There are a lot of inexpensive pre-made cuttable designs out there that make excellent cookie stencils. They are a big time saver too! There are some really great websites that offer free designs that come with a commercial use license. Apex Cuttable Designs has designs that are perfect for cookie stencils. They also have a daily freebie that you can download. The freebie comes with a commercial use license. Their files come in several formats, including Silhouette Studio format. Click HEREfor the design that I used for the stencil tutorial. It is a free download. It may only be free for a limited time, so get it while you can. Their designs start at $1.99, so they are a great price! HERE are all of the FREEBIES they have listed today.
You will need to begin by downloading the cut file from the Apex website to your computer and uploading it into Silhouette Studio. The download includes the entire design folder with all of the formats. You will need to choose one of the Studio files for your stencil design. Two different designs come with the download. Either design will make a cute stencil. I chose number 2.
The Studio file will come in ungrouped. That is perfect because changes need to be made before it will cut correctly as a stencil.
Some of the areas need to be moved farther apart, made larger, and the a few of the letters need bridged. I moved the top of the T up, the E more to the right, moved the leaf and stem on the apple apart from each other, made the stem larger, made the dot on the i larger, moved the small lines out from the larger lines, made the shapes inside of the s larger, deleted the shape inside the p, and bridged both e’s, a, h, n, s, p, and r.
Begin dragging over the entire image and resizing it to fit on your cookie. I resized mine for a 3 inch cookie. It is best to rearrange and bridge the image at the size you will be cutting. At this point, move anything you think needs moved apart or made larger. The stem on the apple, the dot on the i, the little shapes inside the s and p are what I chose to make larger. If you don’t make them larger, they don’t show up well when you airbrush or scrape royal icing over the stencil onto the cookie.
Select everything in the image and make it a Compound Path.
Here are the areas that need bridged. You can bridge one area at a time. The pic is just to show you where I used the knife tool to draw cut lines. Use the K and V on your keyboard for the knife and selection tool shortcut. Uncheck Auto Apply if you want to be able to move the line you make with the knife tool before it cuts. Click HERE to see the tutorial on creating bridges.
If you have jagged edges where you made cuts with the knife tool, you may need to clean up some of the letters using the edit points. Be sure to zoom in close when editing the points. Click HERE and scroll down to the bottom of the post for more info on edit points.
Cleaning up extra edit points, makes a cleaner stencil and the image on the cookie looks neater.
Here is how the image looks with the bridges in the letters and the really close areas moved away from each other. You may want to leave the areas close together. That is just the way I prefer my stencils to look.
**I went back later and added a bridge to the top part of the s for stability. See the final stencil pic.
Insert a 5.5 x 5.5 square for your stencil frame. Go to Object>Align>Center Middle and then Group everything together. You are ready to cut!
Here is the final image filled with one color. I like to color my stencil images to see what they will look like on the cookie.
It also helps me to see if I want to add another stencil for a 2 or 3 part stencil. That way I can have other colors on the cookie. For example, I could make the stars yellow and the lines blue or the word Teach could be blue and the word Inspire green. Lots of options! More on designing 2 and 3 part stencils next time…