Remember this cookie set I posted here recently? Well, since then, I've been asked if I could explain the steps to create it. What a great idea! Let's do a tutorial! [EDITOR'S NOTE: Yay! I've been waiting with bated breath for this very thing!]
But since I'm not so keen on cookie-ing the same design twice, I decided to come up with a tutorial for a new design that uses similar techniques. The style and techniques were inspired by mixed media art. I love mixed media so much that I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to the topic! Feel free to check it out. I decided on this particular design because the month of April is known for rain showers, and I don't know why, but I love rainy days. (No, I'm not a sad person! OK, maybe occasionally, but not generally!) I also wanted to revisit one of my favorite cookie designs from last year. Let's get down to business, shall we?
- Iced cookies
- Black and blue gel food coloring
- Paint brushes
- Pink and purple petal dust
- Rubber/clear stamps
- Clear extract/alcohol or a bit of water for stamping
- White food coloring
- Mini circle cutters in two different sizes (or a round tip with a larger opening like Wilton tip #12)
- Thick spreading consistency royal icing, tinted gray
- Cloud stencil (I used a homemade version, which worked just fine)
- Polka dot stencil
- Thick (20-second) flood consistency icing, tinted red, in a piping bag with #2 tip
- Wafer paper
- Mini alphabet stamp set
I decided to use a hexagon shape because I just happen to like that particular shape (remember this bee-inspired set), but feel free to use a shape you prefer that interlocks to form a continuous pattern. I only used seven cookies. Again, you can you as many as you like. These were iced with white royal icing in a thin layer spread with a spatula.
Mixed media art is all about layering and using different mediums. Start with lighter layers like painting, airbrushing, and stamping, and move on to thicker layers like stenciling and piping details.
Start by painting the cookies with a mixture of black and blue gel food coloring (diluted with lots of water). I used only a smidgen of each color to achieve this grayish blue to resemble gray skies.
After the paint layer is dry, mix a bit of pink and purple petal dust (you can use either or both), and apply it to the cookies in random spots with a dry brush. (It is subtle in the picture, but it's there!) The dust adds another layer of interest to the cookies. Remember, it's all about layering; you can even use airbrushing at this stage to add more details.
I did some stamping, using black and blue gel food coloring diluted with a bit of clear alcohol (or a tiny bit of water). I have no set rules for stamping on cookies. Sometimes I use sponges to apply the food coloring to the stamp, but this time I used a paint brush because it was in my arm's reach (real convenient). Everyone has a preferred method when it comes to stamping; use whatever method works for you! Refer to my previous tutorial for more information about stamping on cookies.
Create even more layers to add interest! I made a few circle prints using a Wilton tip #12 dipped in white soft gel coloring. Use the back of the tip for bigger circles.
Moving on to thicker layers, I added clouds using a homemade stencil and some thick spreading consistency royal icing tinted gray. I also used some of the leftover white icing with a polka dot stencil. The dots are my interpretation of raindrops.
They still need something more, right? Perhaps a pop of color?! I added a red umbrella - a classic! To create the umbrella, use thick (20-second) flood consistency icing in red, and fill in a section at a time, letting each section dry as you go. When the umbrella is fully dry, add some polka dots with white food coloring. I don't know if you've noticed, but I have a thing for polka dots.
Finally, the inspirational quote. Use the mini alphabet stamp set with black gel coloring, and stamp the message onto wafer paper. I used the quote, "There's so much beauty in the rain", but use a sentiment that's appropriate for your design. Cut out the words and adhere them to the cookies with a little bit of icing. And that is all there is to it.
P.S. I noticed the slight color variation of the finished pictures. I took the pictures of the finished cookies on a sunny morning, whereas the rest of the pictures were taken in the afternoon of the previous day, with an overcast sky. Sorry about that!
I hope you enjoyed the process of creating these mixed media cookies! Like I always say, if you've got a question, feel free to shoot me a message. Don't be shy!
Be creative! Let your inspiration guide you, and let your imagination run wild!
And don't forget, please send me your sparks of ideas (photos, notes, doodles, or whatever) to help fuel my future posts! Thanks!
Pamoda Vanderwert is a hobbyist cookie decorator who found her passion for decorating cookies while being a cake decorator. She started decorating cookies in early 2013 and hasn’t looked back since. She launched her Facebook page Sugar Pearls Cakes & Bakes around the same time as a way to connect with other cookiers, and also to share her creativity with the rest of the world. When she is not decorating cookies, she keeps herself busy as a mother of two young children.
Photo credit: Pamoda Vanderwert
Note: Get Inspired with Sugar Pearls is a monthly Cookie Connection blog feature written by Pamoda Vanderwert, which explores how to go from source inspiration to artful cookie design through creative cookie tutorials. 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 Pamoda's past posts, click here.