Coloring Wafer Paper without a Printer

imageHello, cakers! Just before my short winter vacation ended, I did some quick and simple pics to show how I colored my petals in my Wafer Paper Succulent Tutorial.

In the Craftsy class that inspired me to look further into wafer paper, Stevi Auble works with pre-printed wafer paper sheets. I don’t own an edible ink printer (I looked around the internet and they’re very scarce and apparently a collectible item if you look at the prices of these old models!) and I didn’t want to pay a baking supply store to do it for me. I also don’t own an airbrush, which was another method I had read that worked. Since I only take the occasional order, they seem like a big investment for now.

There’s always an anecdote when you cake, right?

After watching the class, I was hungry to get working on the stuff! I was browsing through a local cake supply store when I noticed a display cake with beautiful colored wafer paper flowers. I innocently told an instructor in the shop that I knew how to work with wafer paper but didn’t know how to color it without a printer or airbrush and asked her if she knew how (that was a stupid question on my part). She just shrugged indiferentlly and I stuttered on saying: “Do you think the paper will take petal or luster dusts?”. She just said: “I don’t know, you’ll have to try and see.” Great customer service, lady. As I went to pay a few things, I saw the store’s workshop schedule and noticed a wafer paper class. Guess who was the instructor?… Guess who didn’t pay for that workshop? Moi.

So I took my wafer paper and started practicing what I’d learned with Stevi. I tried the dusts alone and found that the paper took almost no color. I had resigned to make only white wafer paper flowers forever and ever when something I’d read about oil-based food coloring popped out of my head. I asked my lovely Mom for any dessert-acceptable oils she might have and out came coconut oil and these teeny, tiny cutie bottles of LorAnn oil flavorings. Of course, these little oils with their yummy-sounding flavors caught my eye and were what I first went to work with. I picked the almond flavor for the debut, and went ahead experimenting with fabulous results!

Here it is! Welcome to my second barely-a-tutorial-’cause-it’s-so-easy!

How to color wafer paper without an edible printer

What you’ll need:

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  • LorAnn oil flavoring of your choice
  • Edible dust- petal, luster, disco (haven’t tried this one yet) or highlighter dust (warning: this one is for decoration only)
  • Paint brush
  • … and wafer paper, of course!

How to cake it:

  1. In a small container, mix your edible dust of choice with two or three drops of LorAnn Oil to form a paste. (The oil is on the expensive side and dries fast, which is why I don’t recommend to use a whole lot at once. Also, a little goes a long way!)imageimage
  2. Dip your brush into the mix. Run brush over rim of mixing bowl.
  3. Paint away! Work in layers. If you feel the first pass wasn’t enough, go over it. Your paper will take gorgeous, pretty even color and your delicate wafer paper won’t budge, shrink or disintegrate!image

My handy notes:

I prefer that my mix is more dust than oil because I like more of the opaque look. More oil makes it more sheer. And I don’t know what it is, but the wafer paper doesn’t even seem to notice there’s liquid touching it! Paint either before arranging the flowers or decorations or after you have made them. You can also paint with petal dust, let dry for several minutes, and go over with a dry, fluffy brush dipped in luster dust. That’s what I did to the succulent in my tutorial. If you were wondering, I also tried the coconut oil. It also works. However, my results were more sheer, more greasy, and not super-quick drying.

To the left, the wafer paper succulent is shown painted in this technique just by coloring with kelly green and moss green petal dust. To the right, after a very short dry time, I dry dusted the finished flower with teal luster dust.

To the left, the wafer paper succulent is shown painted using this technique with a mix of kelly green and moss green petal dust. To the right, after a very short dry time, I dry dusted the finished flower with teal luster dust.

What’s awesome about this technique is that it allows you to play with the colors on your flowers and not be limited to a design you print on paper. Of course, I assume it can be combined with printed paper for flowers with metalic details, for example. But if you want that hand-painted, organic look, this is the way to go! After coloring, you can use your wafer paper decoration almost immediately!

Can you believe the gorgeous result with metallics?! Go ahead and give your hand a go coloring wafer paper! You can cake this!

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10 comments

  1. Gail Knapton says:

    Thank you so much, I have yet to play with wafer paper because I was scared of ruining it with liquid, now I can put my bottles of unopened oils to good use!

    • Keira says:

      I’m so glad I could help, Gail! Go ahead, try it out, use a scrap of paper to find the consistency that better works for you!

  2. theresaf says:

    Thanks so much for that info! I’ve been mixing a few drops of gel color into some vodka then submerging my cut pieces into the bowl. Also quick drying but I can’t wait to try your idea as I already have the oils at home 😍
    T

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