Monday, September 5, 2016

Organizing a Cookie Cutter Collection

Organizing a cookie cutter collection irrespective of its size, doesn't have to be a daunting task.  As long as you have some organizing bins or containers from your favorite housewares store or office supply source, assembling cookie cutters into groups based on style or season, is as easy as 1-2-3.  Whether you hand-write labels or create some using a software program, do make sure that every cookie cutter is accounted for.  Locating a particular shape for your next baking project will be much easier this way.



Choosing a location to keep these kitchen tools handy and in one place is something else to carefully consider. In my mudroom located in the annex of our home, I have a set of built-in shelves which house my home office.  Click here to read that post in case you missed it a few years ago.


As you can see, this cabinet had a hodgepodge of items, ranging from cake stands and baking pans, to felt rounds and spools of ribbon.  

After careful consideration and a little bit of planning, I turned this neglected area of cabinets, next to my office, into a one-stop area for cookie cutters.  You have no idea how much better I feel about having my collection all in one space, rather than having it scattered between the kitchen and the attic.  


I no longer have to climb the winder steps in the annex to get my giant Martha by Mail cookie cutters or some of the others that aren't in the kitchen.    


This photo from last year shows you the very rudimentary classification of some of my cookie cutters that I had been dealing with.  After purchasing a few dozen from a very dear friend of mine, I had to put them into containers. During that time I hand wrote what was in each of my storage tins without giving it much thought.  I simply wanted to put everything away without creating too much of a fuss.  

Big mistake!  

I found it frustrating and irritating not knowing where certain cutters were when I needed them, so a few weeks ago I took a weekend to organize everything.



The first order of business was to group all of the cookie cutters by season and style, and then place them into sturdy containers.  I've repurposed these Martha by Mail stackable storage tins so many times, because they are versatile and great for organizing.  Plus, they look so good no matter where I put them, and they've held up extremely well over the years.


Cookie cutters are carefully layered into my storage tins as flat as possible. I don't like to cram anything into a container because this may damage the cutters.  It's a good thing to keep cookie cutter sets together, especially those which may have an extra-small cutter. These two-piece cookie cutters should get placed into zip-top bags.  Easy!

The second thing to do is to type out the cookie cutters within each group.  The label holders of the stackable storage tins (if you have any) get measured, and those measurements are then transferred into a word processing page to create precise cells.


I could have printed out and cut everything onto regular white printer paper, but Paper Source has such a nice array of colorful papers, so I used their cement-colored card stock.  For this type of project it is perfect.

After a few trial runs, cut everything using a straight edge cutter, and make sure that they are a good fit for your storage containers.


One thing about the label holders of the stackable storage tins:  they have a bit of wiggle room in there and you may find your label sinking a bit once you place it inside.  Here's a quick solution to that problem.


Add a blank cut out label to the label holder, before adding the printed label. This will give it the support it needs so that it doesn't sink down.  Your labels will look perfect.


A stack of sixteen containers filled with cookie cutters is just what my shelves needed.  I can now locate my Easter-themed cutters, Cat cookie cutters, Halloween and Christmas cookie cutters or the "Celebrations" cutters, among others, whenever I decide to plan my next cookie decorating project.   


On those lower shelves I have the large boxes of Martha by Mail sets, such as the complete Noah's Ark cutters, the Autumn Leaves, the Evergreens, the Beautiful Bugs and the giant eight inch cutters that are now classics.  Oh, and those egg soaps sitting on the jadeite plate are also Martha by Mail.  Those are used in the first-floor powder room.


Last, but not least, are the two deep drawers located at hip level.  They too have been put to good use.


Graduated sets of Ateco and 'Martha by Mail Basics' cookie cutters are located in this drawer.  I can't wait to use those snowflake cutters this winter to make Christmas cookies for my family.


The drawer to the right has spools of ribbon, waxed linen twine, baker's twine, note cards, sticky notes and labels, so that I can wrap up and give out baked goods throughout the year.  


Having my growing collection of cookie cutters all organized in one area is going to make things so much easier for me.  I feel like I can now breathe and relax knowing that everything is in its place.  


If your cookie cutters need to be wrangled and organized, take an idea or two from here and apply it to your own home. You may have an unused area or space which could house some cookie cutters on open shelving or in a hutch in the kitchen.  Perhaps it's time to repurpose an area like I did and give your treasured heirlooms their own dedicated space.  You wouldn't think by looking at the photo of my mudroom (above) as an area which doubles as an office and cookie cutter pantry, would you?  

An organized cookie cutter pantry is a great thing for any baker's home.      

4 comments:

  1. Oh my David - I envy your total commitment to organisation. I'm only this organised in my head, certainly not in reality. I can however enjoying being totally organised vicariously through you and your lovely blog.

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    1. Thanks, Mr. Home Maker, I try my best. There are times when even I don't feel completely organized. What is one to do?

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  2. I like the idea of repurposing the MBM tins. They do hold up amazingly well. Excellent organization, David! I need to tackle my cutters and the vast array of sprinkles, sugars, etc.

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    1. Kenn, I guarantee that once you get your cookie cutters and other cookie decorating equipment organized, you're going to feel so much better.

      Thanks!

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