One of my favorite things about cookie decorating is putting together pretty color palettes. I’ve posted color palettes in the past, but they kind of got lost in the busyness of the past two years, and I discovered I wasn’t enjoying the process as much as I like.
This year, one of my goals is to get back to basics. Not so much cookie decorating basics, but the basic concepts and ideas that make me, me! This includes one of my favorite subjects, icing color.
Before I begin, I want to say, color is a very personal thing. A palette that one person finds beautiful, could strike another as revolting. Keep that in mind as you experiment with color. My palettes are intended to be a guide more than anything, as well as a teaching tool.
Like most things, your coloring skills will improve with practice and as you discover the combinations that are most appealing to you. If you don’t like Tulip Red (a personal fave) don’t be afraid to try another shade. In time you will be creating your own, uniquely personal color schemes.
I took a little liberty in naming the colors, to simplify things. The first color in this palette is equal parts Americolor Mint Green and Sky Blue. Both colors tend to go from “barely there” to “whoa” in just a drop, so I used toothpicks to create this shade. Remember, you can make it as light or dark as you like, depending on the amount of color you add. Keep in mind, that most icing colors “develop” or darken over time. For optimal results, stop adding color when the icing is a shade or two lighter than what you’d like the final color to be. By the time you’re ready to decorate, they should have reached the desired shade.
2. Tulip Red
Nothing fancy here, just a heathy squeeze of Americolor Tulip Red. Not everyone loves Tulip Red like I do. Some people find it a little orangey. If that’s the case, switch it out with Americolor Super Red. The results will be slightly different, but just as beautiful. You can see a similar version of this palette, made with Super Red, here.
3. Dark Tulip Pink
One of my favorite ways to add visual interest to cookie platters is to use several shades of the same color. For this reason, I often use already colored icing to create colors. In this case, I mixed a little tulip red with white icing, and added a touch of my favorite pink icing color, Wilton Pink. You can read why I prefer it over other colors here.
4. Light Tulip Pink
Light Tulip Pink icing is nothing more than a bit of dark tulip pink mixed into fresh white icing. If you happen to need just this color, use toothpicks to mix a little Tulip red and Wilton Pink into white icing, being careful not to over add. A little bit of color goes a very long way!
5. Spring Green
To make a nice spring green color, I mixed Americolor Mint Green and Egg Yellow. There are other combinations that will produce a similar result, but since I used Mint Green to create the central shade in this palette (aquamarine) I stuck with mint to ensure that this family of colors shared the same “DNA,” if you will.
Speaking of family, that brings me to one of my favorite icing coloring tips. When mixing color palettes, it’s often good practice to mix a little of each shade back into the other. This ensures that each has a common thread, or DNA as I mentioned above.
This is not always necessary, of course, especially if you have a good eye for color, but if you ever find yourself feeling like something is “off” with a specific palette, this is my best tip for correcting it.
Mixing icing colors takes time, but the end result is quite worth it.
I hope to share more of my favorite palettes in the coming months. I would love to hear suggestions for future color-realted topics or formulas you would like me to cover. In the meantime, follow my Icing Color board on Pinterest or check out the following posts to learn more about icing color:
- How to Make Beautifully Coordinated Icing Colors
- How to Make Your Icing Colors Match via Lila Loa
- Karen’s One Bowl Icing Mixing Method
- Changing Icing Color with Ivory and Black
- Sweet Sugarbelle Printable Color Chart