How to Use Cookie Inspiration From Others

When I first delved into cookie decorating, there were very few online resources for inspiration and learning.  Then, in just a few short years a couple of shops, blogs, and a small Flickr community morphed into a large and ever growing group of talented artisans and suppliers.

Now, the Internet is filled with projects, ideas, and inspiration…a wonderful thing.  Not only are we creating and sharing our own work, we’re also encouraging others to take our visions and make them their own.

In the beginning, I had a hard time making anything without the help of Flickr photos photos from people like The Cookie Artisan.  Then, as my skills and confidence grew, so did the list of ideas and techniques I wanted to try.

With so many resources, it’s often difficult to come up with something that hasn’t been done. Sometimes, I come up with a new and original idea, but more often than not I am inspired in some way by the work of other artisans.

My holiday cookie wreath is the perfect example.

Christmas Cookie WreathI didn’t invent holiday cookie wreaths, but by following these simple steps I made a version that is completely my own.

  1. Choose your inspiration:  My original inspiration were wreaths by The Cookie Artisan and Julia Usher, which you can see here and here.
  2. Determine your favorite elements:  The key element of a cookie wreath was the shape, of course, {originally inspired by Maryann} but I also loved how Julia’s version incorporated a pattern.  These were the primary elements of my design.
  3. If making an exact copy of something, ask:  I could write an entire blog post on this statement alone {I talked about it in depth here}, so I’ll try to keep this short.  In the interest of peace and harmony, I ask and give credit if I even spin an idea that didn’t come from my own brain.  However, with a huge influx of new decorators, it’s often impossible to keep up with what’s been done, and by whom.  So, my general policy is to share, link, always treat others the way I would like to be treated, even when they don’t do the same.
  4. Add something:  In the beginning, my capabilities were limited to replicating things I’d seen.  After mastering the basic skills and techniques, the most challenging and rewarding part of the process is adding special touches to make something my own.  In this instance I used stencils to pattern the leaves, incorporated tiny berry cookies, used the chip and dip bowl that I got as a wedding gift {for the first time ever} to keep things neat, and finished with a butterfly bow, courtesy of Ali-Bee’s Bake Shop.  Still a wreath, but a unique version made by me.
  5. Share and give credit: Show people what you’ve made, and let others know that they’ve inspired you with shout outs and links.  Its amazing how a little goodwill can grow.
  6. Inspire more great ideas:  This is my absolute favorite part.  I love seeing what other people do with things I’ve made.  What’s even more interesting is that I am often re-inspired by a play on something I’d previously posted.  It’s amazing, really, how we’re all pieces of one big puzzle, each contributing ideas that make us all the best we can be.

Cookie WreathIf you’re not quite ready to venture into your own designs, rest assured the tutorials on my blog are written for others to use. Credit is always nice, but not expected.

For more great insight on how to use a cookie tutorial, check out this post by Lizy B Bakes.   My first and most important mission is to share what I’ve learned and teach others the art of cookie decorating  and I hope 2014 is a year of peace, learning, and prosperity for us all.  Thank you all for inspiring me!

For more amazing cookie wreaths {and cookie decorators}, check out these posts: