Using a Kopykake Projector

Do you know what this is?  This here is a Kopykake projector.  You may or may not have have already heard of Kopykake projectors and might even be lucky enough to own one.  But, if you haven’t, listen up. This is important stuff.

When I first got into the cookie thing, I’d never heard of a Kopykake.  As a matter of fact, I cookied for almost a year  before I got wise. It took another six months and a bad night with Princess Tiana before I finally decided to buy one.  I was really nervous about spending a ton of money on a cookie machine, so I hesitantly bought the cheapest one available {at the time}.  A couple of years later I can honestly say it’s one of the best cookie investments I’ve ever made. Kopykakes aren’t miracle machines and there is a little bit of a learning curve, but they really are an invaluable decorating tool.

As I mentioned, the KR-100 was the least expensive option at the time, so I went that route.  However, if I had it to do over I would go with the 300XK model, like the one below.  This one actually belongs to my buddy Lisa, The Barefoot Baker.  I had the opportunity to try it while visiting her last year, and I like it a little more than the model I have.

If you want to go all out, you could definitely get the K1000 model, which uses two 250 watt bulbs instead of just one.  However, since it’s about double the cost of the others, unless you find a great deal, I’m not quite sure it’s worth the extra dough.

Now for the fun stuff.  This is what the inside of a Kopykake looks like.  There are clamps to hold the image, a bulb {it came with a 300 watt bulb, but I use a 200 now and it works just fine}, and a mirror to project.  The neat thing about this model is that you can place books over the open projector door to project images without tearing them out.

To use a Kopycake, you must first prepare the image you want to use.  It can be clip art, words written in a specific font, or even a pattern. The key that the image is as clear as possible so it projects well.  If you’re using an image, you can often simplify it with photo to pencil sketch web apps like this one.  I learned this trick from One Tough Cookie, Gail, the queen of practical cookie decorating tips.

Before printing, try to get the image as close to actual size as possible.  You can then use the lens for any final adjustments that might be needed. I don’t have a reduction lens {I don’t think they’re really necessary}, so I do most of the work before I print.  There are about a gazillion and one ways to do this, which we will talk about later.  Until then use the method works best for you.

Once the image is ready, open the cover and clamp the image inside.  It needs to be placed upside down so that it will project right side up.

Close the cover and turn on the machine.  You should see the image projected on the surface below.

Place a cookie on the work surface and move the lens up and down until the image is properly positioned.

Finally, pipe the image.  I use different consistencies and tips depending on the look I want.  It may take a little practice before you learn how to do this without your hand or shadows getting in the way, but don’t give up.  It gets easier, I promise.

Remember, you can project almost anything if it’s clear.  I’ve done words, characters, and patterns.

I have heard people say that using a Kopykake is cheating but this is simply not true.  Just like any tool, it takes a fair amount of skill and planning to use it to it’s full potential.  There is always more to learn.  There are several informative Kopykake articles floating around in Internetland.  Here are a couple of my favorites:

Although I love my Kopykake, I don’t recommend them for everyone.  They are bulky and expensive, so if you aren’t making lots of cookies, they aren’t really practical.  If you look closely at the photo of my Kopykake, you can actually see a dusty hand print on the lid.  That’s because before this post it was sitting in my storage room gathering dust.  These days, it’s almost not worth the trouble of dragging it out for a few cookies.

If a Kopycake isn’t for you, there are other ways to transfer  images to cookies. Here are a few of my favorite tips:

If you’re still trying to decide whether or not to buy a Kopykake you can read my take on the pros and cons by clicking HERE.  There’s also the option of an edible image printer, which Bridget explains HERE.

If you’re in the market for a Kopykake of your own, you may want to check out Jerry’s Artarama.  Not only are the prices low, they frequently offer coupons and free shipping promotions.  Right now, if you use the 10% coupon and free shipping promo, you can purchase the 300XK model for about $167 dollars.  That’s a DEAL!

This is a ton of information, so I’ll let you chew on it awhile, but stay tuned, because I have a few Kopykake tricks that I cannot wait to share.

Have a great week, everyone!


Join The Discussion



  1. 31
    Holly says:

    While I don’t have a KopyKake, I do have an Artograph, which does the same thing. I *LOVE* my Artograph, it’s great for cookies as well as my cakes!! Now I can do the school logo cookies a lot more easily, and my writing on my cakes is now centered and legible… laugh!! My mom bought my Artograph off of Amazon for my Christmas present, and I think it ended up being cheaper than a KK. You might look at the Artograph if you have problems finding a KK.

    • 31.1
      Tiffiny says:

      Which brand Artograph do you use? I am really debating on purchasing the KK and if artograph does the same thing them I’ll give it a try

    • 31.2
      gudbytes says:

      I have had the opportunity to use both the Artograph and the KK. In my humble opinion I really felt like the Artograph was much more precise and the lense both enlarges and reduces simply by pulling it all the way out and flipping it over. The only thing I really liked about the KK was the table that it’s already attached to. Although I just had my husband make one for my AG to stay on, instead of occupying my dining room table during family meals because I was to lazy to unscrew it :) Another thing I found was the AG wasn’t that difficult to read in a well lit room. I almost always had to turn the lights out and/or wait till later in the evening to use it. Mine is the Artograph Design Master. *hope this helps :)

  2. 32
    Olivia says:

    Thanks for all of the information and the links! I ordered a KK from Artarama last week. What a great deal! While I don’t do a ton of cookies, I do make lots and lots of cakes and occasionally cookies. The last time I made Toy Story cookies, I had to outline with an edible marker then pipe. Just a couple of days ago I made Mickey and Minnie cookies and WOW!….this helped so much! This saved me so much time!!! While, yes, it was a little pricey compared to many of my tools, this will save me a ton of time which is priceless! And you are completely right….there is a learning curve. I knew going in that it was going to take a little getting used too, so I certainly was not disappointed. Now I can’t wait to make a ton more cookies!!!! Thanks again!

  3. 33
    Pearline says:

    I just want to repeat most of Olivia’s comments being thanks for all of the information and the links! I ordered a KK from Artarama yesterday July 25the after putting it in the shopping cart on their website last week and thinking about the price. I am so excited now and can’t wait for the arrival of my KK. It truly is a great deal! Can you or anyone out there recommend a good quality airbrush system – not too pricy? Thanks again you are the best!

  4. 34
    Debra says:

    WOW! What fun that is!

  5. 35
    Karla says:

    Dear Santa …. ;)
    Not sure if I can find this in France but I am going to start hunting !

  6. 36

    I just ordered a KK-300XK today from It will be here tomorrow! I have contemplated purchasing this as I just did not make THAT many cookies. Designs are complicated AND you can spend a lot of time tracing, piping, etc. I value my time. I get a little frustrated with the number of “touches” I have to make to a cookie prior to completion. I usually charge per “touch” (LOL). (Example: 6-“touch” cookie: bake cookie, take cookie out oven, trace with edible pen, trace with icing, fill with icing, move to dry table, bag). Basically, I want a FANtastic cookie, EVERY time! This will do it!

    I’m just “googling” and found your page and the information has been very helpful! I cannot wait to read more of the “here” segments later tonight.

  7. 37
    Victoria E. says:

    Hi, I was wonder if you have info about where to get the bulbs for the Kopykake. I mean cheap price and reliable shipping. Is there a saving energy bulb that we can use in a Kopykake instead of those short life regular bulbs (20 hours – 250 watts – A23 eca). Thank you for your help.

  8. 38
    Crystal says:

    Thank you for the how-to. This helps a lot. I have a KR-100 and couldn’t make heads or tails of it.

  9. 39
    Kim says:

    Thanks for the info!!! I too have started looking online for the best deal. I’m wondering if there is anyone out there who wants to sale theirs? I know it’s a long shot but just thought I’d ask…

  10. 40
    Sheila says:

    I am also wondering about the bulbs. I own the 300xk and my bulb just went out. Can you use a standard household bulb?


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