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JK wrote this on June 22, 2015

Are you struggling to print accurately on your shaped or pre-cut icing sheets? We go through the basics of these sheets, and how to avoid your designs printing ‘off’ on the placement, to help save you time in your bakery or cake decorating business.

A guide to printing on pre-cut icing sheets

 

What are pre-cut icing sheets?

Pre-cut or shaped icing sheets are a variation from the full page icing sheets – they are cut or moulded into different sized circles or rectangles. This means that you don’t need to cut out your icing shapes – you just print directly onto your shapes and peel off the printed designs.

In simplistic terms, there are two different ways these icing shapes are manufactured:

Icing Sheet Type 1: Icing moulded in shapes

The icing shapes are moulded onto the flexible backing sheets, leaving a fixed space between each icing topper. An arrow is usually displayed to show the direction to feed into the printer.

Icing Sheet example - moulded

Icing Sheet Type 2: Icing across whole sheet and then ‘stamped’ into shapes

In this case, the icing is thinly layered onto the backing sheet, and the shapes are subsequently stamped or punched, leaving a little perforation so that the circles don’t fall off the sheet when handling or printing. Look closely on the example below and you can see the cuts and perforations on the sheet.

Pre cut icing sheets

Which should you use? Well both types are relatively easy to print on (although sometimes requires a knack to remove the icing) – it really comes down to personal preference and which supplier you buy your sheets from.

What sized icing sheet shapes are commonly used?

The most common pre-cut / pre-formed shapes are as follows:

Circles

  • 1.25″ diameter circles (3cm)
  • 1.5″ diameter circles (4cm)
  • 2″ diameter circles (5cm)
  • 2.5″ diameter circles (6cm)
  • 3″ diameter circles (8cm)
  • 6″ diameter circles (15cm)
  • 7.5 / 8″ diameter circle (19/20cm)
  • 9.5″ diameter circle (24cm)

Other common shapes

  • Long strips (for wrapping around your cakes)
  • Rectangles (usually business card sized)
  • Heart shapes

Advantages & Disadvantages of using shaped icing sheets

Advantages: A big benefit is in time saving – when you’re printing many logos or photos for your cupcakes or cookies, it can save you 5-10 minutes per sheet, and also look more professional than manually cutting or using a craft punch.

Disadvantages: The main issue is with printing onto the shapes accurately. Without a simple icing designer like Topperoo, or a good knowledge of Photoshop, it can be a nightmare to get the placement right.

So how do I  print on the icing sheet shapes accurately?

Assuming you are using Topperoo to help you design, here are the steps to follow to ensure you are printing accurately:

laptop with Topperoo designer

Choose the right template shape

Have a quick check that you have chosen the right template by measuring the size of the sheet. There are two common sizes of icing sheet: US Letter (8.5″ x 11″ / 216 x 279mm) and A4 (8.3″ x 11.7″ / 210 x 297mm). In Topperoo you can check this below the selected template which you have chosen. Also have a check of the orientation of the sheet- if there is an arrow on the icing sheet, this should be feeding into the printer first. Otherwise, if there is just a backing tab, feed this in first.

Check Printer Settings

Have a check you have the right printer settings. With the Topperoo designer, here are the steps:

  1. Make sure you are opening your design from Adobe Reader
  2. Select ‘Actual Size’ or ‘Page Scaling: None’ in the print dialogue page
  3. Also tick ‘choose paper source by PDF page size’

Allow for a few millimetres of tolerance

The manufacturers have a 2-3 millimetres of tolerance in the icing sheets, unfortunately for the perfectionists amongst us this means that it doesn’t always fit perfectly! If you are finding the design placement is significantly out, and on a regular basis, have a chat with us at Topperoo and we can try to help.

Contact us if your supplier’s sheet isn’t supported

Topperoo supports more than 80% of the worldwide icing sheet market (and growing) – but if you don’t see your template there, just ask! You can drop us a note on the chat widget or email support@topperoo.com

Have you got any tips you’d like to share with the community on icing sheets? Drop a comment below!

  • Jade Clements

    I have never seen the punched toppers were can i buy these ?

    • Hi @jade_clements:disqus which country are you based? We work with a variety of suppliers worldwide. Drop us an email to support@topperoo.com and we will point you in the right direction!