Why buy cookie cutters? Design and make your own for pennies on the dollar.
Step 1: Find pictures Find a Christmas-themed graphic -- a picture of a Christmas tree, snowman, wreath, or angel -- that is the size of the cookies you want to make.
Step 2: Measure the picture Determine how much cutter material you will need by measuring the length of the picture's perimeter. Bend pipe cleaners around the picture's outline and then straighten the pipe cleaners and measure their length with a ruler.
Step 3: Cut cutter material Add 10 percent to the length of your picture's perimeter and cut that length from the sides of the aluminum steam table pan.
TIP: Cut out and discard the rounded corners of the pan and use the straight sides for your cutter material.
Step 4: Fold the top of the cutter sections Fold the tops of each of your cutter sections over twice to make a handle, being sure to leave enough width along the bottom to cut cookies.
Step 5: Make the template Trim around your graphic, leaving a 1-inch border all the way around. Cut out the bottom of the foil pan and fold it in half, and then staple your graphic to the aluminum, being sure to staple inside of the border.
Step 6: Trim around your graphic Using the scissors, carefully trim around the outline of your picture, being as accurate as possible. Then fold another section of the bottom of the pan in half and staple your template to it.
TIP: Tape over the picture with packing tape to protect it from cookie dough and to make it washable.
Step 7: Cut the new foil Cut around your picture again, so you have the paper layer and then four layers of foil under it. Use the glue gun and stapler to secure the edges.
Step 8: Bend edges Bend the edges around your template. The folded top will be difficult to bend, but the thinner bottom is what will be cutting the cookies, so be as faithful to the picture as possible. When the last piece is bent, do not attach it to complete the loop.
TIP: When you have to connect two side pieces, overlap them and use the glue gun to secure them.
Step 9: Insert the template Insert the template into the bent cutter piece and, from the inside, attach it using the glue gun, leaving an inch of cutter edge. Then complete the edge's loop by gluing it into place. Now, make your favorite rolled cookie recipe and cut your holiday shapes into delicious cookies.
FACT: In 2007, White House chefs prepared 20,000 Christmas cookies for receptions attended by the president and first lady.