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Dear Yankee Girl: Fun with Stripes

You know what’s all the rage right now?


And why is everyone talking about stencils?

Cause they are so cool. Yes, so cool. Even if you don’t have an airbrush. (Insert cheers and clapping!)

Painting on Stripes coverpic

First of all – where did this striped idea come from? I was actually asked to do a "wood grain" tutorial. Obviously, this is NOT the wood grain tutorial that was requested. (Sorry about that! I promise to get better once the kids are back in school.) The idea for this tutorial started blossoming during a trip to Costa Rica. After walking around this market, I remembered a cutting board that I had purchased years ago, during my first trip there. I was going to take a picture of said cutting board for you but it’s not very pretty anymore. It got – accidently – placed in the dishwasher. Now I’m not pointing any fingers, but a wooden cutting board. In the dishwasher. Really??

It’s purely ornamental at this point. Some would say just sentimental . . .

If you are done listening to me reminisce and would just like a visual of the cutting board, this site has some that are very similar: Costa Rican Market
beauties, right?! Some would even say – inspirational!

If you would like to have "Fun with Stripes", you will need:

  • Cookie iced with royal icing, dry
  • Stencil with stripes, maybe even one with varying widths
  • Paintbrush
  • Bit of water
  • Airbrush colors
  • Paper towel, comes in handy
  • Stiff royal icing (RI), if you want to add the letter detail

A bit about the "paint": When painting on a cookie, I like to use airbrush colors. I find them to be the perfect consistency for painting so there’s not a lot of water to work in. That being said, I do like to work with a damp paintbrush. So, you’ll see that I’ve listed water in your needed materials. Also, the water comes in handy when rinsing your paintbrush between colors.

As far as mixing the paint colors: I used brown as a base for this project. What does that mean? Essentially, I used blue, green, yellow, and red colors BUT mixed varying amounts of brown in with each of them. This will give you nice, muted shades that all go together. For a lighter shade, use a touch more water.

A bit about the stencil: Any stencil with stripes will work for this project. Use one that has stripes that are a bit on the thinner side. I think the effect looks cool when the stripes are varying widths, but use what you have. I actually had four stencils in my collection that would have worked. No judging. I buy them to make tutorials for you. See how selfless I am!

A bit about the paper towel: I don’t know. It’s paper towel. You could substitute a dishtowel as well. Keep your area and paint brush clean. Rinse the stencil as needed.

You’ll want to start with an iced (and dry) cookie. Lay the stencil onto the cookie, making sure that it’s on straight. Using your damp brush, apply a light coat of paint. Color in all the stencil lines that you can. Lift the stencil off and allow the paint to dry. If a touch of paint runs under the stencil, no worries.  In the end, all the stripes will blend together. If it’s a lot, you can use a damp brush to take it off.

Painting stripes step 1
As the paint dries, you can place the stencil back onto the cookie, and paint in more stripes. If you place the stencil onto the cookie when the paint is still wet, it can smudge.

Painting stripes step 2
Once you get toward the end - and have only a few open stripes to fill in – you should be able to just fill them in without the use of the stencil.

Painting stripes step 3


Now, should you want to add the letter details, wait for the paint to fully dry. Then use a stiffer consistency royal icing to pipe on the letter. A space heater or dehydrator will help eliminate craters. No one likes craters.

Painting on Stripes Step 4

And that’s it!

Some variations:

  • Colors. Go crazy. Sky’s the limit on colors that you could use.
  • Need the cookie to be less time consuming? Use wider stripes.
  • Add any detail that you want on top! Doesn’t need to be a letter.
  • A chevron stencil would look totally cool too with this painting technique.

Painting stripes final pic
Have fun! Show me your cookies if you use this technique. And, as always, send me your requests! Tell me what you want to see a tutorial on!! Let me know if you have any questions.

*As a totally non-essential side note: Lieblongs are my new neighbors. New neighbors love cookie gifts!! 


All cookies and photos by Yankee Girl Yummies.



Kari ArroyoKari Arroyo started decorating cookies in 2011 after deciding to take a break from nursing, and learned the ways of royal icing by reading tutorials and LOTS of trial and error. When she’s not decorating cookies, you can find her chasing after two busy boys! Check her out on Facebook or her site, and email her your cookie questions at


Photo credit: Kari Arroyo


Note: Dear Yankee Girl is a regular Cookie Connection blog feature, written by Kari Arroyo, which allows you to get all your critical cookie technique questions answered, Dear Abby-style! Its content expresses the views of the author and not necessarily those of this site, its owners, its administrators, or its employees. To catch up on all of Kari's past posts, click here.



Images (6)
  • Fun with Stripes - Closeup: Cookies and Photo by Yankee Girl Yummies
  • Fun with Stripes - Step 1: Cookie and Photo by Yankee Girl Yummies
  • Fun with Stripes - Step 2: Cookie and Photo by Yankee Girl Yummies
  • Fun with Stripes - Step 3: Cookie and Photo by Yankee Girl Yummies
  • Fun with Stripes - Step 4: Cookie and Photo by Yankee Girl Yummies
  • Fun with Stripes - Full Set: Cookies and Photo by Yankee Girl Yummies

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Comments (17)

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I love everything about this post!  Everything...  I tried the aerosol can and was unsuccessful  Now, I'll do as I thought I could do instead of the aerosol - and go ahead with it.  By the way, my cookies are in the trash (the sprayed ones.)  lol  You are a wealth of information and inspiration.

Originally Posted by donaharrisburg:

I hope she does more tutorials.  I really like her flair.

She will! Kari is a regular site contributor and posts once a month here. 

Traci -
I just make the icing as thick as I can, with it still being able to smooth down easily. On occasion, I will have to remix my icing because I've made it too thick and it's drying wavy/bumpy. It ends up being about a 15-20 second consistency. You need to place in in front of a space heater, immediately, or it will crater. I hope that helps!
Originally Posted by Traci:

Love them!  Can I ask a question?  How did you get the icing so smooth on the letters using stiff icing?  I'm wondering if there's a technique I've been missing.  



Originally Posted by Julia M. Usher:

Dear Yankee Girl,


Another great job!


I'd love to see a tutorial on your intricately piped floral cookies like these:




Or these:




Anyone else interested in the same thing? 

I'm interested in seeing her do that last set as a wet on wet project...but she already knows that because I mention it often!!!

Okay, I slid to the enticement and did stripe cookies.  As soon as I figure out where to post, tag (something else that has to be done to post) I will post the pics.  Oh, I also have pics for the Practice Bakes... Challenge.  (Hands on hips:  now how do I post pics...)  lol

Originally Posted by donaharrisburg:

Okay, I slid to the enticement and did stripe cookies.  As soon as I figure out where to post, tag (something else that has to be done to post) I will post the pics.  Oh, I also have pics for the Practice Bakes... Challenge.  (Hands on hips:  now how do I post pics...)  lol

Dona there is a  great little bit about posting clips in the upper left hand corner of the home page.  And on the right hand side somewhere is a button that says upload clips or something similar.  You upload, then can title and tag per the instructions from Julia's blurb.  Hope this helps! Can't wait to see what you've come up with!

I know, right?
I'm totally funny!!
And you could do transfers. The only thing is that your base is going to be dry. So, unless your transfers are totally flat (mine never seem to be), they won't lay flat on your cookie. Hand delivering would probably be fine but I doubt they'd make it through the USPS system.
Originally Posted by Melissa Joy Fanciful Cookies:

Sooooo lovely, Kari! I love them!!! The letters weren't transfers? Have you done letter transfers and are they a pain? *says the girl with no KK  Also, you are hilarious. 


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