How To Make Food Safe Stencils

How To Make Food Safe Stencils

3rd Nov 2021

Ikonart stencils can be made safe for food contact applications by applying a barrier coating of  Ikonart Stencil Glaze to both sides of the imaged Ikonart stencil. To make the glaze you dissolve the solid powder with 70% Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol prior to use. 

The powder is a vegetable-based, non GMO, vegan, FDA-approved food additive which provides additional durability to Ikonart stencils. Once applied and dried the glaze coating is insoluble in water, which makes cleanup and drying the stencils faster and easier. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to make the Ikonart Stencil Glaze. 


Supplies Needed:

  • Ikonart Stencil Glaze Powder
  • Container for brush cleaning
  • Small paintbrush or chip brush
  • Cotton swabs for spot-cleaning of open mesh
  • Disposable cloth towel or absorbent paper towels (we recommend the brand Viva)
  • Imaged Ikonart stencil made with the Ikonart Custom Stencil Kit (we recommend using our blue Ikonart Stencil Film with the Ikonart Stencil Glaze)
  • 70% Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol (can be found at your local drug or grocery store; see note* at end of post)

  • How To Make & Use Ikonart Stencil Glaze

    1. To prepare the glaze add your 70% Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol to the Ikonart Stencil Glaze Powder container. The mixture should come to the top of the label on the bottle. Cap the bottle and shake gently. Set the glaze aside and allow it to sit for about 10-15 minutes until the powder is completely dissolved. The amber-colored solution may appear slightly cloudy but this is normal.

    2. Fill your empty brush cleaning container with about 1-2 inches of rubbing alcohol and set this aside as well.

    3. To apply the coating, remove the clear backer sheet from your stencil and lay the stencil flat on the disposable cloth towel (or two layers of absorbent paper towel) with the textured side down (adhesive side up).

    4. Using a paint brush or chip brush, liberally apply a coating of the prepared Ikonart Stencil Glaze to the stencil film. The paper towels will absorb the glaze in the open mesh areas of the stencil which will help to minimize the glaze clogging the mesh. When finished, place the brush into your brush cleaning jar to prevent the glaze from solidifying on your brush (because this solution is not soluble in water you must use the rubbing alcohol to clean your brush).

    5. Remove the stencil from the paper towels and allow it to dry flat (hang drying is not recommended as it can cause the glaze to run or drip). The glaze will feel tacky when it is wet, but will be tack-free and glossy when it is dry. The glaze can take up to 15 minutes to air-dry naturally, but if you have a heat gun or airbrush kit, you may use them on their lowest heat/pressure to gently blow cool air which will help the glaze dry much faster.

    6. When the glaze is completely dry lay the stencil with the textured side up (dry glazed side down) on fresh paper towels. Remove the brush from the cleaning jar and blot dry. Repeat steps 4-5 to apply glaze to the second side of your Ikonart stencil.

    7. Once your stencil is dry, check the mesh areas to see if the glaze has dried in and clogged any open areas of the stencil (giving the mesh a whitish, mottled appearance). Holding the Stencil up to bright light can make clogged areas easier to see. If you see any clogged areas place the stencil on paper towels, wet a cotton swab with rubbing alcohol and gently blot the clogged areas. The alcohol will re-dissolve the glaze in the clogged mesh areas and it will be sucked into the paper towel while leaving the glaze on the emulsion to re-dry in place. Avoid flooding or wiping the stencil with alcohol, as this can strip away glaze from the rest of the stencil.

    8. After applying the glaze to both sides of the Ikonart stencil and allowing to dry fully, rinse both sides of the stencil in fresh water to set the glaze and clean the stencil surface prior to use with food items.

    And that's it! Your Ikonart stencil is now ready to safely be used on cookies, cakes, and whatever other food items you'd like to decorate.


    Food Contact Safe Stencils

    Proper application of Ikonart Stencil Glaze will provide a durable, food contact-safe stencil, aid in rapid cleanup after use and allow the stencil to be simply blotted dry after washing before re-use. If after repeated use of the treated stencil it starts to appear milky during water cleanup or has a cracked surface appearance, a fresh coating of glaze can be applied following the same steps as the original application.

    If you have any questions about making or using Ikonart Stencil Glaze, please reach out to us in the  Ikonart Crafters Facebook Group or contact us directly.


    *Note: 70% Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol can be found in any drug store (typically in the first aid section). Avoid any isopropyl labeled and sold as hand or surface sanitizer, as this may contain additives such as fragrances, colors, oils or other components which may not be approved by the FDA for food contact. The label should show a single active ingredient – isopropyl alcohol, 70% concentration – and a single inactive ingredient – purified water.

    Products In This Article