Second use various cookie cutters to make fun-shaped cookies. Make sure you leave a little room between the shapes.
Third do not move the shaped cookies! Leave the cookies in place and remove the excess dough.
Slide the mat or parchment paper onto a cookie sheet and bake as directed. As soon as you take them out of the oven, slide the entire mat or parchment paper off of the cookie sheet and place on a cooling rack. Wait for the cookies to cool before removing them from the mat or parchment paper. They should retain their shape and be ready to frost to make them even prettier!
I try not to do the last part of the process if I can help it. In fact, Cookie Party started because I love to bake but hate to frost cookies! Other people seem to like it (or at least feign liking it) and show up to frost cookies every year. And every year I am thankful that they do.