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How to Use Sprinkle Stencils

I generally don't use sprinkles on my decorated cookies all that frequently, because I always struggle to find the shapes I need in the colors I want. I also don't love the idea of using sprinkles that have already been on a store shelf for a year, or half of which are broken in the jar. But there are definitely times when I wish I had the perfect sprinkles to go along with whatever set I'm making currently, and Sprinkle Stencils are the perfect solution for this!

What is a Sprinkle Stencil?

Most cookiers are familiar with the concept and use of cookie stencils, which are typically made from thin, flexible plastic. You generally want your cookie stencils to lay as flat as possible to the cookie so that you don't leave too much icing or airbrush color behind. 

Sprinkle Stencils, on the other hand, are made of a much thicker sheet of plastic. In reality, we are talking a matter of 2-3mil difference, but this is a significant amount when dealing with such thin material. This depth allows you to leave enough icing behind so that your sprinkles will be sturdy enough to not break super easily as you remove them from your parchment (they're still sugar decorations and can still break, but they will be better able being handled and applied to your cookies,)

How to Make Homemade Sprinkles Using a Sprinkle Stencil

What You Need:

Fresh Royal Icing :

 After much experimentation, we found that fresh royal icing worked best for this process. If you use the Cookie Countess Royal Icing recipe, this would be the original consistency of icing straight from your mixer. The great thing about this is that your sprinkles will taste like the rest of your cookie, with whatever flavorings you tend to include in your recipe; no more stale, store-bought sprinkles that don't do your cookies justice! Feel free to add gel color at this point, but this fluffy, thick icing gave us the best results (as opposed to older icing that had been in the fridge for several days, or even icing made from instant icing mix).

Parchment Paper :

We used plain, unbleached parchment paper for this process and found it worked perfectly. We also tested silicone-coated parchment paper, and although it worked great for the single-layer Sprinkle Stencils, it posed a problem for the 2-layer stencils; the first layer would loosen from the parchment due to the silicone coating, and when we tried to apply the second layer of icing, we would accidentally move the dried first layer out of position. 

Spatulas and Stencil Scrapers :

You need a good, sturdy spatula to apply the icing evenly over the Sprinkle Stencil, and you need a flat-edged scraper to scrape off the excess. We found that the flexible-edge Stencil Scrapers worked better than a stiff-edged scraper, since you want to leave some of the icing behind, especially with the 2-layer designs. 

Edible Glitter :

Totally optional (but totally awesome!), edible glitter can take your sprinkles to the next level. Once you are done scraping the excess icing off of your design, immediately spritz with edible glitter, and then remove the Sprinkle Stencil. This will give your sprinkles a level of glitz that you wouldn't get by trying to spritz dry store-bought sprinkles with glitter.  

Airtight Containers :

Sprinkles have a notoriously long shelf life, since they are basically just dried sugar decorations. Store your sprinkles in small airtight containers, and you can get ahead of the game and make them ahead of time.

The Process: Making Sprinkles

If you have stenciled with royal icing before, this is a very similar process. Simply spread the icing over the stencil and scrape off the excess. Carefully lift off the stencil, and allow the icing to dry completely. Use a bench scraper, a stencil scraper, or a Thingamagenie to scrape the stencils off of the parchment paper. 

one piece stencil first part
one piece sprinkle stencil part 2

For two-piece designs, once the first layer is dry, center the second stencil into place and carefully apply the icing. Gently scrape and remove the excess icing and then remove the stencil. Allow to fully dry before removing from the parchment.

2 piece sprinkle stencil part 1
2 piece sprinkle stencil part 2
2 piece stencil part 3

💡 Did you know

For multi-layer designs, you first want to stencil the layer that will be covered or encapsulated by the second layer. To make the cat sprinkles, for example, first start with the faces, allow them to dry, then add the second layer (the rest of the head shape) over the top so that the face is protected and stays nice and flat. For the flowers, start with the round centers, and follow up with the petals once dried. This will result in sprinkles that don't have any raised bits that can be damaged; stenciling the cat face second, for example, will result in a more 3D finish.

Having fresh, custom sprinkles on hand at a moment's notice couldn't be easier with Cookie Countess Sprinkle Stencils!

Ways to use sprinkle stencils

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    How to Use Sprinkle Stencils

    I generally don't use sprinkles on my decorated cookies all that frequently, because I always struggle to find the shapes I need in the colors I want. I also don't love the idea of using sprinkles that have already been...

    Read now