I, too, could not find black licorice string and ended up cutting up licorice sticks to form legs. My 3 year old daughter helped put the cookies on top of each cupcake and added the legs. She loved that. Most of the legs did not stay in very well, but nobody seemed to mind. I did not care for the taste of the orange in the frosting, and plus, it became too thin when I added the orange flavoring. (I'm sure I missed a step while rushing a bit!) For future, I will use plain white frosting instead.