Can you believe it? The house is finally clean, the lights are set up, and some of the presents are already under the tree. The Christmas countdown has started, and every corner of my home (and hopefully yours) is filled with the holiday essence.
Every year, I love to create a warm and cozy atmosphere in my house, especially using DIY decorations with a rustic vibe. They look fabulous and enhance the Christmas spirit.
This year is no exception, but I wanted to try something new . . . and sweeter: a wooden candle holder made of cookies. Both pleasing to the eyes and easy to make!
Would you like to know how I created it? You can even decorate it with your children and help them improve their cookie crafting skills along the way.
Supplies you’ll need:
- 5 round cookies
- 2 round cookies with holes cut in the center
- White royal icing, stiff and medium consistency
- Pale brown royal icing, medium consistency
- Acetate sheets
- Offset spatula
- Sugarflair Dark Brown (paste)
- Sugarflair Nutkin Brown (dusting powder)
- AmeriColor Warm Brown
- Rainbow Dust Olive Green
There are two things about this project that I’d like you to consider before starting:
- This time, the goal is to create a cookie structure that resembles a tree branch or trunk, so you’ll need a few round cookies, plus round cookies with holes cut in their centers to accommodate the candle. Cookie size and quantity are your choice. They depend on the size (height and width) of the branch you want to create. I’ve used seven round cookies in total (each about 1 centimeter thick and 9 centimeters, or 3 1/2 inches, in outer diameter), including five without holes and two with 5-centimeter (2-inch) holes in the center.
- About the wood bark: I created it using white royal icing (stiff consistency), a clear acetate sheet, and an offset spatula. All I did was spread the icing onto the acetate in thin strips, long enough to span the height of my branch, i.e., about 9 centimeters or 3 1/2 inches. (Remember, the icing used to glue the cookies together will add a little height to the project, about 2 centimeters in this case.) I then let the icing dry completely before carefully removing the strips from the acetate, just as you would handle any royal icing transfer. Important: Spreading needn't be neat, as the goal is to create a rough, bark-like texture.
I’m more than ready to start. What about you?
Steps 1, 2, and 3: Begin by stacking all of the round cookies and sticking them together. Use the pale brown royal icing for "glue" (a little bit will be enough), and remember to place the cookies with holes on the very top of the branch (images 1 and 2). Let the structure dry for half an hour, or just until all of its pieces are secure.
Now, using a brush, coat the cookie on top with the same brown royal icing (image 3). You don’t have to use a large amount of icing or flood the area perfectly. (Keep it simple; some unevenness in the icing is good!)
Steps 4, 5, and 6: Working quickly, before the coating on the top cookie dries, draw spirals in the icing using a toothpick or stick. (I’ve used the handle end of a craft paint brush .) The idea here is to create a texture that looks like tree rings (image 4). Let the icing dry completely.
Next, proceed to coating the sides of the branch with white royal icing (medium consistency) using an offset spatula (image 5). Before this icing coat dries, carefully stick the bark strips made earlier all around the branch (image 6).
Steps 7, 8, and 9: Now, paint the icing strips by mixing colors (remember my color suggestions above) and applying them to create characteristic bark coloring and texture (images 7 and 8). For this project, you can use either vodka or water to dilute your paste and powder colors. (There is little danger of damaging the icing with too much water! )
Finally, let everything dry, place a tea light candle in the center hole, and ta da! (image 9).
Quick photo recap:
Impress your guests with a single candle holder that creates a festive ambiance by filling the room with your favourite cookie scent! Or make a few more holders and group them together, so their collective light shines that much brighter!
A very merry and sweet Christmas to you!
Cookie and photo credits: Aixa Zunino
Aixa Zunino is the soul of Dolce Sentire, a virtual corner of sweetness and creativity dedicated to cookie decorating. On her site, this garden engineer, self-taught decorator, and lover of flowers and animals lets her imagination fly, sharing everything she has learned since discovering the world of cookies in early 2012. She combines this activity with courses around Spain (her current home) where she teaches all the secrets to getting dreamy cookies. Meet her on Facebook or her website, and email her your cookie decorating questions or concerns at email@example.com.
Photo credit: Aixa Zunino
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