American Made Cookie Cutters

American Made Cookie Cutters


Last month, Hubby and I went to the Made in America Store. As I was perusing the merchandise, I came across a display of cookie cutters. I started sifting through them, and grabbed one, then two, then a third one off the rack. They were not only made in America, but they were “different”, felt solid, and were $4 each.

Now, I had decided to do the 15 Days of Holiday Cookies last July. And, I knew one of the cookies would be Kris Kringle cut outs. Too bad I either gave away – or at least could not find – all my cookie cutters. I was fairly certain I had given them to my niece figuring I was never going to bake cookies again. Ever. Well after the last 4 months the joke is on me. That was a short “never”.

I nevertheless needed cookie cutters, and these cookie cutters seemed to be high quality. I had purchased a holiday cookie cutter at another store a few months prior, and while that other cookie cutter was only dollar, it felt more like it should have been in the quarter clearance bin at a dollar store the day after the holidays. Really, really flimsy. I was despairing finding anything reasonable before December, so was thrilled when I stumbled across these!

Unfortunately, they only had one Christmas cut out left.

I guess I wasn’t the only one on an early hunt.

So, I went online to discover who made them, and if I could buy more. And sure enough I could!

They are Ann Clark cookie cutters. The sell for $3.99 online, and they have a special whereas you Buy 4 or more cookie cutters and receive free ground shipping.

Since they are located in Vermont, I received my order three days later.

American Made Cookie Cutters


I bought from the holiday cookie cutter collection, and each came with a recipe… that I will read and possibly make someday. Right now I am a tad cookied-out.

The only negative to these cookie cutters, is apparently they are not dishwasher safe. Nuts. Oh well, they are sturdy, nice designs, and cut dough very well. If you are looking for cookie cutters that will last, you may want to give these Ann Clark cookie cutters a try!

Do you make Christmas cut-out cookies? What cookie cutters do you use?


Disclosure: the links in this post may be affiliate links.

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Decorating A Banister For The Holidays

Decorating A Banister For The Holidays




I am a less-is-more kinda gal. Our decor is minimal rather than jam packed. I am quite sure this is a reflex reaction to my mother’s house being crammed with furniture, albeit very nice furniture, but nevertheless too much for the space (IMO).

However during the holiday season, my decorating can be over the top! I love glitter, and sequins and sparkly-stuff, and Christmas decor is when I indulge in the sparkling lights and twinkling decorations of the season! And one of the places I really indulge is in decorating our banister for the holidays!

Decorating A Banister For The Holidays


You need a few materials before you begin to decorate your banister – garland, lights and holiday decor. I use pre-lit garland. It isn’t worth the aggravation to me to put on unlit garland and then add light strings. I buy extras after Christmas when they are 50% off, and store them “just in case” a string goes bad in the future. They usually cost $25-$30, so I pay half that.

I also use zip-ties and a cutter.

Make sure you test your lights before you hang them! If you take away nothing else from this post, make sure you do this.

Decorating A Banister For The Holidays


I hang the garland on the banister, and attach it with zip-ties. This allows me to use fewer strings of pre-lit garland as I am not wrapping the garland around the railing, but laying the garland on top of the railing. Since my banister railing is skinny, I have a tail from the zip-tie after I pull it tight. I clip that zip-tie tail off with a cutter.

When my garland-lights are up, I turn them on! I may have just tested them two seconds ago, but hey you never know. It is much easier to swap out a dead string now then after I have decorated it! I then work on decorating the garland – with the lights on!

Decorating A Banister For The Holidays


This is my array of decor. I buy at JoAnn’s on sale, various Christmas stores, Pier 1, you name it, if it sells glittery flowers, picks, sticks, ribbons, bows I buy and then store the decor from year to year. Each piece costs anywhere from 50¢ to $5, so this isn’t exactly heirloom quality, and it only lasts a few seasons.

Decorating A Banister For The Holidays


Some of the decor has clips on the backside, some short stems, some very long stems that I cut down. To attach the decor, I insert it within the garland, or clip it to the garland. I don’t use wire – there really is no need. The pre-lit garland stems are bendy and pliable, so the decor can be stuck into the stems and it will stay.

Decorating A Banister For The Holidays


I just insert willy-nilly as I think it will look good. Taking a step back and looking at the railing as a whole once you’ve inserted 4-5 pieces helps you get a sense of scale and balance. It is also extremely important for a “big picture” person like myself – I have a tough time on occasion seeing how the parts should be placed to achieve the finished product in my mind.

Decorating A Banister For The Holidays


Decorating A Banister For The Holidays


I build up from a base working a section at a time. I add and add until I get the effect I am looking for. You want a few pieces to stick up, and a few to come down… and for that I use long glittery sticks or hoops or flowers.

Decorating A Banister For The Holidays


Decorating A Banister For The Holidays


Decorating A Banister For The Holidays


It is very important to not make yourself crazy over filling in every hole. There is evergreen garland and light there – let some shine through!

Decorating A Banister For The Holidays


I have a curved banister so it is difficult to take a picture of – but this is truly beautiful in person!

Decorating A Banister For The Holidays


Decorating A Banister For The Holidays


It is very pretty unlit too!

Remember, when you decorate a banister like this, you aren’t using the railing to help you go up or down the stairs while it is decorated. Keep that in mind if you have elderly, infirm or small children who need to use that railing to make it up and down that staircase.

Inevitably a piece of decor may get whacked and knocked down. The beauty of decorating this way the piece can just be stuck back into the banister decor, and you are on your merry way!

You can’t get an easier Christmas decoration. There isn’t anything to glue or put together, and it changes yearly with the addition or subtraction of decorating pieces! Believe me, if I can do this, anyone can. Start off small – I didn’t have all these pieces when I first made this 7-8 years ago. I’ve accumulated them over the seasons. But decorating a banister for the holidays can really make a beautiful holiday decoration during the Christmas holiday season!


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7 Inexpensive Holiday Decorating Ideas

7 Inexpensive Holiday Decorating Ideas


The holiday season can be a financial challenge for even the most savvy saver. Here are some inexpensive holiday decorating ideas and tips to save a few dollars on your holiday decor:

7 Inexpensive Holiday Decorating Ideas



• Use natural items found in your backyard – from holly to evergreens, natural or spray-painted with glitter paint, outdoor sprays brought inside can grace everything from tabletops to fireplace mantels.

• Use fresh oranges with cloves for a quick, fragrant decoration tabletop decoration.

• Ornaments inside a glass bowl or, on top of a wooden platter, make for a quick, festive, inexpensive decoration.

• Put a mirror under it! A mirror under sparkle and sparkle – be it paint, crystal, or an ornament – adds reflections and makes everything look festive!

• Wrap empty boxes in traditional holiday wrapping paper for a cute entryway piece. Add a basket of pine cones, and the scent of cinnamon for a warm and inviting holiday entrance.

• Bring three cinnamon sticks, a few whole cloves and a splash of nutmeg along with three quarts of water to a simmer on the stove for a great whole-house holiday fragrance.

• Remember to search stores such as Target, Pier 1 and Kohl’s after Christmas holiday sales for deeply discounted decorations. Store for next year!

What are some of your favorite Inexpensive Holiday Decorating Ideas and Tips?



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