How to Decorate Christmas Tree Cookies

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Vibrant colors and fun patterns make this a must-do platter this holiday season! This tutorial features SIX cookie designs: three variations (with stencils) on the tree with star cookie, ball ornament, finial ornament, lightbulb, and stocking! The techniques featured on these cookies are great for beginners. As a bonus to this tutorial, see below for a free, printable piping practice sheet! BEFORE you jump in, check out our Cookie Decorating 101 Tutorial - click here!

Cookie Yield


These cookies are all in the 3’ – 4” size range. With a single batch of dough I made 21 cookies: 4 trees, 4 stockings, 4 Ball Ornaments, 4 Finial Ornaments, and 5 lightbulb (these are a bit smaller,). I should note that I roll my cookies to 1/4" thick using the Dough EZ Rolling Mat System. The thickness of your cookies will impact your yield.



For a cookie recipe and rolling and baking video CLICK HERE - this recipe can be doubled in a KitchenAid Mixer. 

Prepping Royal Icing

I don't want all my holiday cookies to look the same, so I'm changing the colors up for this tutorial, BUT if you like TRADITIONAL Christmas colors, scroll below for more inspiration with these same cookie cutters! Here's a guide to this fun color palette. 

For a single batch of dough, I typically use a single batch of icing. Since I'm using a KitchenAid mixer, I made a double batch of icing (about 36 oz) and split it in half (reserving half, or 18 oz, for another project).

I don't measure exactly...I estimate. Here's what worked for me on this Santa project:


Christmas Red - 3 oz for pipe and flood
White - 2 oz for pipe and flood
Gray (a teeny tiny drop of black) - 2 oz for pipe and flood
Deep Pink - 3 oz for pipe and flood
Neon Green - 4 oz for pipe and flood
Sky Blue -  3 oz for pipe and flood
Lemon Yellow - 1 oz for tree stars and lightbulb

With all the details on this set, I didn't have a ton of icing leftover!

For a more detailed look at icing planningCLICK HERE to read this helpful blog post.


For a royal icing recipe and video CLICK HERE - this recipe can be doubled in a KitchenAid Mixer.

How to use a Piping Practice Sheet

Practice sheets are a great way to learn new techniques and gain steadiness with your dominant decorating hand!

First I print the practice sheet.

Download the free piping sheet - CLICK HERE

Then I tape a piece of parchment over top of it (you can do this directly on your work space or on a cookie sheet). 

Now you pipe on the parchment and practice piping techniques. This is a great way to use up leftover icing! 

More Cookie Inspiration!

These bright colors are certainly fun, but get inspired with a few traditional versions of these cookie cutters!

I love when one cutter and five colors can make all these different designs. These are great practice for the wet-on-wet techniques featured in the video tutorial!

Take a look at this finial ornament example! Stripes + stenciling = a stunning (but doable) cookie platter!

Project Timeline

I like to break up the decorating process to fit in my schedule - especially during the busy holiday season!. Because there are several phases to decorated cookies, it works better with my life to do a little each day. Here is the schedule for this cookie project and estimated times on how long each phase takes.


Mix Dough (30 mins), Chill Dough (2 hours inactive time), Roll and Bake (1 hour), Mix Royal Icing and Prep Icing Colors - it is helpful to make the colors the day before you decorate because the color will deepen overnight (1 hour). 


Outline and Flood Cookies (1-2 hours), Allow to dry in front of fan before adding details (1 hour for standard cookies, but allow 6 hours of dry time on the cookies stenciled with royal icing like the tree), Piping details, and stenciling (1.5-2.5 hours) 



For tips on packing cookies, CLICK HERE to check out this helpful blog post with links to my favorite packing and shipping materials.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! I would be so flattered if you recreated these cookies. Tag us @theflourboxshop on instagram and facebook so we can see what you make!

Happy Decorating!