I took some tips from over at Bake at 350 and set to work. First I made a basic sugar cookie dough, which I had chilled the night before. I rolled it out, cut it to bits, and baked them. A co-worker lent me some fun sea creature shapes, which made this all totally worth it. I also discovered that while one baking sheet is in the oven you should put the next batch of cookies in the freezer. This helps them to not spread as much while they bake.
After all my cookies were finished I made the royal icing, divided it, colored it, and set to work piping outlines.
If this hadn't been fun and a good way to test my artistic abilities it might not have been worth it. I didn't leave the kitchen for a good 7 hour period and my neck really hurt from craning over these things while trying to ice them. But now that I can be proud of the end result I am anxious to try again. I'm thinking it will be a quarterly project. There were a few issues with my icing that I want to try and work out. But for the moment my roommates and I are just enjoying having cute things to munch on.