Wednesday, December 24, 2014

DIY Cake Stencil Out of Stuff You Have Sitting around Your House!

Cake stencils are a really intricate, professional-looking way to decorate your confections quickly and simply. This tutorial is going to teach you how to design and make homemade cake stencils out of stuff you have lying around your house! Getting rid of junk AND beautiful dessert? Win-win ;)

What is a cake stencil? 
They're a perforated piece of plastic that you use as a template to paint/sprinkle a design onto your cake. They can get super intricate!

Picture courtesy of Baking Pleasures
I usually put mine on top of the cake and then sprinkle some sort of powder--like sugar or chocolate--over it, leaving a really beautiful design on the cake!

Design in powdered sugar
Design in Cinnamon
Here's how you do it!

1. Find a design. 
There are lots of ways you can find a great design for your stencil!

1. You can find one on the Internet! Look, I even did the preliminary Google search for you!

2. You can make your own! An amazing tool if you're looking to make a circular stencil (like for the top of a round cake) is this Symmetry Artist. It lets you create really cool, circularly symmetrical designs with very little effort. You would be surprised how easy it is to make a cool-looking design with this tool!

3. You can use my design!

My stencil is designed for a 9-inch round cake, so if you're using 8.5 x 11 paper, you'll need to print it off in two sheets and then tape them together. (The big circle in the middle of the design is to help you line up the pages; it is NOT part of the actual pattern!)

The easiest way to print the stencil is using Publisher, which will automatically break up the design for you. If you don't have publisher, it's also available in Word (or, of course, you can just copy the image above and size it appropriately yourself).

Once you have your picture, you're going to need to print it out.

2. Find some clear plastic.
Here's where the office supplies come in!

When going to make my stencil, I stumbled across the idea on All Things Thrifty to use binder dividers for your stencil!

I ended up finding a clear folder in my closet that I thought would be perfect.

A fused laminating folder would probably work too. Any somewhat clear piece of plastic that you can cut with scissors or an x-acto knife and that is fairly sturdy should do the trick!

3. Tape and Trace
Using scotch tape, attach your printed design to the back of your plastic. Using a Sharpie, trace the design. Don't forget (like I did) to trace around the edge of the circle too.

4. Cut out your design
Using scissors or an x-acto knife, cut out the design. I found that the easiest, most precise way of doing this was by puncturing the cutouts with a knife so that I could get my scissors through and then cutting from there (that avoids having to pinch and potentially crack the plastic). I'm not going to lie; this part is tedious. But when you're done you'll have a beautiful decoration that you'll be able to use over and over again!

(Don't worry too much about the cutting being too clean; small imperfections won't show!)

5. Bake beautiful food! 
Sift some fluffy powder over your stencil to leave a beautiful design! Some potential ideas are:
  • Powdered sugar
  • Flour
  • Cocoa powder
  • Espresso powder
  • Cinnamon

Have fun using your stencil over and over again!

If you have any tips to add, leave a comment! Or leave us a link to your own gorgeous stenciled creation! 


  1. Oooh thank you! I'm going to use this idea for my chocolate log :)

    1. That will be so pretty! You should post a picture when you're done!

  2. Great article!
    You can also find quality 3 ring binders here:
    You can create and/or design your own binder here: