Each time I make a set of cookies with wafer papers, I get asked, "How do you make those?" Cookies with edible images look really impressive (and like you're a superhero of cookie decorating), when, in fact, they are super easy and require almost no skill. I always say, "If you know how to glue, you know how to make these."
2. The Cookies Themselves. You can make your own cookies, using any recipe you like. Gingerbread, shortbread, or sugar cookies are all great. My favorite at the moment is this sugar cookie recipe by Sugarbelle. The dough is not sticky (!), which makes getting the dough out from between even intricate shapes easy—not the usual hairpulling, stressful cookie prep most of us are used to. Furthermore, the cookies spread incredibly little in the oven and rarely lose their shape. The resulting cookies look uniform and smooth, perfect for decorating. Someone will really have to twist my arm to get me to ever try another sugar cookie recipe, I'm so in love with this one.
6. Wait for the corn syrup to dry. If you are in a huge hurry, an hour or so will be sufficient, but I like to wait until the next day.
8. You guessed it. Wait for the border to dry—depending on its thickness, a few hours to a half day.
If you are doing a plain white or colored border, that's it! The steps that follow are for a gold border:
9. When the border is dry, put only a few drops of clear(ish) extract (or Everclear, Vodka, or other super-strong clear alcohol) in a dish. Tap some edible gold powder into it and mix with your brush. This is the trial and error portion of the process—you don't need it to be thick or pasty, but too little gold powder and you won't be able to really "paint" with it. You'll get the hang of it really quickly. The alcohol will evaporate as you work, but don't worry: just add a drop more liquid when it happens and you're good to go again. The alcohol evaporates fully, by the time your border is dry; these will be safe to feed to infants as well as alcoholics in recovery.
For the love of all that is holy, do not add any water—water, even the tiniest hint of it, anywhere near the wafer paper, and it's game over. The wafer paper will curl and melt right in front of your eyes like the Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Oz.
10. The fun part: PAINT! You don't have to press at all, just gentle strokes. As you see from the photo, in addition to the edges, I sometimes like to gild the parts in the manuscript, which would've been gilt in the original. Provided your "paint" isn't too wet, it's perfectly safe to gild wafer paper without it bubbling.
Another post with step-by-step images is the Peter Rabbit Cookies post.