How to assemble a pastry bag and tip

The royal icing for my cookies is tinted and I’m just beside myself to have finally reached the point where I’m almost ready to start decorating.

Now I assemble a pastry bag and tip for each color I plan to use.

Icing and frosting are piped from a pastry bag through a variety of tips and each tip is secured to a pastry bag with an icing coupler.

Supplies ready for decorating bag

I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that not very long ago, maybe ten years at most, I was totally perplexed about how to assemble a pastry bag and tip.

Hard to believe in retrospect, but the truth nonetheless.

Getting the tip and the coupler aligned properly on to the pastry bag stumped me. For the life of me I couldn’t figure out which part went into the bag, and which parts were attached to the outside of the bag.

Could I possibly be the only person in the world incapable of assembling such a simple gadget?

Assembling a pastry bag and tip is actually an effortless task.

The only supplies needed are:

  • Pastry bag
  • Decorating tip
  • A coupler
  • Scissors
  • A marker or pen

To begin, unscrew the ring from the base of the coupler and put the base in the pastry bag. The narrow end of the base should be facing the bottom, or narrow end, of the bag.

Push the base down to the bottom of the bag, as far as it will go.

Put the coupler in the bag

Using a marker or pen, make a mark just below the very bottom thread.

Push the base back up into the bag a little, and cut off the bottom of the bag right at that mark.

Mark at the first notch

Then push the base back down to the bottom of bag so the narrow end of the couple is sticking out.

Cut the bag

Place the tip on the narrow end of the base.

Place the tip on to the bag

And then screw the ring securely on to the base.

Screw on the coupler ring

That’s it. Nothing else to it. The bag is now ready to fill with icing.

Tip is secure on bag and ready

Assemble a pastry bag and tip for each icing color, using the same process.

Prepare all the bags you need

Cleaning the tips and couplers after decorating is not the most exciting part of the process, but unfortunately there’s no getting around it.

Once I’m done with my decorating project I unscrew the coupler ring and remove the tip. I run them under some warm water to remove most of the icing.

I snip off the end of the bag just above the coupler and remove the base of the coupler. I’ve always discarded the rest of the frosting/icing in the bag, but I just read an interesting article about freezing the leftover icing and I’m going to try that soon.

I’ll let you know how that goes.

I soak the tip and both parts of the coupler in hot sudsy water for a while. After that, most of the icing will easily run off.

I use a little tip brush to scrub the tips. Sometimes, especially with the very small tips, it’s a pain to remove the icing without using the brush or a toothpick.

Wilton tip brush

The tip brush is really tiny; a miniature bottle brush that I bought at Michaels. It’s also available directly through Wilton’s online store.

You can see here how small it is compared to my full-size bottle brush.

Bottle brush and tip brush

After I’ve cleaned all the tips I dry them with a towel and then put them in my toaster oven for a few minutes at 200 degrees F., just to make sure they’re completely dry before I store them.

Not so bad, right?

So far, so good. I gather my squeeze bottles that will hold my flood icing, and I’m finally ready to start thinning that icing; one of the more intimidating processes as far as I’m concerned.


2 thoughts on “How to assemble a pastry bag and tip

  1. The pastry bag has always been my nightmare, and the main reason I’ve hesitated to do cutout cookies. Maybe now, I’ll give it another try. I like the tip about drying them in the oven ..never thought of that.

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