Hosting a Cookie Decorating Party

Cookie decorating parties are a great way to get together with friends during the holidays! Here are our top tips for an easy-to-throw cookie decorating bash.

Girl holding decorated sugar cookie

Girl Holding Decorated Cookie

Cookie decorating parties are a hit with kids of all ages. Photo by Joan Steen.

Guests flanking table decorating cookies

Guests Decorating Cookies At A Table

Make sure you have a decorating workspace that gives guests plenty of elbow room. Photo by Lydia Walshin.

Boy in apron decorating sugar cookies

Boy Decorating Sugar Cookies

The decorating table should be at the proper height for guests. Photo by Lydia Walshin.

Group of squeeze bottles full of icing

Colorful Icing in Squeeze Bottles

Squeeze bottles filled with icing are easy for young cookie artists to handle. Photo by Lydia Walshin.

Christmas tree cookie with candy ornaments

Christmas Tree Cookie

Let each child bring home a munchable masterpiece. Photo by Lydia Walshin.

Girl holding decorated sugar cookieGuests flanking table decorating cookiesBoy in apron decorating sugar cookiesGroup of squeeze bottles full of icingChristmas tree cookie with candy ornaments

If you’d like to invite friends to a cookie decorating party of your own, there’s no time like the present. These tips will get you started!

  • Do the math. Estimate how many cookie decorators you can comfortably accommodate. You can bake ahead and provide all the cookies, or ask each guest to come with a few dozen suitable for trimming.
  • Take inventory. Decide whether you’ll supply the cookie decorations and icings, or ask guests to bring various cookie trims.
  • Clear your space. Cover a worktable or other surface with a sturdy disposable tablecloth.
  • Set up a showcase. Put finished cookies on a separate table for everyone to admire.
  • Let guests choose to sit at a lower table to decorate or to stand at a higher table, whichever they find more comfortable.
  • Place squeeze bottles of icing as well as food coloring gel, mini candies, colored sugars and sprinkles in several spots around the table. Paper towels are handy, too.
  • Put cookies on baking sheets, trays or plates while the icing hardens.

Working with kids? Remember to:

  • Arrange the workspace on easy-to-clean flooring.
  • Remind your artists to wash their hands before starting and as needed throughout
    the party.
  • Provide booster seats for younger children.
  • Put decorations in small dishes to avoid
    over-sprinklng accidents. Show them how to pinch small amounts of what they need.
  • Give them large paper plates as individual decorating stations to ease cleanup.
  • Count out five to eight cookies per child for decorating, depending on their attention span.
  • Protect your production by offering healthy snacks to prevent cookie snitchin’!
  • Let each kid choose one of their decorated cookies to wrap up and take home or eat at the end of the party.
  • Teach about sharing. Consider delivering several dozen decorated cookies to a community agency serving people in need. (Read about how others have done it.)

Need a good sugar cookie recipe? This one is delicious and super-simple to decorate!

For more cookie decorating tips visit

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