shape of a tag & embellished with some string & ribbon. These could also be cute picture frame ornaments or a nice presentation for a gift card.
Now, with the centers left over from the above project, we can make some cute cookie garlands.
Just the thought of icing 50 of these tiny cookies with royal icing makes me tired. Instead I used a much easier and faster method – instead of a knife, I used a paintbrush to apply this small amount of icing to each little part.
Finally, in order to keep all of your crafty cookie creations edible – always work with clean, or preferably new, acrylic stamps and new paint brushes.
My name is Valerie Mangan. I'm a working mom and wife living in coastal New Jersey. I work by day as an interior designer and I have a small baking business on the side. I'm a scrapbooker and a cardmaker and a self-proclaimed photo geek. I love everything about art and design. You can read about my crafty, baking escapades on my blog Paper & Cookies.
Some other food-related posts to check out from Holidays Handmade are:
P.S. Don't forget! The first "Technique Geek" Live with Prima show is tonight! 8pm EST. The classroom is here.