How about an apple stencil?
Here is an easy tutorial for you to learn how to design 2 or 3 part stencils. Most of the tools used to design this stencil have already been covered in previous posts, so it should be easy for you! Keep in mind that this method can be used for many 2 or 3 part stencils, allowing you to apply different colors of royal icing or airbrush colors to your cookies. Think pineapples, bees, trees, popsicles, lemons and limes, flowers with leaves, and lots more!
There are many tools that you can use in Design Space to create this kind of stencil. The tutorial shows you the tools and methods I use for a 2 or 3 part stencil. As you learn to make stencils, you may find a way that works better for you.
TIP: You may be interested in this recipe from Mike at Semi Sweet Designs for Spiced Apple Cut-Out cookies. Perfect for Back to School time! All of his recipes are great! There are more HERE. The Cookies and Cream recipe is excellent!
Here are the images that I used from my Cricut Access subscription.
1 Go to Insert Image.
2 Enter the search term apple.
3 Select the apples from the images and click>Insert.
**If you don’t have Cricut Access, you will have to purchase the images before cutting. For me, the subscription is well worth the money. You can see the details about it HERE.
1 Duplicate each apple one time to have an extra.
2 Hide each duplicated apple, so you’ll have them…just in case. It is easier to unhide them than it is to search for them and insert again if you make a mistake.
3 Select each apple image and ungroup.
You will then be able to see the layers of the image. We will only be using parts of the images for the stencils. See pic above.
Here are the layers I chose for the apple stencil. You can delete the other layers.
1 Insert a circle.
2 Select and drag it over the leaf/stem of the green apple.
3 Select the circle and the apple, click>Slice.
This is what your screen should look like. You will see the parts that you sliced away from the green apple. You will only need to keep the green leaf/stem. Delete the black leaf/stem and also what is left of the circle.
Here is everything you need to design a 2 or 3 part stencil. I changed the leaf/stem color, because this is the color I will use on my cookies. When I design stencils, I sometimes make the images the royal icing or airbrush colors that I will be using to see how the colors look together.
1 Insert a square for the stencil frame and duplicate it.
2 Resize the apple. My apple is .75 wide x .725 tall. If you want more apples on your stencil, make them smaller.
3 Duplicate the apple several times. I always duplicate several and delete what I don’t want later.
1 Begin moving the apples over the stencil frame and place them where you want them. You can place them randomly or line them up and use the Align tool to space them evenly.
2 If they disappear, select the stencil frame and use the Arrange tool to move it to the back. Now the apples should be visible when you drag them over the frame.
**The stencil frame is there to help you visualize the way the apples will look in the stencil. In the next steps, you will see the stencil frame in the photos, but will not be selecting it. We will only be working with the apples.
I used 5 of the duplicated apples and lined them up the best I could, then I used the Align tool.
1 Select all of the apples.
2 Go to Align>Align Left.
3 Go to Align>Distribute Horizontally.
1 Group the column of apples that you just Aligned.
2 Duplicate them 5 times or enough times to fill the stencil frame.
Arrange the columns of apples the best you can.
**If you are happy with the way they look, you don’t need to Align them as in the next few photos. I always Align everything, but it is not necessary.
To Align the columns of apples–
1 Select every other column(the pic says rows, but I meant columns)of apples by holding down the Shift key on your keyboard and clicking on them. Don’t select the stencil frame.
2 Go to Align>Align Top.
**If you don’t want them staggered and you want them all even at the top, select every column of apples.
1 Select the other two columns(the pic says rows, I meant columns) of apples by holding down the Shift key and clicking on them.
2 Go to Align>Align top.
Now we need to distribute the columns of apples so they are spaced evenly in the stencil frame.
1 Select every column of apples by holding down the Shift key on your keyboard and selecting each column. All of the apples should have one bounding box around them.
2 Go to Align>Distribute Vertically.
Now to distribute horizontally…this should even everything up.
1 With all of the columns of apples still selected, go to Align> Distribute Horizontally.
2 If you are happy with the way the apples look, select every column and group them.
Adding the Leaves
Let’s add the leaf/stem to each apple.
1 Resize the leaf/stem to fit nicely above each apple.
2 Duplicate it several times.
1 Select each leaf/stem and drag it above each apple.
2 If you want to flip some of the leaf/stem images as I did, select the images that you want to flip. Go to the Flip tool next to the Arrange tool, and Flip Horizontal.
**I leave the stencil frame in place to make sure everything fits nicely. The apples are all grouped, so the only thing you are selecting and dragging should be the leaf/stem images.
1 Hold down the Shift key on your keyboard and click on every leaf/stem image to select them. You can also hold down the Shift key and select them in the layers panel if that is easier for you.
2 With all of them selected, click>Group.
This is what your stencil will look like on your cookie.
How to Put the Stencils Together
You should now have the apples grouped, the leaves grouped, and two blank stencil frames.
Since you have placed the leaf/stem exactly where they need to be on top of each apple and grouped them, the apples should line up perfectly with them when the stencils are cut. To make sure this happens, we need to place the apples and the leaves in the stencil blanks carefully. Notice that I changed the color of one of the stencils blanks to green? It is easier to see what you are doing when it comes time to make sure everything is lined up.
1 Move the grouped leaves over the grouped apples exactly where you want them. Grouping keeps the images together, so all of your leaves should stay together in place and move at the same time.
2 Select the grouped leaves and the grouped apples by holding down the Shift key on your keyboard or selecting the in the Layers panel while holding down the Shift key.
3 With the leaves and apples still selected, click>Group. We will ungroup them later. This will keep them in place as we move them around.
1 Drag the grouped apples and leaf/stems up to the stencil blank and center them the best you can.
1 Select both the stencil frame and the grouped apples and leaf/stems.
2 Go to Align>Center
3 Now that everything is centered, select the grouped apples and leaves and Ungroup them, making sure to leave them in place.
Working with layers and being able to move them forward or backward is a huge help when designing 2 or 3 part stencils. Notice when I drag the stencil frame over the apples and leaves that it is on top of the other layers? I want to be able to see the leaves.
1 Select the grouped leaves.
2 Go to Arrange>Move Forward. Now you can see the leaves.
1 Go to the Layers panel and while holding down the Shift key on your keyboard, select the green stencil frame and the black stencil frame.
2 Go to Align>Center.
The leaves are still grouped at this point. They need to be Attached to each other.
1 Select the leaves in the Layers panel and Click>Attach.
1 Now Attach the leaves to the stencil frame by selecting the leaves and the green stencil frame in the Layers panel and Click>Attach.
**Since it is hard to select the images in the workspace when they are stacked on top of each other, it is easier to select the images from the Layers panel.
Drag the leaves stencil off to the side. You may or may not see the apples on top of the other stencil. They are behind the stencil frame if you can’t see them.
1 Select the stencil frame and click Arrange>Move to Back.
2 Now you will see the apples. Select the grouped apples and Click>Attach.
1 Select the Attached Apples and the black stencil frame and Click>Attach. You’re stencils are ready to cut!
FYI on Aligning and Centering
** Here is what happens if you try to center the apples on one frame and the leaves on another. If you try to align and center the leaves with the stencil frame separately, it won’t work. See how when done separately, the leaves stencil has to set a little higher for everything to line up? You need to align the apples and the leaves with one frame at the same time, then we will align the other frame with them already in place.
**The leaves are a little high in the stencil, but they have to be for the apples to fit. You can make your apples smaller and place them closer to the bottom of the frame. This will allow the leaves to fit lower in the stencil frame.
Click HERE for a Free Palm Tree stencil file designed using the same steps in this tutorial–
If you have Cricut Access, there is no charge for the image used in the stencils. If you do not have a Cricut Access subscription, you will need to buy the images before you can cut.