Create a Cookiecutter From Scratch

In this tutorial, we are creating cookiecutter-website-simple, a cookiecutter for generating simple, bare-bones websites.

Step 1: Name Your Cookiecutter

Create the directory for your cookiecutter and cd into it:

$ mkdir cookiecutter-website-simple
$ cd cookiecutter-website-simple/

Step 2: Create cookiecutter.json

cookiecutter.json is a JSON file that contains fields which can be referenced in the cookiecutter template. For each, default value is defined and user will be prompted for input during cookiecutter execution. Only mandatory field is project_slug and it should comply with package naming conventions defined in PEP8 Naming Conventions .

  "project_name": "Cookiecutter Website Simple",
  "project_slug": "{{ cookiecutter.project_name.lower().replace(' ', '_') }}",
  "author": "Anonymous"

Step 3: Create project_slug Directory

Create a directory called {{ cookiecutter.project_slug }}.

This value will be replaced with the repo name of projects that you generate from this cookiecutter.

Step 4: Create index.html

Inside of {{ cookiecutter.project_slug }}, create index.html with following content:

<!doctype html>
        <meta charset="utf-8">
        <title>{{ cookiecutter.project_name }}</title>

        <h1>{{ cookiecutter.project_name }}</h1>
        <p>by {{ }}</p>

Step 5: Pack cookiecutter into ZIP

There are many ways to run Cookiecutter templates, and they are described in details in Usage chapter. In this tutorial we are going to ZIP cookiecutter and then run it for testing.

By running following command will get generated which can be used to run cookiecutter. Script will generate ZIP file and echo full path to the file.

$ (SOURCE_DIR=$(basename $PWD) && # Set variables
pushd .. && # Set parent directory as working directory
zip -r $ZIP $SOURCE_DIR --exclude $SOURCE_DIR/$ZIP --quiet && # ZIP cookiecutter
mv $ZIP $SOURCE_DIR/$ZIP && # Move ZIP to original directory
popd && # Restore original work directory
echo  "Cookiecutter full path: $PWD/$ZIP")

Step 6: Run cookiecutter

Set your work directory to whatever directory you would like to run cookiecutter at. Use cookiecutter full path and run the following command:

$ cookiecutter <replace with Cookiecutter full path>

You can expect similar output:

$ cookiecutter /Users/admin/cookiecutter-website-simple/
project_name [Cookiecutter Website Simple]: Test web
project_slug [test_web]:
author [Anonymous]: Cookiecutter Developer

Resulting directory should be inside your work directory with a name that matches project_slug you defined. Inside that directory there should be index.html with generated source:

<!doctype html>
        <meta charset="utf-8">
        <title>Test web</title>

        <h1>Test web</h1>
        <p>by Cookiecutter Developer</p>