10 Holiday Cookie-Decorating Ideas for Kids

Round up your bakers for a day of sweet fun! Our kid-friendly guide has everything you need to make delicious treats for all your family and friends.

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Start With A No-Fail Dough

Dana Gallagher

Start With A No-Fail Dough

Don’t have your own go-to recipe—or a top-secret family one? We have you covered. Our sugar-cookie dough—which is easy to roll out and holds its shape in the oven—bakes up perfect cutouts every single time. (If you want to get to the decorating part even quicker, use store-bought cookie dough!)

Tip: Freeze it! Cover raw dough in plastic wrap, then foil, and freeze for up to a month. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight to use.

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Go With A Glaze

Dana Gallagher

Go With A Glaze

There are loads of ways to decorate a cookie, but our favorite all-around workhorse is a simple confectioners’ sugar glaze. It’s less fussy than royal icing and more precise than buttercream, plus it dries hard, takes color beautifully, and tastes great! Try making it with this easy recipe!

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Glaze and Glue

Dana Gallagher

Glaze and Glue

Use wet glaze as “glue” to attach one cookie to another for a double dose of deliciousness. Or attach candies or nonpareils in a fun pattern!

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Flocking

Dana Gallagher

Flocking

Pipe designs onto the cookie. While glaze is still wet, sprinkle liberally with sanding sugar. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes, then carefully shake off excess.

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Dipped

Dana Gallagher

Dipped

Loosen your glaze slightly with water until it drips easily off the end of a spoon. Dip a cookie partway into the glaze, then let dry completely before dipping in a second color.

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Drizzle

Dana Gallagher

Drizzle

Pour glaze into a squeeze bottle, then use a quick back-and-forth motion to draw lines across the cookie. Repeat with additional colors, if desired. (Or add more water to the glaze and flick it off a spoon for a splatter effect!)

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Pipe and Flood

Dana Gallagher

Pipe and Flood

Use a squeeze bottle or piping bag to outline the cookie. Let the line dry for several minutes, then fill in the interior. For best results, pipe the edge with a slightly thicker glaze than what you use to fill.

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Watercolor

Dana Gallagher

Watercolor

Pipe and flood your cookie with white glaze (see previous slide); let dry.

To create “paint,” pour 1 tsp. almond extract (or any clear extract) into each of several small containers. Dip the tip of a toothpick into gel food coloring, then stir around in the extract. Use a clean brush to paint on designs.

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Stenciled

Dana Gallagher

Stenciled

Pipe and flood your cookie with white glaze; let dry completely. Lay a storebought or homemade stencil over the dried icing and then use Wilton Color Mist Food Color Spray to fill in the design.

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Marble

Dana Gallagher

Marble

Pipe and flood with a single color. While the glaze is still wet, pipe on lines in a contrasting shade. Drag a toothpick gently through the glaze, perpendicular to the lines.

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Covered

Dana Gallagher

Covered

Pipe and flood with glaze. While it’s still wet, sprinkle nonpareils or edible glitter over the top until coated. Let dry completely, then carefully shake off excess.