It's also a genius way to upcycle your empty soda cans. 

By Maki Yazawa
December 21, 2020
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Whether you’re looking to create the cookie version of your adored family pet or the customer in front of you bought the last decent holiday-inspired cookie cutter at your local craft store, making your own DIY cookie shapes is much easier than you may imagine. Using household items like pliers and a soda can, you can easily make cookie cutters in just about any shape imaginable. BTW, making an assortment of customizable shapes for your virtual cookie swap is guaranteed to steal the show.

When You're Looking for Peak Precision: The Tin Strip Method

To make the most precise and sturdy cutter, purchase a 1-inch wide tin strip coil. Then, print out the image (true to size) of what you want to make to get an accurate measure of how much material you’ll need. Next, use a string to outline the design. Cut the string once you have traced the entire perimeter. This will help serve as a measure for how much tin you’ll need to make your desired cookie cutter.

Cut the tin strip the same length as the string. Using a needle nose plier, shape the tin to match the outline of the picture, making sure to apply enough pressure to form the correct angles and curves. Use superglue or a hot glue gun to secure the ends of the cutter together.

Credit: Getty Images

For Small, Simple Cookies: The Soda Can Method

When you're not trying to cut out any particularly intricate (or large) cookies, you can use an empty, clean soda can to get the DIY cookie-cutter job done fast. First, begin by cutting off the top and bottom of the can. Then, cut down the seam of the can (from top to bottom) to create one rectangular sheet. Flatten out the metal and cut a long strip of tin about 1-inch wide and the length of the entire can.

The only downfall to this method is the limited amount of material available to shape your cutter. However, to give yourself more material for shaping the design you can always glue together two long strips of metal to increase the length available. 

When You're in a Pinch: The Aluminum Foil Method

Though this method is probably the least sturdy of the bunch, it comes in handy for any last-minute baking needs. When in a pinch, rely on a roll of heavy-duty aluminum foil as the foundation of your cookie cutter shape. To create, tear a long piece of aluminum foil, large enough to cover the perimeter of the cookie shape you’re creating. 

Working on a flat surface, begin by folding the foil (about 1-inch wide) over itself until you are left with one long strip. As with the previous methods, use a printed photo as a reference or freehand the design—even if it's as simple as a heart, having the outlined shape on hand will help your accuracy. Then, secure the ends with superglue, cutting away any excess foil from the strip.