I love brightly colored Royal Icing on sugar cookies, with each cookie being different. Some of these designs are the result of wet-on-wet mixing of multiple colors, and others, the result of hand-held piping. The links that appear here point to examples of mandalas and symmetrical designs.
Until now, I imagined that there were instructions somewhere on the web on how to make individual wet-on-wet designs, but did not know where to find them until seeing a demonstration on Pinterest. There I discovered that this type of art is called Ebru, which refers to an ancient craft of Turkish Marbling.
The marbeling is created by floating paints on thickened water, then transferred to paper or cloth. Click this Google Link asking for “Turkish Marbling Art” for many reference articles and video tutorials. Mentally translate this information to Royal Icing flow-on-flow techniques.
See many examples on Instagram’s firdevscalkanoglu. Although I can’t read a word on this page, I did learn that you can take classes on the craft. Here are a few links to videos found on that page:
This page highlights interesting sugar cookie decoration ideas and videos on how to create them. Selected by Karen Little of Littleviews-Crafts.com, the examples featured here serve as inspiration for what can be done with Royal Icing decorating.
For a lot of design ideas, visit Karen Little’s Pinterest collections:
When dry, Royal Icing creates a cookie topping of hard sugar candy. When Royal Icing is piped into a shape and allow to dry by itself, it creates sugar candy that can be pasted onto a cookie, cupcake, cake or other frosted bakery. The benefit to not piping shapes directly on cookies is if you make a mistake, you do not waste the cookie.
Refer to an article I wrote entitled Create Royal Icing Designs Without Cookies for more information and search the Internet using phrases like “Royal Icing Transfers” or “how to use Royal Icing transfer material.”
These two videos by Julia Usher provide detailed information about how to make simple and complex transfers. She recommends .003 (3 mm) flat, clear acetate sheets which are available in pads at art supply stores, rather than parchment or wax paper. It comes in 9×12 and 14×17 pads.
Unless you have a personal guide, learning how to make and successfully use Royal Icing and icing piping tubes can be a long journey. Many professional and home bakers from across the world have published their tips on the Internet, in online-forums, and in books. If you don’t have a personal guide (like maybe your mom or aunt), learning from the resources listed here is the next best thing.