DIY: Sprinkles + Printable Jar Labels
With Valentine’s Day approaching in less than two weeks, I’ve put together a DIY gift idea for all the sweetest people in your life. I have been wanting to share my very simple process for making sprinkles at home for a while and finally got around to photographing the process and results so that I can share them with you. In addition to sharing my fool-proof process for custom sprinkles, I’ve also partnered with Avery to provide you with a free downloadable and customizable label for the sprinkles using their Clear Sticker Project Paper so that you can personalize your sprinkle jar and hand them out as gifts for Valentine’s Day (or any other occasion!). Follow along below for the tutorial and printable.
- Small spice jars (I bought THESE)
- Avery Clear Sticker Project Paper #4397 (available HERE)
- Downloaded printable – use the PDF HERE or customize my design using THIS version on Avery.com
- Sprinkles (see recipe below!)
Sprinkle Recipe (for 1/4 cup of sprinkles):
- 1 teaspoon pasteurized egg whites
- 1 Tablespoon warm water
- Small whisk or fork
- 2-3 cups confectioners sugar
- Gel food coloring (THESE are my favorite)
- Plastic piping bag
- Small round piping tip
- Parchment paper (do not use wax paper!)
- Baking sheet or flat surface
These sprinkles really couldn’t be any easier, friends! If you’ve decorated cookies before you’ll realize just how familiar this process is, as we’re essentially just making royal icing. I love making my own sprinkles because I can customize the color to my liking, which is very helpful when it comes to decorating special cake requests. If I need to match a buttercream color, I just use the same coloring in my sprinkle mix…and voila, matching buttercream and sprinkle colors! You also get to control what goes into your sprinkles and you avoid eating the many preservatives some sprinkles have listed in them.
Step #1: First, whisk together your egg whites and warm water until slightly foamy. Gradually add in the confectioners sugar, while continuing to mix. You want to reach a consistency that very slowly drizzles off your whisk or fork. The thicker it is for piping, the better, as you’ll have more control of it when you’re piping out your straight lines. [Tip: If you are familiar with cookies, you’re essentially making a royal icing that would be similar to the consistency of an icing you’d use for your border on the cookie.]
Step #2: Once you’ve reached the proper consistency, if you want to color the sprinkles add in a small drop of the coloring of your choice, and mix well. [Optional: You can also add a drop of flavoring (vanilla extract, almond extract, etc.), but I never do this. Your cake or cupcakes and frosting should be the highlights, no need to add in another flavor on top of them!]
Step #3: Cut off the end of a piping bag and insert a small round decorating tip into the end. [Tip: You could use the Wilton #2 tip, or if you want to get fancy buy yourself an Ateco #42 tip which will allow you to pipe two perfectly-spaced icing lines at once.] Pour your icing mix into your bag and gently twist the bag to close.
Step #4: Line a baking sheet (or hard surface) with parchment paper and begin piping your lines. [Tip: Make sure to not use wax paper, as the icing doesn’t come off as easy once it dries.] Don’t worry about the excess icing when you begin piping each line, you’ll be able to break those ends off once they dry. Once you’ve finished piping, set the lines aside to dry for 18 – 24 hours. To make sure they’re dry, just pick up your pan and give it a soft tap – some of the lines should start to roll around!
Once dry, break off any of the ends that have excess frosting and then break apart the lines into sprinkle-sized pieces with your hands.
You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to break the dried lines, and you definitely won’t need (and shouldn’t use) a knife for this part.
If you’re making these just to use them on a dessert, get decorating! If you’d like to make them extra awesome and finish them off with a personalized sprinkle jar continue on.
Step #5: Next, print the sprinkle jar labels. You can use the design I made and download/print the PDF version HERE using the Avery #4397 labels. If you’d like to customize my design a bit more (change the colors, add a to/from note, resize, etc.), download the Avery version HERE. To open the .avery file provided go to avery.com/print, open the saved file (select “Open a Saved Project from: Your Computer”), and the design will automatically open in their design tool. You’ll be able to personalize it to your liking from there!
[Tip: Since these are clear labels, and most of your sprinkles will likely be colored, it can be difficult to see the label details if they’re printed in color, so I’d recommend sticking to black.]
Step #6: Lastly, fill your jar with sprinkles, cut out your label, peel off the backing and stick it on. And there you have it, sprinkles as customized as they can be!