Cookie Decorating Hack: How to Use Tissue Paper for Lettering

Please, please, please tell me that you follow Megan of Downtown Dough. Her cookies are absolute perfection - whimsical, fun, precise, and stunning! When her creations pop up in my Instagram feed, I invariably let out an audible gasp. 

Over the past few months, she's been offering online live classes! (Highly recommend signing up for one!) I recently took one on cookie lettering. I was especially curious about this since I don't have a projector of any sort...and don't plan on getting one, but I do love beautifully lettered cookies. 

In the lettering class, Megan shared a method for lettering if you don't have access to a projector. It involves tissue paper and a food coloring pen. I guess this method has been around a while, but guys, it was new to me, so I thought it might be new to you, too.

First, decide on the cookie cutter you'll use and what you'll be lettering. Next, decide on the fonts you want - you may want to peruse some free font websites. 

Format the lettering to fit inside the cookie cutter. (View at 100%.) Print out and adjust as needed. Because I wanted the "one" and "cookie" at little closer to the "smart," I adjusted in the next step. This was as close as I could get it in Word. 

Cut out a piece of tissue paper a little bigger than the cookie cutter. Place the tissue over your printout and trace over the outline of the letters. If some of the letters have large spaces, just trace the outline, don't color in. 

MAJOR TIP: use a fine-tip food coloring pen. This was a game-changer for me after trying it with what I thought were "fine-tip" markers. You really need a fine-tip pen. This is the one I ordered and used

Now, place that tissue paper over the cookie that has been iced with royal icing and dried overnight. Trace over the letters again. 

You'll be left with a light stencil of the lettering. 

Use a small tip, like a #1, or a tipless bag with the tip cut very small, to trace over the letters in piping consistency icing. 

For letters that need to be filled in, fill with a 15-20 second flood icing.

A fan helps for drying without divots. 

I need more practice, but I'm SO excited to start using this technique more on my cookies. (Even though, I sense a font obsession beginning to emerge.) Have your tried tissue paper lettering?



  1. This is much more realistic for someone like me who does these for fun for friends and family but not frequently and not as a business, so I can't justify investing in a projector. Thanks for sharing! I look forward to checking out Megan's work :)

  2. Thank you so much. I am making cookies for a baby shower and this will work perfect. I tried using the camera lucida app and it doesn't do well on an android and didn't see any android tutorials on how to use the camera lucida app. This will work wonderful for what I have to do. Thank you again.

  3. Hi! Great idea, but i was wondering what kind of tissue are you using? In the picture seems more like parchment paper than thin tissue paper...
    Thanks in advance for the answer :)


    1. Hi Jennifer! It's regular tissue paper like you'd use to wrap a present. :)


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