02 Oct The Elusive Cookie Cutter
During my high school years I spent a lot of time playing music with the band. Actually, that’s wrong. I spent all of my time with the band. Literally all of it. As a result, I happened to know a thing or two about music and whatnot. This being the case, I was really excited when I was approached about making some piano and saxophone shaped cookies. I immediately hit the internet looking for the perfect cookie cutters. What greeted me was a myriad of cookie cutters that had been designed by people that had most likely never actually seen these instruments in real life.
In their defense, there are a lot of things in this world that I am very ignorant of also. If someone approached me and asked me to make a cookie cutter in the shape of a car engine, my response would be “uh… here’s a square… am I close?”. The winners of the bad cookie cutter award go to the following two masterpieces:
I mean, come on! They didn’t even take the photo of the piano upright! In all of my life, I have never seen a grand piano with so many right angles. As far as the saxophone goes, the keys aren’t even on the correct side. Granted, there are a few keys on the back of a saxophone but the VAST majority are on the opposite side. My inner music nerd was just screaming in frustration.
After hours of searching, I finally settled on a simple piano cookie cutter which can be found by following this link. For the saxophone, I ultimately decided that it would be cheaper if I just made my own. I had found this beautiful copper cutter, but it was so obscenely expensive (for a cookie cutter, anyway) that I just couldn’t justify buying it.
I ended up with a cookie cutter making kit from Amazon for $16.82. This kit comes with enough raw material for many cookie cutters so the price seemed fair. It came with a couple of whatchamahoozits and a thingamabob (sorry, don’t know the technical terms) and seemed straightforward enough.
My first step was to sketch an outline of the saxophone and then use a string to measure the outline so that I could determine how much of the aluminum strip that I needed. Below you will see my top-notch art skills at work. I then used some normal scissors to cut a strip of aluminum about an inch and a half longer than the length of the string… you need some excess left over to join the two sides. I also found it helpful to cut out my patter so that I could place my cookie cutter on top of it.
The biggest challenge that I ran into was trying to add the buttons where I wanted them. I attempted one and quickly realized that there was no way that that was happening. It was too intricate… instead I’m going to use icing to draw the keys on.
As I was going along, I began to realize that I was using my hands more than the tools that were provided in the kit. Yes, the thingamabob was useful for making sharp corner and yes, the whatchamahoozit helped to make a nice clean curve, but those tools could have easily been replaced with household items. After I completed the bending, I used the 3M double-sided tape that the kit came with to connect the two ends. The instructions said to let it sit for 72 hours before using.
Overall, I was very pleased with the result. If I could go back in time, I probably wouldn’t have purchased the entire kit but I most definitely would have purchased the refill kit which includes the aluminum and the 3M tape. Making the cookie cutter myself ensured that it looked the way that I wanted it to look while avoiding the high price of a factory-made copper equivalent. This also opens up all kinds of doors for weird cookie cutter shapes. I’ll never be limited again–next thing you know, I’ll be making life-sized saxophone cookies.