How to Fill a Pastry Bag

  • 01 of 09

    Have Your Equipment at the Ready

    Gather the Equipment for Filling a Pastry Bag
    Gather the equipment you'll need to fill a pastry bag. © 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.

    You'll need a pastry bag, scissors, a plastic coupler and ring, and pastry tips. Twelve-inch disposable pastry bags are the right size for beginners (and professionals) to use, especially for a gingerbread house, where a larger bag would get in the way. Any kind of pastry tips will work, but for straight lines, a #10 plain round tip is good for bolder lines and a #2 plain round tip is best for finer lines.

    It's a good idea to use a pastry coupler if you intend to change pastry tips, like...MORE from a star-shaped tip to a writing tip, and so on, on your project. Otherwise, if you just slip the metal pastry tip into the bag without a coupler, you'd have to completely empty the bag to change tips. Or you would have to start another pastry bag and have three or four with different tips going at the same time.

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  • 02 of 09

    Insert the Coupler into the Pastry Bag

    Cut the tip off the pastry bag.
    Cut the tip off the pastry bag. © 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.

    In order to gauge how much of the plastic bag tip to snip off, insert the coupler into the bag. Snip off the top.

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  • 03 of 09

    Push the Coupler Through the Pastry Bag

    Push the coupler through the pastry bag.
    Push the coupler through the bag for a tight fit. © 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Once the top of the pastry bag has been cut off, push the coupler through so a few of the screw threads are visible and the fit is tight.

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  • 04 of 09

    Attach the Pastry Tip to the Pastry Bag

    Attach the pastry tip and coupler ring to the pastry bag.
    Attach the pastry tip and coupler ring to the pastry bag. © 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Attach the pastry tip you have chosen to the pastry coupler, then place the plastic coupler ring over the tip and tighten.

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  • 05 of 09

    Make Sure There Are No Gaps Between the Pastry Coupler and the Pastry Bag

    Make sure the pastry bag edges are under the ring.
    Make sure the pastry bag edges are under the ring. © 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Make sure all the plastic pastry bag edges are under the coupler ring so there are no leaks.

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  • 06 of 09

    Kink the Pastry Bag so the Icing Won't Pour Out When Filling It

    Twist the pastry bag before filling it.
    Twist the pastry bag before filling it. © 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Kink the pastry bag by twisting it behind the coupler and stuffing it into the tube so the filling won't pour out when filing it.

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  • 07 of 09

    Place the Pastry Bag Over a Jar or Glass to Help When Filling

    Place the pastry bag over a jar or glass to free your other hand.
    Place the pastry bag over a jar or glass to free your other hand. © 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.

    To keep both hands free, place the pastry bag over a wide-mouth quart jar or tall glass and cuff the excess bag over the edges.

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  • 08 of 09

    Fill the Pastry Bag

    Fill the pastry bag 2/3 full with icing.
    Fill the pastry bag 2/3 full with icing. © 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Now that one hand is free, you can hold the jar or glass with one hand and, using a spatula, fill the pastry bag only 2/3 full, otherwise it will sploosh out the end and you'll have a mess.

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  • 09 of 09

    Tighten the Pastry Bag After Filling It

    Twist the pastry bag tight after filling it.
    Twist the pastry bag tight and cradle it between your thumb and fingers. © 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Squeeze the filled pastry bag to get out any air bubbles. Then twist the end and cradle the pastry bag against your palm between the thumb and rest of the fingers, wrapping the fingers around it and squeezing with the fingers to control the flow of icing.