Another interpretation of cookie “love letters” – and a much more literal interpretation at that! The envelopes here are iced gingerbread cookies (yes, you heard me right!) and the carrying container is a dolled up papier mâché mailbox!

What you’ll need for 1 mailbox:

  • Large papier mâché mailbox, about 5 x 9-inches (available at most craft stores; also online)
  • Assorted scrapbooking papers
  • Scissors and/or paper cutter
  • Spray adhesive
  • Glue gun
  • Assorted ribbons
  • About 1/2 dozen iced 3 x 5 1/4-inch rectangular gingerbread or sugar cookies
  • Love letter wafer papers* (available online)
  • Corn syrup
  • Small sponge brush
  • Cellophane corsage bags (as needed for packing)
  • Cotton batting and large box (as needed for packing)

*A specialty item that’s hard to find in normal brick-and-mortar decorating shops; best to start online.

Going Postal, In A Good Way!
Going Postal, In A Good Way! Photo by Julia M. Usher

To make:

1 | Mailbox makeover. Cut scrapbooking paper to fit the outside and inside of the mailbox and its door, and affix with spray adhesive. Whenever possible, conceal cut ends (such as those on the paper that spans the body of the mailbox) by wrapping them underneath the box and tacking them in place with hot glue. Or use ribbons in complementary colors and patterns to hide seams and ends. Note: I love the visual dazzle created by combining multiple patterns, as shown here, but be careful not to overdo. Multiple patterns can lead to sensory overload if you don’t watch the following rules: (1) choose patterns that utilize the same 3 or 4 colors and (2) include a mixture of dainty and bold patterns to mark off separate areas of the box and to provide visual “anchors.”

Box By Itself
Box By Itself Photo by Julia M. Usher

2 | Cookie prep. Cut and bake a half dozen or so 3 x 5 1/4-inch rolled gingerbread or sugar cookies (or bake a size to fit your wafer papers; mine happened to fit these dimensions). Then topcoat the cookies in white Royal Icing. (See recipe link below.) Let the icing thoroughly dry, ideally overnight. (If the icing isn’t completely dry, you’ll likely dent it when applying the wafer papers in the next step.)

3 | Paper chase. Wafer papers are still very much a novelty item, so don’t waste time looking around. Go straight to the best online source, noted above. Cut the papers to fit the icing on top of your cookies. (Note: Wafer papers will not adhere well to naked cookies.) Working with one cookie at a time, schmear a thin layer of corn syrup on the back of the paper with a sponge brush, turn over, and apply to the cookie top. Gently press down the paper to smooth out any air bubbles and to affix the paper edges firmly to the cookie. Allow the corn syrup to dry about 30 minutes before applying any icing details to the edges. Because the paper tends to lift up at the icing edges, especially when the paper is still somewhat damp with corn syrup, be sure to press down the edges repeatedly during the early stages of drying. Repeat with the remaining cookies, and fill the box with the letters.

Going Postal, In A Good Way!
Going Postal, In A Good Way! Photo by Julia M. Usher

4 | Going postal. If this gift is going a short distance, your best bet is to hand-deliver it. After all the love put into this project, you’ll want to get it to its rightful owner in one piece. If you have to ship, wrap the cookies individually in cellophane corsage bags, tied with some of the ribbon used on the mailbox. (A little extra air in the corsage bag is a good thing, as it acts as a protective buffer.) Pack the wrapped cookies along with extra cotton batting into the mailbox; then box the mailbox in a well-padded larger shipping box.

Related Recipes and Projects – COMING SOON:
Cutout Gingerbread Cookie Dough.
Signature Sugar Cookie Dough.
Topcoating Technique Tips.