I made an awesome Cupcake Stencil at the TechShop in Menlo Park, CA (www.TechShop.com)!
Computer with Corel Draw
Step 1: Creating Your File
You should complete your files prior to any laser steps, especially if you are making this at a TechShop. If you create your files in advance, you won't waste time making changes at the laser. The file was very simple, I found a vector image of a black and white bat online. I opened it in Corel, tweaked it just a little, and added a circle around it. At this point it was important to think about cupcake sizing. I made my circle 3 inches, and the bat 2 inches wide. The circle needed to be larger than the top of a cupcake, and the bat needed to be smaller than the top. Sorry, I forgot to take screen shots of this!
Step 2: Setting Up the Laser
Since the bat needed to be funny cut out, I used the vector cutting tray (looks like honeycomb) in the laser.
After setting up the tray, I focused the laser to my piece of acrylic (I forgot to take a picture of this step!)
Step 3: Cutting!
I used a clear acrylic, because I want to be able to see the cupcake under the acrylic. If you use opaque acrylic, you may have trouble seeing where your stencil will end up (if you REALLY want your image centered on your cupcake!).
Step 4: Finished!
So, I was originally planning to have one bat stencil (the circle with the bat cut out) so I would end up with a cocoa bat. I happened to end up with a 2nd option that would look great on a brownie! I took the little bat, and added an acrylic tab to the back (using acrylic glue). You can put it face down on a brownie, throw some powdered sugar on top, lift using the tab, and voila! A brown bat on a white background.
After testing the stencils, I realized that the circular stencil would have been much easier to use if it had a tab on it too. Trial and error!
The mixture I used has cocoa powder, sugar, and coconut flakes.