How to Decorate Christmas Cookies with Stencils

Have a sweet tooth? So do we! We remedied it by cooking up some gingerbread cookies. And because we’re Stencil Stop, we had to decorate them with stencils of course! We were inspired by one of our customers, artist Isa Beniston of Gentle Thrills.  

Gentle Thrills airbrushed cookies

Earlier this year she used an airbrush to turn these heart cookies into some sweet treats. We wanted to do the same thing for the holiday season. After all, who doesn’t love decorating Christmas cookies? 

Airbrushes can be expensive and difficult to use, so instead we opted for a spray food coloring. We found ours at Walmart. 

We’re stencilers by nature, not bakers. So we used this recipe for the gingerbread, and this one for the icing. 

Here’s what you’ll need to stencil Christmas cookies:

  • Any small stencil (pick up some here or here)
  • Food coloring spray (we got ours here)
  • Gingerbread cookies
  • Royal icing
  • Bowl

1. Mix and cut cookie dough

We made some gingerbread cookies, but you can use any type of dough as long as it has a flat surface (oatmeal, chocolate chip, etc. are not ideal). Once the dough has chilled, roll it out to the recommended thickness in the recipe. We used a beer glass as a cookie cutter to make the dough into circles. 

Cutting cookie cough with glass

Once cut, place them on a baking sheet and bake them according to the recipe. 

2. Bake cookies and mix icing

While the cookies are in the oven, you can make your royal icing. We chose this type of icing because it is easy to make, and will eventually solidify on the cookie and will make a perfect surface for stenciling. 

3. Let cookies cool

It is important to let the cookies fully cool, or else they will melt any icing put on top. Make sure to frequently mix the icing, or else it will dry. 

4. Dip cookies into icing

Icing these cookies is done in a flash. Pick one up by gently pinching the sides, allowing the entire face to be exposed. Softly dip the cookie into the bowl of icing, only submerging the surface. Do not let go of the cookie.

Dipping cookie in royal icing

Once the cookie has been submerged enough, pull it up and out of the icing. Flip it towards the ceiling to prevent the icing from sliding off. 

Once iced, let the cookies rest until the icing is solid. If it dents when touched or transfers onto your finger, it is still too wet to put a stencil on. 

5. Stencil the cookies

Now’s the fun part! Set down a cookie with dry icing on a paper towel. 

Cookie with icing ready for stencils

Place your stencil down on top of the icing. 

Placing stencil on cookie

Spray with the food coloring 6-10 inches away in short bursts, just like how we normally use spray paint! Be careful not to use too much food coloring, or the colors will run. 

Spraying food coloring to stencil cookie

6. Wait for cookies to dry

Carefully peel the stencil up and away from the cookie. Let the cookies sit until they are dry to prevent the food coloring from transferring. After that, you’ll have yourself a set of cookies that taste as good as they look. 

Cookie stencil designs

Make your own by shopping our pre-made stencil designs or by ordering a custom stencil design

Need a drink to go with those cookies? Learn how to use coffee stencils on our DIY Blog. 

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