As promised, I would like to show my sketches, mock-ups, and how I tend to plan when I’m working on a set of cookies. (Most of the images will open bigger if you click on them.)
Sometimes when I know the shapes and designs I am doing but I just need to work out the number of each and the colors, my mock-up/planning looks like this: (correlating cookies are here, here, and here)
In the 2 mock-ups below, I listed out the shapes on the left and the colors of buttercream and icing necessary for each design on the right. I try to limit the colors of buttercream as much as possible. (correlating cookies are here, here, and here.)
If all the cookies are the same, I might just trace the cookie cutter a few times and sketch out designs until I’m happy with it. I did that for these bird cookies:
For this sea creatures set, I traced each of the animals once and did a lot of erasing until I was happy with each animal. I wanted the whole set to have the same “feel” of simple and cartoon-ish, and I knew I wanted them all to have the same eyes. One couldn’t be too much more detailed than the rest so it helped me to have them all together on one page like this.
Other times I trace the cutter over and over and do something different in each one. Then I decide which I like best if they’re all going to be the same… (correlating cookies here)
…or if I want a variety in my set, it helps me brainstorm ideas and make sure none of them are too similar. (correlating cookies here)
Once I have my design I am happy with, I trace the lines in marker to make them stand out. This way I can see it without the actual cookie shape, just in case there is extra cookie that can distract me, like in this one:
As you can see in a few of the pictures above, I sometimes label the parts with the colors or ideas so I remember later. In the picture below, I labeled it so that the person I made them for could see the design and help me decide which color from their theme should go on which part. (correlating cookies here)
Each set of cookies calls for a different planning process, and most of the time I just make it up as I go. But this is what has been working for me!