By now you probably know that Sweet Sticks has brought out new range of Sweet Stencils and also amazing new Alcohol Free Activator. What you may not know is that these two lines will work perfectly hand in hand and make your decorating so much easier and faster.

What is Alcohol Free Activator?

Basically alcohol free activator is one step further from Sweet Sticks original activator and as the name suggest it's completely alcohol free.

Sweet Sticks activator vs alcohol free activator
Sweet Sticks alcohol free activator is a revolutionary solution that turns Sweet Sticks paint powders and lustre dusts into pure paint. This product is designed for the Religious, Vegan, Conscious Caker and Stencil Artist decorators.
Alcohol free activator can be used on almost all mediums and it dries completely rub free. This means that you no more have to worry about packing your cookies in the bags - no more mess and smudges.

How to Use Alcohol Free Activator?

To use with stencils or large surface areas Sweet Sticks recommends the "Paint & Dust with Zero Fuss" method to ensure a perfect even coat.

Simply Paint a thin coat of activator onto medium on its own first. Then Dust your lustre on afterwards for the most amazing metallic shine.

How to Cover Large Surfaces?

Dip the brush into the activator and apply thin even layer on the surface. Don't go overboard with the activator - less is bess.
Using a large lustre brush apply lustre dust on the area that you've just prepared. Once you have nice even coverage use DRY lustre brush to wipe away any leftover dust you may have.

Cakers Tip: For this technique you'll need two brushes - one for wet and one for dry brushing.

How to Cover Small Surfaces?

Place the amount of lustre you need into your palette and add alcohol free activator. Mix until it forms a paint like consistency. Then simply paint it on to your prepared surface.

This method is great for small surfaces such as raised fondant cookies and finer details. It also works well on chilled Swiss meringue buttercream.

How to Cover Fondant Cake?

Using Sweet Sticks Wide Flat #5 brush apply alcohol free activator in small sections with an upward stroke. Go over the wet area with some lustre dust using the same upward strokes again.

Now grab another DRY brush and brush away loose dust and you're all done.

How to Stencil with Alcohol Free Activator?

So here where the fun starts. Alcohol free activator and stencils work so amazingly together and will give you the most amazing look with little effort.

Same as before less is best, so you only want to make the surface tacky and not completely wet.

Securely hold the stencil on the surface as you brush the alcohol free activator over the top.

The stencil will become sticky and it will stay in place so you don't have to worry that it'll move. 

Take your DRY brush and dab lustre dust over the stencil and brush away any loose dust.

When you are finished, slowly remove the stencil and admire your work of art.

Stencilling Buttercream?

Stencilling buttercream cupcakes is super popular at the moment and here is how you can do it yourself.

Start with piping nice big blob of buttercream on your cupcake using standard round piping nozzle.

Then grab a piece of baking paper and your favourite stencil. Place the stencil on top of the baking paper and press the cupcake buttercream side down onto the stencil.
This will give you nice 3D look once you've finished and it looks as if you've used fondant embossers on your buttercream cupcakes.
Place the buttercream in the fridge together with the stencil on top of it. You want to have nice firm buttercream before you start your stencilling.
Once the buttercream has hardened, take it back out and you're ready for the stencilling part.
Take a flat brush and cover the buttercream with alcohol free activator, making sure not to saturate the surface but simply making it slightly damp. Don't overwork the surface, the less back and forth with the activator the better.
Once the whole surface is covered with the activator, take the dry lustre brush and start tabbing lustre dust on. Don't use back and forth motion, rather simply tab the surface with the lustre brush.
Once you've covered the whole surface, gently wipe off any excess lustre dust and lift off the stencil.
And here you have, perfect looking stencilled buttercream cupcakes!!
Cakers tip: This technique will not work on Swiss meringue buttercream because of the oily surface.

Stencilling Chocolate?

For covering the chocolate, you need to have your surface ready and set.

Grab a hair drier and gently heat up the chocolate surface making it slightly to melt. Once the surface is bit tacky and melted place the stencil on top of the chocolate and let it set for minute or so.

Now you are ready for the lustre dusts. Grab your lustre brush and tab some dust over the chocolate, making sure you'll cover the whole area well. Brush away the loose leftover dust and gently remove the stencil from the chocolate.

How to Make Paint with Alcohol Free Activator?

Making your own paints with alcohol free activator is suer easy. Simply mix equal parts of the activator and Sweet Sticks lustre dusts or paint powders to achieve desired consistency.

Why I Can't Use Paint on Fondant or Covering Large Areas?

Sweet Sticks alcohol free activator is water based product. Large surface areas on fondant and chocolate do not work well when mixed together forming a paint. We would recommend trying Paint & Dust with Zero Fuss method as mentioned above.

To see a very quick video tutorial to sum up all of the above, please click here.

August 25, 2022 — Sirley Persidski