Friday, October 5, 2012

Create your own cake stencil

I have a great time planning big blow out themed parties for my kids, as seen here and here. Be forewarned if you start big you will feel as if you must top yourself each year which will result in you pulling out your hair and the inevitable sleepless night the day before the party. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

My daughter declared she wanted a fashion / beauty theme for her 8th birthday this year so I scoured pinterest, yes I’m still obsessed, and came up with a Breakfast at Tiffany’s theme. I love to use each birthday or celebration as an opportunity to play with new techniques for cakes and I wanted to finally tackle stenciling a cake.
The entire cake is edible other than the ring. The box started to "melt" a bit from all the airbrush coloring.  Airbrush was giving me issues & required many coats. I learn from each "mistake" to make the next cake better.
If you’ve ever wondered why those beautiful cakes cost so much money let me tell you I now know why. Hours and hours are spent creating them and supplies are expensive. I had admired a cake sometime last year that had used stenciling, so off to my favorite cake supply website to buy some stencils. Wow those things can cost $20 or more for one stencil!  I just knew my trusty KNK (digital die cutting machine) wouldn’t let me down. I figured I could do that myself and the best part is….  for much cheaper.
Make sure you are using food safe products whenever working with anything you might eat. I found a 10 pack of food safe stencil sheets for $10!  I can make 10-20 stencils out of them. I like the idea of $0.50 – $1.00 per stencil instead of $20 or more.
I found a flourish font on called “Floralia” and modified one of the dingbats into a damask looking stencil. I created a rectangle around the design and at the top left I used the built-in circle shape and welded the two together to give myself a tab to pull off the stencil more easily.  I am more than happy to email the cutting file for your personal use.  I've yet to figure out how to have a download link on my site.  I will update as soon as I do.
The internet is a great source and I love youtube and when trying to learn a new cake technique. I was nervous with a white cake and black royal icing that this could be a “royal” disaster.

Place a very light coating of shortening on the stencil to help it adhere solidly to the cake.

 Then you take your spatula and coat over the stencil with your royal icing.

Take a bench scraper tool and scrape off the excess. You have to be careful with this step. I had to go back over some spots because I scraped too much off. You want it to be an even layer for the best appearance.

Then while you hold your breath and pray (yes those steps are necessary) you slowly pull the stencil away from the cake.

I was so pleased with how much easier it was than I had thought it would be. Make sure to clean off your stencil between each side of the cake or better yet, cut more than one since the materials are so cheap.

Imagine all the possibilities, the sky really is the limit to what type of stencils you could create. Is your handwriting horrible like mine? Create a stencil with the wording you’d like to use and stencil it on your cake instead. You could also airbrush a design using these stencils if you have a cake airbrush set.

*I used Royal Bakery's tutorial to create the Tiffany box cake on top. I'm sure I didn't do her justice. She's fantastic, check her out on facebook, Royal Bakery

I will begin posting more details on how to throw your own Breakfast at Tiffany’s themed party in the next couple weeks. 

*Notes for those with a digital die cutter, particularly a KNK

A quick note on cutting the material. I had actually sent it to Michelle Hessler to see if the Zing would cut out this material. She had the following tips to share.
“You need to cut it in two passes because the glossy side is harder, and you can get through the soft side easy, but since the harder side cuts through last (lays on the mat) you need the second pass to guarantee it will cut through at all points. It cuts really well, and doesn’t use a lot of pressure at all.
I also didn’t let my pinch wheels go over the material at all. My mat is good and sticky, and so I just made sure it was applied on that well. I didn’t want the wheels on the material, because they have some adhesive on them, and I didn’t want that to touch the food safe side of the stencil.”
Thanks Michelle for all your help with this project.

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