I have seen many different ideas of what type of metal to use to make my own cutters and started researching this a few months ago. I loved bakinccÃ¢s idea to buy a large heart or round cutter and reshape it, but alas, no Hobby Lobby here and I was hoping for longer strips. I loved SweetDreamsATÃ¢s ideas to find a metal place to cut copper strips, but nobody around here did that. I found an aluminum cookie cutter making set, but wanted to find something at a better cost. I didnÃ¢t have any luck with any metal at Home Depot/LoweÃ¢s as I was told by the different manufacturers of specific productsI researched that it wasnÃ¢t approved for use with food. . SoÃ¢Â¦ I decided to find something that I could order (as I canÃ¢t find anything here) at a good price that I knew was safe for cutters.
After much searching, I have found a metal I ordered to make cutters. I decided to go with a food-safe stainless steel from Speedy Metals (866-938-6061). It doesnÃ¢t oxidize over time like aluminum, is sturdy and costs less than copper. If you ever decide to order, Joe is the one to talk to. We played with different widths and weights and I went with the 26 guage cut into 1" by 48" strips. I have made several cutters yesterday and this morning and am very happy with it. It is flexible enough to work with the needle nose pliers, I can also bend it by hand when I need a rounded area and holds its shape when pressed down upon. The only down-side is that edges are too sturdy to turn over for that Ã¢rolled-edgeÃ¢ and although it isnÃ¢t sharp enough to really cut my hand when I push down, it can smart a little when I do a lot of cookies. So, I now file the edges at about a 30 degree or-so angle in order to try to round the top a bit and then file over it quickly across the top.
Joe and I were brainstorming about how to put a buffer on the pushing edge (gluing foodsafe rubber like you see on the large Wilton cutters, pushing down with something on top, wearing an oven mitt - that got old really fast! - etc) and we came up with this. Buy a pack of Sliding Bar Report Covers (I got mine at Office Depot for under $3) and cut a few lengths that will fit on long edges of the cutter. When you push on that part, it is no longer an issue of discomfort of the unrolled edge of the metal. When done, you can slip them off and use them on another cutter (as long as the size fits, of course!). I have attached a pic in case I didn't explain it well enough.
Pros and Cons: So the down-side is that there is no turned-over edge, but the report cover edges solved that. The big upside is the cost. For a 1" by 48" strip, it is $1.02 for a 48Ã¢ strip before you figure in shipping. I like that price! I ordered a good amount, so with shipping it ended up being $1.27 for a 48Ã¢ strip. I got two large cutters out of 2/3 of a strip yesterday, so it was about .42 per cutter total when I factored in the shipping cost. (Obviously, it would be less if you make smaller cutters.) Shipping is $6.50 for 5 pieces or less or $10 up to 40 pieces, so the more you get, the better the cost in balance with shipping.
If you came across this posting and you havenÃ¢t played with making your own cutters and you would like to, KHalsteadÃ¢s tutorial here on CC on making cookie cutters is excellent. I am posting this in hopes that this helps someone else if they have been having trouble finding metal to make their own cutters. So if you are looking, I do really recommend Speedy Metals. Their customer service was excellent and this ends up being a great price. I told JenWhitlock about it and she is playing with her piece to see what she thinks of it.
**** UPDATE**** I put this in a comment, but thought I should put it here as well in case. I just spoke to Joe and he said that if anyone calls to say you are from "The Cookie Network". I told him it was technically "Cake Central", but you might want to mention both.
Awesome research on this subject! Sounds like you came up with a winner of an idea. Thanks so much.
Wow, thanks for sharing! I think that I will try this... cookie cutters can be so pricey, especially when you add shipping to it. I will give Joe a call!
This is great! And I have an idea for the edges. What if you tried running a thick bead of silicone caulking along the edge? That stuff sticks to everything and it's thick enough that it should sit right where you want it.
I'm going to email Dupont and find out whether their Kitchen & Bath caulk or their 100% silicone caulk could be used for this purpose. After all, it's not going to have prolonged contact with the cookie dough, just with your hands.
I'll let you know if I get a response.
Thanks Kim! Any research you do would be great! I just want to make sure that anything I touch is food safe as my hands will then come in contact with the dough as I pick it up, form it, etc after I press down on the cutter. A beading on the top has great potential, expecially with cutters that have many small, sharp turns. Thanks for checking!
Great info, TracyLH. Now I want to make my own cookie cutters! How does the report cover binder hold up to washing? Do you remove the binder before you wash you cutters?
That's why I LOVE this website! So many creative minds to share with. Thanks for the tips!
Hi Bettinashoe - I remove the binder before washing the cutter and wash them each separately as it is easier to make sure that there isn't any soap hiding in the binder edge that way. The report cover edge is plastic, so I haven't seen any problems washing it so far. This is all new as I just did my first cutters yesterday with this new idea, but, so far, so good and it will make my Halloween designs so much easier to do compared to using templates with a large amount to cut.
UPDATE - I just talked to Joe and he said if anyone calls, say you are from "The Cookie Network". I told him it was "Cake Central", so you might want to mention both. Also... another benefit... this won't rust like my aluminum cutters so I now don't have to dry them in the warm oven after drying them by hand like I do with the aluminum. Whoo hoo! (Of course, I won't be held resonsible if someone leaves their cutter submerged in water for days on end. ) I just hopes this all helps! That is what we are all here to do - help and encourage each other!
Tracy, thanks for all the info!! The aluminum flashing I got at Home Depot when I wrote the tutorial WAS food safe and Home Depot stopped carrying it since (I still have some, but don't have the company's name that made it or anything because it was on a little sticker that I ripped off when I initially opened it) I have been looking for other members on here for something just as economical with no success. So thanks for doing all the research.
I freeze my cookie dough before I cut it out, because it gives a nicer edge to the cookies and I just throw a potholder over the back of the cookie cutter and push down on top of that, or when I'm working with raw dough I usually just roll my rolling pin over the top of the homemade cutters.
I like the idea of the caulking though, there has to be something that's non toxic as a matter of fact.....I believe I read in a "famous" cake decorator's book about them making a press for fondant for a brick wall or something (larger bricks then you find normally on the impression mats) and they used aquarium silicone caulking, the kind that's used to hold the glass of fish tanks together. I guess they figured it doesn't kill fish ....lol Anyhow, I wonder if that stuff would work?
Here's the response I received from DuPont:
I would not recommend using the kitchen and bath caulk for the is application. If you use a silicone check with the manufacturer to see if it safe for food contact. Some of the are not. The FDA could also give you some guidance.
- end -
Oh, well, maybe you could purchase some sort of heavy duty tape and run it along the edge.
While I was reasearching I did read that 100% silicone was food safe, but that was on a beer brewing forum. I don't know if I'd trust that coming from MEN who like beer so much they brew it themselves!!!
ok, everything I see online says that the aquarium caulking that is found in pet stores or in the pet section of your local Wal-Mart is made from 100% silicone and says so on the tube!!!
and look at this stuff
I wonder if you could run this around the top of a cookie cutter and follow the bends and everything and glue it on permanently?? it's cheap enough!!
KHalstead, your idea got me thinking. Here's my (scary) train of thought:
Your plastic tubing idea made me think of those foam noodle floats. Is there such a thing on a much smaller scale. So I Googled...
I found foam handle grips available in various sizes...same website offers handle grips in rubber and vinyl...in various sizes...
I see the little shiny ones and I think of PlastiDip! The liquid stuff that's available in different colors that you dip tool handles, rope ends, and other stuff in. They describe it as an air dry, synthetic rubber coating that can be easily applied by spraying, brushing or dipping. You can read about it here. They have a list of applications including food grade barrels. So I think it could work. You could lightly sand around the edges to give the metal a "tooth" and then pour some PlastiDip in a shallow dish and dip the cutter in it. It's available in a variety of colors, so you could even color code your cutters.
Here's a list of stores and online retailers that sell it.
Just a thought...or a series of thoughts.
Wow, this is a literal think tank here on CC!! Thanks Tracy for all of your research - stainless steel cutters are the best, so that's so exciting that you found a source to make your own. Can you tell me how are you attaching the ends?
And I love the idea of getting a food safe coating on the top edge. Great Work Girls!!
This is wonderful! Great job and thanks for sharing!
oh Kim..........you rock!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wow great job ladies! I have just made a cutter out of flashing and had not even thought of whether is would be food safe! DUH! anyway I am now ready to try alot of your ideas I just love this site and the folks on it!!!!
Your a genius! Thanks for that, I was just thinking about making cookie cutters the other day too.
I am so excited... I am calling Monday! THANK YOU SO MUCH!
I love this place.
Wow, Tracy and Kim, fantastic stuff--thank you so much!
And it's cheap? Get out of town!!!
Far beyond way cool.
LOL!!! k8memphis - isn't it funny how we've grown accustomed to our solutions being expensive and difficult to obtain?!
Everyone needs a break once in a while.
I've dabbled in the idea of making my own cookie cutters simply because I've spent $1.50 for a specific cutter and $6.00 in S&H . . . crazy! After reading this, I'm going to give it a try!
Thank you for all the hard work in researching and sharing these ideas!
Thanks Kim and Khalstead for brainstorming on edging ideas! SweetDreamsAT - I use the JB Weld Cold Weld (iit also says "JB Kwik" on the front) that KHalstead recommends in her tutorial. You can get it at Home Depot. It is food safe and does the trick wonderfully. I just scrape off any bits that extrude from where I overlapped it and am good to go! My DH picked up some handy-dandy little clamps at Home Depot that hold them very well as they dry. Today I will try out the new Frankie cutter I pictured and post how it works with and without the edge protector. I am wondering if with the new rounded edges, if I will even need it. I'll post once done.
Thanks - I had never heard of JB Weld... don't know how I missed that in KHalstead's tutorial
Also, I thought of another question... did you and Joe talk at all about him being able to fold down the top edge like 1/8"? (you probably did, you've been so thorough on your research) I was just curious what he had to say about it.
I did not talk to Joe about that as figured that would increase the cost and I was trying to watch that. I'll call him on Monday to see how much that would be and post the info. I did try to turn it myself with a tool that is used for that purpose with no luck. We will see what he has to say! That may well be a great option!
I went to Lowe's and purchased small strips of metal, 1" x 6" and bent them. They were really cheep. I have used plastic dip before and it works great. I also drilled a small hole on each end and connected with wire.
Great post! I wanted to mention that some states don't allow cookie cutters with a rolled edge to be used in a commercial kitchen (too difficult to keep clean), so those of you that are thinking of going that route, it might be something to think of before you invest in too many rolled edge cookie cutters. So in this case it's good that you can't roll the metal, bad since it's still a little sharp.
Good point, Michelle! I am going non-rolled, but will check the cost for those interested and post it.
UPDATE TO EDGE ISSUE - I used the new cutters I made and used the idea of the binder edge on the Frankie cookie. It worked quite well. For the witch cutter, which has too many turns to adhere a protector to, I simply placed a little rubber mini mat I use to open jar lids on top and it worked like a charm. Due to the texture, it gripped quite well and didn't slide like a piece of wood placed on top could. I was very pleased with this option.
I'm soo calling 2morrow and ordering, this is soo great.