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Make a treasured Christmas tradition even sweeter with a Milk and Cookies for Santa Tray! Free printables available in 2 varieties, with color or black and white options.

milk and cookies for santa tray

*This post has been sponsored by Milk Life. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

We were brand new parents with a 5 month old baby, when we received the sweetest gift from a relative. At this point in our poor college student life we had one tiny fake tree, a few dollar ornaments and now this sweet gift of a handmade “Milk and Cookies for Santa tray”. It’s been a treasured tradition ever since to bring out that tray on Christmas Eve and let our kiddos place some cookies and nourishing white dairy milk out for Santa – with great anticipation.

milk and cookies for santa tray

Holding onto these sweet traditions that started with our young family are truly the “moments that matter” – which is a beautiful theme supported by Milk Life.

milk and cookies for santa tray

(Did you know you can buy milk through InstaCart, if that is available in your area? I’m a HUGE fan of online grocery shopping, saving me time and allowing me more of those special “moments that matter”.  Be sure to add dairy milk to your shopping list for Christmas!)

milk and cookies for santa tray

When I thought of the idea to do a blog series called “Handmade Holidays” to share DIY gift ideas, making these trays for my family was the first thing that popped into my head.

milk and cookies for santa tray

I wanted to make them more “TIDBITS style” if you will, and provide the idea and printables for any of you that know of a young family who would also adore this Milk and Cookies for Santa tray for their own traditions.

milk and cookies for santa tray


I actually wanted to get this printable just right, so I begged my graphic designer friend to help me make them for you! I adore Kendra from, and be sure to check out her site for more printables! She did such a good job bringing my vision to life for these tray printables.

There are 2 designs for you – one marking a place for the plate and cup and the other providing a pretty backdrop for whatever you desire.

milk and cookies for santa tray

We decided to offer you a black and white version, which will allow you to print on any color of paper you choose. Then we made a “TIDBITS blue” distressed version, which is what Kendra termed my favorite color ever – soft blue with gray undertones.

With these printable options, you can then customize your tray to suit your style. I played around with a few color/stain options which I will detail in the tutorial below.

milk and cookies for santa tray


My free printables are reserved for my newsletter subscribers, as a special thanks for trusting me with your email! I send quick updates when I post which is 2-3 times a week. Fill out the form below to gain instant access to the TIDBITS SUBSCRIBER LIBRARY and your free Milk and Cookies for Santa printables.

*Already a subscriber? No need to fill out the form again. I will always leave the link and passcode in my emails.



To gift my tray’s, I thought it would be fun to also gift a special glass cup for the milk and a glass plate for the cookies. I picked both of them up at the dollar store.

milk and cookies for santa tray

Then I used cellophane wrap to package it all up, tied up with some twine and dressed with dried seeded eucalyptus.

milk and cookies for santa tray

milk and cookies for santa tray


I’ve had readers share some super fun ideas for making my DIY Holiday gifts. I’ve tried to keep most of my ideas simple and cost effective so they would be great for girls night crafts, youth groups and family activities. It’s been fun to hear how others are doing just that! Other fun group gift ideas would be my Holiday Room Spray and Cookie Cutter Stamped Tea Towels.

milk and cookies for santa tray


Besides the free printable which you can find here, most the other supplies can be found at craft stores or online.

  • Unfinished Wood Tray
  • The printable is designed to fit this or this small 8 1/2″ x 11 3/4″ x 1 1/2″ readily available unfinished craft tray found at craft stores or in craft sections. After checking online, your best bet for price and selection is to go into the craft store and buy the size you need individually. You have some wiggle room on size by reworking where you trim your border on the printable. Or you can make your own custom tray.
  • Paint or stain for tray
  • Laminator
  • I opted to laminate my printable and just set it in the tray, which makes for easy swapping and washing if it gets soiled. You could also choose to mod podge the printable inside the tray, making it more permanent. But I adore THIS LAMINATOR and use it for so many things. Every household needs one!

supplies for making cookies for santa tray.


Painting or staining your tray is the first step. I used a variety of options, but my favorite being the white washed or pickling wash wood tray. It whitens the wood and yet leaves the beautiful wood tones shining through.

I also used an antiquing stain to get a darker wood. Then on the blue tray I used a mix of paints to achieve the “TIDBITS blue” I was going for. Your options for the tray finish are limitless!

milk and cookies for santa tray

Next, print your printables on some nice paper, like cardstock. You can also send it to a print shop to get a professional print. You can see in the images how I printed the black and white versions on both a creamy white paper and a brown craft paper, so feel free to use any color of paper that will go well with your tray and paint finish.

Trim your printable down, to fit your tray and adapting the borders as needed.

Laminate the printable to set inside the tray, or opt to mod podge/glue the printable inside the tray for a more permanent option.

milk and cookies for santa tray

All that’s left to do is package or fill your tray with cookies and milk!

milk and cookies for santa tray

Santa will be delighted!

milk and cookies for santa tray

Want more seasonal milk inspiration? Head HERE!

Thank you so much for reading and feel free to let me know what you think of the project and if you plan to make some!

milk and cookies for santa tray




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    1. Thank you! I just pulled a chocolate chip recipe from Pinterest. Actually, my daughter made them and I’m not even sure where she found the recipe! So sorry!

    1. Oh I hope you get a chance to make them! They are so fun! I just pulled a recipe from Pinterest . . . sorry! I didn’t even save it!