Making your own stencils for use in decorating cookies, or other craft projects, is just sooo much fun! When you learn how to do it yourself, the sky is really the limit in decorating your cookies using stencils. Even better, once you create the design, you can use the cut file with Silhouette CAMEO, Cricut, or other cutting machines for other projects, too! Are you ready to start?
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Here is the step by step tutorial for this easy and unique cookie stencils.
Here’s What You’ll Need
- Your own favorite design. Grab one free from the internet!
- Food-safe acetate. You can find some here at Amazon
- A way to cut your acetate. There are many excellent cutting machines out there, but my go-to is the Silhouette Cameo.
- A prepared cookie
- Royal icing in a stiff consistency. The recipe is in my FREE Resource Library. Get the password for the Resource Library by filling out the form at the bottom of this post.
- A spatula
First find an image to work with.
This part is easy– peasy. Go to Google and search for free images. Be certain you aren’t infringing on any copyrights.
Next, open the image in your software.
I used the design area in the Silhouette CAMEO. Open the program and import the image. Most likely, the image you saved landed in your downloads folder.
Next, trace the image.
Now you have the image in your design area and you need to turn it into a cuttable file. Do this by using the “Trace” function.
Select the trace tool, and ensure the Solid Fill option is selected. Select the area around your image and it will gray out, showing what is selected.
Fiddle with the threshold, high pass and low pass sliders.
Fiddle is a fancy word, I know. But I don’t have a magic wand for this part as every image is different. I usually just fiddle around with the sliders until I get a solid yellow fill of the area I want to make a stencil of.
Remove the original image
Next, just select and move away the original image. And just like that you’re left with the cut lines for your stencil!
Usually, there’ll be some stray cut lines here and there. If so, just use the eraser tool to erase them! The erase tool is on the left toolbar.
RELATED POST: Learn to hand paint on cookies in this article.
Load the acetate sheet.
Place the acetate sheet on a mat, load it into your CAMEO or Cricut cutting machine. This is the exact acetate I use and they’re FDA-approved for food use.
Select the proper settings. For CAMEO, the .003 acetate uses: blade 1, speed 5, thickness 10 (which is actually the default settings for vinyl.) For the Cricut, simply select Acetate. It’s rather far down in the list.
Send the cut file to your machine. And just like that, you’d made your own custom cookie stencil!
Here’s the actual cookie stenciling process.
Now that you have a stencil, whip up a batch of royal icing. You can find my recipe in my FREE Resource Library FREE Resource Library. Get the password for the library by filling out the form at the bottom of this post.
Tint the icing in whatever color you want. Just be sure not to thin the icing…you want it nice and thick.
Place the stencil directly on top of the cookie. Spread the icing over the stencil using a spatula.
RELATED READING: How to align your cookie stencils for perfect placement
I often use the fabulous Stencil Genie, which I LOVE. But this particular cookie was too large for it, so I just held it in place with one hand and spread the icing with the other. I told you this was easy! Lift the stencil straight up so you don’t smear the icing and ta-da! You have a beautiful stenciled cookie!
Here are mine before I added the black outline.
And here’s the finished project.
So, are you ready to do this? I’d love to see the custom cookie stencil you make! Perhaps use your own favorite lake or maybe a photo of a friend’s home for a housewarming cookie platter? Give it a try – it really is soooo easy and fun! Please post your photos of your finished project in the comments below or on Facebook by clicking here by clicking here.
Once you’ve made your cut file, be sure to save it and resize it for other uses. The same file can be used as a stencil for a wood sign, for vinyl to put on a tumbler. Custom stencils…they’re not just for cookies anymore!
Also, be sure to sign up for my free newsletter for more creative ideas. You’ll also gain access to my FREE Resource Library with lots of patterns, printables, and svg files. Just fill out the form below for the password to the library! The cut file for Lake Rabon is in there, too!