01 of 09
Have Your Equipment at the Ready
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... 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.
Continue to 2 of 9 below.
02 of 09
Insert the Coupler into the Pastry Bag
In order to gauge how much of the plastic bag tip to snip off, insert the coupler into the bag. Snip off the top.
Continue to 3 of 9 below.
03 of 09
Push the Coupler Through the Pastry Bag
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.
Continue to 4 of 9 below.
04 of 09
Attach the Pastry Tip to the Pastry Bag
Attach the pastry tip you have chosen to the pastry coupler, then place the plastic coupler ring over the tip and tighten.
Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09
Make Sure There Are No Gaps Between the Pastry Coupler and the Pastry Bag
Make sure all the plastic pastry bag edges are under the coupler ring so there are no leaks.
Continue to 6 of 9 below.
06 of 09
Kink the Pastry Bag so the Icing Won't Pour Out When Filling It
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.
Continue to 7 of 9 below.
07 of 09
Place the Pastry Bag Over a Jar or Glass to Help When Filling
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.
Continue to 8 of 9 below.
08 of 09
Fill the Pastry Bag
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.
Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09
Tighten the Pastry Bag After Filling It
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.