Stained Glass Window Cookies and an Easy Transfer Technique!

     Since I've started sharing my cookie making I've been asked several times how I draw my designs on my cookies.  Whether I do it freehand or use an art projector as a guide, etc.  I don't have money in the budget for a projector right now, so I have to do them freehand.  I'm pretty good at drawing anyway and I don't usually try anything too complex or use fancy fonts or that sort of thing.

     But then I decided I wanted to do a cookie painting project and make stained glass window cookies.  I knew I wanted them to be as intricate as they could be.  Plus which all the color is done in glazes, as opposed to opaque icing layers, so any mistakes in the drawing would show up in the final cookie.  I wracked my brain trying to figure out a way to easily transfer the design and also something that would be easy for the readers to do too.  Like all great inspiration it came to me at 2 o'clock in the morning!

And it worked. And I was happy!  I will show you how to do it and then you can be happy too!

      I began by covering the cookies in a glaze icing tinted a pale yellow.  I used glaze instead of royal icing this time because glaze has a translucent look to it and it also flattens out perfectly smooth. ( The glaze recipe is super simple; 2 cups powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons corn syrup, 2 tablespoons milk.)  I tinted it pale yellow because I wanted to be able to use white in some areas and the white had to stand out from the background. I also thought it would look like a warm light coming through the window.  Let the cookies dry completely before you start decorating.  If you use glaze, better give the cookies a couple days to dry.

 Part 1 - Transferring the design to the cookie without a projector
  1. To get started you'll need your design, a small liner paint brush, gel food coloring and a piece of heavy weight clear plastic vinyl like they sell in fabric stores for tablecloth covers. 
  2. Place the vinyl over the design and trace the design onto the vinyl with your black food coloring and brush.  The food coloring will bead up a bit on the vinyl but that's okay as it's only going to be a guide.  
  3. After tracing the design flip the vinyl over and carefully position it on the cookie.
  4. Hold the vinyl in place and gently rub the design onto the entire cookie.  Be careful to always hold it in place, you don't want it to slip!
  5. Gently lift the vinyl and you'll have a guide for piping or coloring!  Easy right?!

You'll notice that the design on the cookie is the mirror image to your design because you flip the vinyl over.  If the direction of the design is important, such as in writing, your design will need to be in reverse.

Part 2 - Painting the Cookie
        Once you have the outline transfered to the cookie the painting is really just a matter of filling in each piece like a coloring book.
  1. To create a transparent effect start by filling the section with a thin glaze of color.  
  2. While the area is still wet add a little more intense color and blend with a clean brush.  (The white of the flowers is white icing color)
  3. To make a delicately tinted "glass" first glaze a section with clean water.
  4. Dab in a small amount of thinned color.
  5. Blend with a clean brush. 
  6. Finish glazing the background with soft color of varying intensity.
  7. Outline the sections in black.   At first I had planned to do this step with black piping icing but some of my designs had too much detail and I was worried the sections were too small especially since I don't have any of the little size 0 decorating tips.  I have a pretty steady hand so I finished them with the liner brush and black food coloring.

   The Easter set of cookies at the top of the post was done the same way as the floral cookies but using a little more intense color.  

   A few tips for painting stained glass window cookies;
  • Start thin and work up to strong color.  You can always add more, but it's difficult to take it away.
  • Don't over fuss the surface of the cookie with too many strokes and too much liquid.  You run the risk of breaking down the smooth sugar finish of the base coat. Try to fill each section in as few strokes as possible. Using the biggest brush you can get away with will help keep you from over fussing an area.
  • Stained glass is often a  mixture of transparent and opaque pieces of glass.  Adding a little white icing color will give a milky opaqueness but can also make it look cold and chalky.  Try adding a tiny bit of yellow to the white to warm it up.
  • Leave some areas empty like clear glass.  It will give the eye a place to rest. 
  • Dover Publications has many books on stained glass designs and their copyright allows for full use.  Many of the books also come with CD-Roms of the designs which is also very helpful.
I would love some feedback on this project, especially if you try the transfer technique.  I was wondering if food color markers would work as well, but I don't have any to try it out.

Happy Painting!



  1. what a great idea! I too have no money in the budget for a projector at this point, but often get requests for "character" cookies or some other such thing. Recently I did Mario and made a stencil of the outline of his head and just freehanded in the detail...I piped it onto the cookie first then filled it in like a coloring book. It turned out great but your way would have been A LOT easier!! Thanks for the tip!

  2. This is totally amazing!! Thank you sooo much for sharing!!

  3. OH MY! All this time I've done the poke a hole in the cookie trick...this idea is SO MUCH BETTER. Thank you!!!

  4. I need a tutorial of the glazes that I see cookiers on Facebook using. Where should I go to find that. These are incredibly beautiful cookies! Does the water have any effect on the finished cookie or do you use so little that it doesn't matter? Thanks for posting these. So incredible.

    1. The water does effect the surface a little bit and too much water can start dissolving the sugar but I didn't have any problems with it this time. The glaze finish is really slick and smooth so maybe that helps it stand up to the water. You should always use as little water as possible though.

      As for glazing information, I know that Pam at Cookie Crazie does a lot with glaze as well as Sweet Hope Cookies. Jodi at the Wonderland Cookie Company has also been blogging about her glaze experiments lately. I would start with those ladies as they seem to know their stuff!


  5. Brilliant!!!!! I LOVE IT and can't wait to use this SOON!!! :)Thanks for sharing!

  6. So smart! These are beautiful!

  7. LOVE this idea! I feel like this could work on almost any design!

  8. LOVE LOVE LOVE them <3 they are absolutely gorgeous Sarah

  9. Thank yo so much for this wonderful tutorial! I love the way you got the design onto the cookie! Learning that technique alone solves so much for me. These are just lovely cookies!

  10. Voy a probarlo , me ha encantado y no me he podido resistir a compartirlo con los fans en facebook.
    Gracias de nuevo y ya te enseñaré mis galletas, aver que tal se me dá, je,je.
    Un saludo desde Barcelona (Spain)

  11. Awesome. Thank you so much. I do cookies freehand because as a hobby the projector is just to much of a investment. Cant wait to try this!!!!

  12. Oh what beautiful cookies. I've been intrigued by the stain glass effect, and you have captured it BEAUTIFULLY. And those Easter stain glass cookies are absolutely gorgeous. ♥

    I hope to try this soon. It is so beautiful and would work perfectly with so many ideas.

    Thank you for sharing! And thanks for mentioning me regarding glaze. How sweet of you. :)

  13. That's brilliant!! I recently bought a projector and honestly, not sure it was worth it!! This is so much more precise and you don't have to worry about shadows or how bright your kitchen is! Save your money, buy more vinyl!
    Your stained glass is gorgeous!

  14. So Beautiful!!! I've always loved stained glass designs, and you've done an excellent job on these. And the tutorial is excellent as well. Thank you so much!

  15. These are beautiful. How many can you "stamp" before you have to repaint? Thanks for the tutorial.

    1. My link was messed up it should be Pixie's Treats at!/pages/Pixies-Treats/123543914381047

    2. If the cookie has a nice smooth base coat of icing you can get about 3 stamps from the vinyl transfer.

  16. Hello! Thank you sooooo much for sharing this...I found a design that I wanted to do on cookie and thought of this blog entry I had read a few days ago, I am so glad I remembered it was yours, and I just hope it'll work out!!! Your cookies are absolutely gorgeous by the way, so beautifully delicate!!! Thank you!

  17. Fantastic, just what I was looking for. Thank you!

  18. i have to make a stain glass for my homw work with poeple so scared it will go wrong! amazing your so talented

  19. Thank you for sharing ! Great tutorial. I am going to try to do this on a cookie that will look like a pomegranate thanks again. katia

  20. I bought a (used) KopyKake a while ago and finally had time to set it up today. And after reading this post and looking at stained glass designs on google, I can't wait to try this technique! When I first started decorating cookies, I used glaze so it won't be too hard to go back to using it. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

  21. You could have saved yourself a bunch of trouble if only you would have traced your drawing with royal icing, let it dry, it is now a stamp and you can use your food marker to " ink " it then apply to your cookie, let it dry a few minutes and then do your stained glass as usual, it makes less of a mess than your vinyl. I use this royal icing stamp technique all the time, if you want to keep the stamp you can do it on a cheap ( dollar store )picture frame, throw out the frame and use the glass to draw over your design with royal icing

  22. Tenia muchísimas ganas de aprender a pintar galletas,las veía y me enamoraban,hablan mucho del Wozka para pintar ¿es verdad?.Gracias


Post a Comment

Popular Posts