I thought it would be fun to make my own reusable DIY cookie stencil. It worked out great and turned into a really fun project with the kids.
I will admit, this project took A LOT of trial and error. I saw all these tutorials online with people just spraying food coloring on cookies and it just looked amazing.
Well, let me tell you, I could not get that to work at all. I sprayed at a distance, I sprayed up close, I sprayed with different brands…nothing worked.
I want to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else wasting hours upon hours trying to make amazing looking cookies for your kid’s next birthday party and then just having it all go to waste.
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What are cookie stencils made of?
There are a number of different materials to make cookie stencils. I’ll go through the most popular ones and what I think of them:
Wax/Parchment Paper – This one is great because it is cheap and disposable. The problem is they curl and are really hard to cut. You have to cut it manually which is totally fine if you are just cutting one single simple design.
Mesh and HTV – Some people like to screen print their cookies and designs. This all sounds great but I couldn’t get the spray food coloring to work and it’s really hard to clean this mesh.
Plastic Sheets – This is what I used. I bought a set from Amazon. They are reusable, super easy to clean and relatively easy to cut. I used my Cricut which made this part even easier easy but you can cut a design using an Exacto knife.
How to cut cookie stencils with the Cricut
Cutting reusable cookies stencils out of plastic sheets couldn’t have been easier.
Both the Cricut Explorer and Cricut Maker can cut plastic or mylar sheets with the fine point blade. You can also use the deep cut blade but it doesn’t make a difference.
I used the Light Grip mat but since it has a smooth finish, the Standard Mat would have worked just as well.
The only thing I would keep in mind is spacing out your design. Cricut design space will want to optimize for material but you want some clearance around the stencil design so just keep that in mind.
How to stencil cookies without an airbrush
If I haven’t been abundantly clear so far, you are not missing out on much without an airbrush for stenciling cookies.
I actually just made my own icing using nothing but confectioners/powdered sugar, water and food coloring. It was super easy, easy to clean up and didn’t require any fancy materials or equipment.
I make it slightly thicker, like the consistency of frosting. This took only a few drops of water to every quarter cup of powdered sugar.
I found a fondant or royal icing base worked best. I wouldn’t do a frosting base because it doesn’t harden and you need to sit the stencil on top of the cookie for this to work.
I just place the stencil on top of the cookie. I then brushed the icing paste with a food-grade brush.
It takes a few hours for the icing to harden but once it does, it’s rock solid.
I rinsed my stencil in between each application and because I only used sugar and water in my paste, it was super easy just running it under water.
How to stencil letters on cookies
The process for stenciling letters on cookies was not that different.
I found the fondant worked a little better because I could work with it separate from the cookie.
I could also press the stencil into the fondant ever so slightly so it would seal the edges a bit better. Letters are more intricate, especially the cursive ones I used.
I included a set of more standard all caps letters in the set in my resource library.
The flower stencils, buffalo pattern and both sets of letter stencil designs are free and available as printable templates and SVG cut files in my resource library.
Stencil on Fabric with Throw Pillows