Accenting Cookies with Stamps and Airbrushing {Guest Post}

Until recently, decorated cookies were often limited to basic royal icing, fondant, or glaze.  Fortunately, in the last few years there has been an explosion of techniques that add detail and dimension to a cookie design .  Follow along as one of my favorite decorators, Christine Shen, of Sugar Cravings, demonstrates how she uses stamps and airbrushing to add another layer of detail to her beautiful cookie designs.

Updated Blog BreakHi Everyone!  I’m Christine from Sugar Cravings.  Before I get started with my tutorial I want to say how absolutely honored I am to be here.  When Callye asked me to guest post for her I screamed…literally screamed.  After calming down a bit I replied that I’d love to help.  Then I panicked.  Yup, panicked.  What do I write about?  What will people want to learn from me?  I decided to talk about two things I’m pretty passionate about, stamping and airbrushing.

Here are the materials you’ll need:

  • Base-coated cookie that’s had at least 24 hours to dry {very important for stamping!}
  • Black and/or brown food color marker {I suggest Wilton Bold markers}
  • Stamp of your choice {clean or that has only been used on food surfaces}
  • Airbrush
  • Brown and gold airbrush paint
  • Luster dust in Old Gold {optional}

Most or the time I used really bright, vibrant colors in my work but I fell in love with this bee stamp from Michaels and knew I wanted to build my post around it.  I guess I could have gone with traditional yellow and black but I seem to be on a vintage kick right now and thought browns and golds would be really pretty.

Stamping on Cookies 1The first thing you need to do is load color onto your stamp.  Some people use a stamp pad specifically filled with food color.  Others, like my friend, Vicki, from Sweet Tweets use an airbrush.  What works best for me is to use the side of a fat Wilton marker.

Stamping on Cookies 2I use the side of the marker tip and run it all around the surface of the stamp several times to make sure it’s covered.  You want to do it several times until you can see that she surface is visibly wet.

Next you’ll line the stamp up over your cookie and press the stamp down.  Be careful not to jiggle it, but you do want to apply enough pressure to transfer the impression {but not so much you crack the cookie}.

Stamping on Cookies 3**NOTE: don’t worry if your impression didn’t transfer perfectly.  I’ll touch on that at the end of this tutorial.

You could absolutely leave the cookie this way, and it looks really nice, but why not make it more interesting by adding some airbrushing to the edges?

Stamping on Cookies 4Here’s what my airbrushing set-up usually looks like,  Have you ever tried airbrushing the edges of a cookies and found that you needed to pick it up to get color on all sides?  And when you pick it up have you noticed that it leaves a bunch of color on your fingers and a fingerprint where the color used to be?  In order to alleviate this problem I started airbrushing on a turntable.  All I have to do is turn it to get all the sides.  Keeping it on a paper towel not only keep the turntable somewhat clean, but also adds an extra “hand” for positioning the cookie where I want it to be.  If you don’t have a turntable you can still easily do this on your counter with a paper towel underneath.  Just drag the towel when you want to turn the cookie.

Stamping on Cookies 5Here’s my cookie after I’ve airbrushed the edges with brown {ignore the green, that was from something else I was doing simultaneously!}.  It’s pretty like this, but I also wanted to add some gold for interest.

Stamping on Cookies 6And here it is after adding gold.  See how it made the cookie a little warmer looking?  And I love the metallic shine of the gold.

Here’s the finished set!

Stamped Bee CookiesSo, let’s say that you tried to stamp onto the cookie but the impression didn’t take all the way…like this:

Stamping on Cookies 7Don’t throw that cookie out.  There are several things you can do to fix it.  You can add airbrushing to the edges {but come in on the sides a little more to “cover” the area that didn’t transfer} or you can fill it in yourself!  I’m a bit of a stickler when it comes to matching colors so I use a very fine paintbrush and my original markers to paint in what’s missing.

Take your paintbrush and run it along the tip of the marker to load it with color.  Then, using the stamp as a guide, filling the parts that are missing.  I bet no one will even be able to tell that it didn’t transfer perfectly the first time around.

I realize that stamping and airbrushing can both be a little intimidating but I encourage you to try.  It’s really fun and adds beautiful elements to your cookies!

Thank you for taking the time to read my post.  If you have any questions I hope you’ll ask, either here in the comments or on my Facebook page.

Callye, thank you so much for inviting me here today.  You have done so much for all of us in the cookie community and I honestly wouldn’t be the cookier that I am if it weren’t for you and your guidance!

XO,

Christine

Updated Blog BreakFor more beautiful bee cookies, “bee” sure {pun intended} to check out these posts:

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Comments

  1. 21

    What’s an awesome guest post, Christine! I always love your airbrushed cookie sets. It’s great to see a behind-the-scenes aspect to your decorating process. :)

  2. 22
    Michelle Wiggins says:

    I found you through flickr a few months back and am so happy I did!! I stop by your flickr account weekly AND Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle and was excited to see you have guest posted some of your (incredible) techniques that contribute to your creative process!! I never would have imagined the bee was created with a stamp! What a time saver :) Your work is just beautiful!! Thanks again, Christine!

  3. 23

    Hermoso tutorial, pero recomiendo a las personas que no poseen aerógrafo, que traajen con pincel, la técnica perfecta la da éste accesorio, pero en muchos lugares es muy costoso, así que intenten con patinas comestibles, quedarán sorprendentes, un abrazo. Bogotá-Colombia

  4. 24

    What airbrush do you recommend??

  5. 25
    Amy Gadberry says:

    Hi. I tried to stamp on sugar cookies. Left frosting it dry over night like you said so it was good and hard. I can not get the color to stay on the stamp! What do I do now? I’m using liquid air brush dye. Do you add anything to it to make it stick? I did not use the marker because I wanted the color teal.

  6. 26
    Kimberly says:

    Hi. I’m thinking about buying an airbrush. Can you recommend one? Which one do you use? Thanks. for the help.