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How to Make a Reusable Cookie Stencil

How to Make a Reusable Cookie Stencil main article image
Posted on April 19, 2021 by Carrie Christenson
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Have you ever wanted to make your own decorative sugar cookies but lack the ability or confidence to freehand draw? I admire all of the cookie artists I follow on Instagram and could watch their videos all.day.long.  In my head I could do what they do without any assistance but reality tells another story, a very different story!  LOL

I decided that with the help of a custom cookie stencil to outline shapes I could probably pull off somewhat professional looking results.  People use them for walls and other mediums all the time, so why not cookies?  

Supplies Needed:

  • Sugar Cookies (mine are my own strawberry lemon flavor)
  • Royal Icing – as many colors as you want
  • Graphic Files
  • Stencil Material (I’m using the non-adhesive by Silhouette)
  • Edible Marker
  • Scribe or toothpick tool (if needed)
  • Silhouette Cameo
  • Silhouette Cutting Mat (make sure its fairly sticky still)
  • Silhouette Cameo ratchet or auto blade

Flood the Cookies

The first step (obviously after baking the cookies and making the royal icing) is to flood the base of the cookies in your desired colors of royal icing.  I was inspired by the background shapes as part of the Lovely Lines graphic files I’m using to make the stencils for how I flooded mine.

Most “cookiers” use different flood consistencies for decorating.  The thicker icing, also known as detail, is what they use to outline the edges and any fine work like writing or lines.  The thinner, like hybrid or flood, is what they use to fill in the larger sections of the cookie so it levels out and leaves a smooth surface.

Have fun and use your own creativity here!  Once the cookies are all fully flooded with icing set them aside to dry.  This can take some time depending on your climate so while they dry let’s design the stencils!

Design the Stencils

Here’s a fun fact about me: I love bird designs/shapes!  You’ll find them all over my house in some sort of fashion, something about them just brings me joy.  So of course that was going to be my graphic design choice for testing my stencil idea!  I fell in love with everything about this line art collection and knew it would work beautifully for this project.

Step 1: 

Open your design file and scale it to the correct size.

Step 2: 

Use the offset tool in Silhouette Studio to create a super thin offset of the whole design.

Step 3:

Delete the original image leaving you with the offset version only.

Step 4: 

If your design has “open holes” where there isn’t a way to leave that design element attached when you cut it out, you’ll need to create areas for it to stay attached.  I found using the knife tool was the best way of doing this.  Simply draw a cut through the area and it will make a small section that can stay attached once cut out.

Step 5:

Repeat the knife tool as many times as needed.  If you find that it’s leaving an outline of the cut mark instead of cleanly cutting, select the whole design and make it a compound path.  That should fix the issue.  Repeat as needed since each time you make a cut it will open the path back up.

Step 6:

Once all of your open sections are connected select the whole design again and make it a compound path one final time.  I then filled it in with the color black so I could see all of the areas better before sending it to be cut.

Step 7: 

Cut your design.  I found making them each on a small piece of stencil material that I had cut down first worked best.  Its simply easier to remove from the cutting mat that way and you can make sure that a small section doesn’t accidentally tear if your mat is nice and sticky.  You can see the cut settings I used in the image below.

Step 8:

Clean up your newly cut stencil and remove any sections needed.  Make as many stencil designs as you want following the same steps.

Trace the Stencil

By now your cookies should be dry and you have your stencil made.  Simply lay your stencil in the spot you want it and use an edible pen/marker to start tracing it onto the cookie.  I found using an ultra thin tip is best for clean tracing.

If you want you can now trace your drawn lines with your royal icing to finish your cookie off or you can leave the edible marker as the actual cookie design.  This is where you can create as many different designs as you want!

After it’s fully traced, go back and fill in the gaps from the cut lines so it’s a perfect drawing.  Color in any portions and add details to the lines if you want.  I made my lines a little jagged to represent the feathers.

I played around and also decided to make a word stencil using the font Ambigue Wild.  This font already had mostly open sectioned letters so just a few needed the extra cut lines added.

Feel free to layer your designs too!  I made one with both the drawings and words and then traced the words with royal icing.

I hope this gives you the confidence to attempt to make your own special sugar cookies for your next party, holiday, or heck even Thursday if you want cookies to eat!  I’ve also become addicted to taking How to Cake it online cookie classes which teach you techniques on how to properly decorate the cookies.  These stencils just make my results that much better and gives you the ability to quickly recreate the same look over and over again.

Please tag me if you make some!! I’m @designedtobecrafty and @pretendpastrychef on Instagram.

Enjoy!

Carrie


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