Getting the Most Out of your Decorating Tips

June 21st, 2013 by Diane Knowlton

Decorating tips are an essential part of decorating cakes, cupcakes, cookies and more. With so many tips to choose from, it’s easy to become overwhelmed, especially when it comes to picking the perfect tip for your project. If you’re just starting out, choosing tips that offer the most versatility is ideal.

Below, you’ll find an overview of a few such tips that work for a variety of different decorating projects, and are great for everyone from novices to experts to everyone in-between.

1M Swirl Cookie Tip 1M is a deep open star tip. It can do many of the same designs as its smaller cousins only in a grander size. One example of this is the rose rosette on the cookie. Since the size is much larger, one simple rosette covers the entire surface of the cookie quick and easy.

Another use of this tip is as a quick swirl design for cupcakes. The larger opening allows for a quicker covering of the surface and a beautiful finish on the cupcake.

The star tips are by far some of our most versatile tips. The star tip family ranges in sizes as small as a tip 13 to as large as tip 8B. Tips 16, 18, 21 and 32 are the most common.

They can be used in making a large variety of borders actually covering an entire cake. Piping borders is by far one of the most important functions of this family of tips. As most decorators know, a border does much more than cover the edges of the cake. Many times the borders alone can be the focal point of the cake and frame as well. Some of the more common types of borders are the shell, the rope border and the rosette border.


A fast and easy way to cover a cake is to outline your cake with a round tip and then fill it in using one of the star tips. There’s no need to even ice the cake below. The stars will fill in and cover the surface of the cake. Another technique is to use the star theme by filling-in a medallion and outlining with flourished star scrolls.

At first glance Tip 233 may seem to have one purpose….as a grass or hair tip. And you would be right. However, there are many other ways this tip can be useful. Due to its many openings in a circular fashion with just a series of quick squeezes you can pipe a fringe on a blanket, or make a fuzzy dog or cat.

You can also use Tip 233 to create a garland or a wreath.

With a little experimenting you can use this tip to pipe an elaborate looking e-motion border or with very little pressure even give your design the look of embroidery.

Tip 134: This tip falls in the same category as the above mentioned tip as it has multiple openings. However, unlike tip 233 which has it openings in a circular fashion, tip 134 openings are lined up in a row. Tip 134 with its five openings make a perfect musical staff on a cake for a music lover. It can also be used to make a quick and easy row of perfectly lined dots for an embroidery ribbon effect or can be used around the bottom of the cake to make a border of five lines of evenly spaced beads.

Now that you know a little bit more about the uses for Star Tips and Tips 1M, 233 and 134, you’re ready to take on new decorating challenges. Whether you want to create beautiful rosettes or experiment with ribbons or piping, these essential, easy-to-use tips will help you create beautiful sweet treats every time.

Diane Knowlton Diane has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Biology, but when Diane’s sister-in-law gave her a birthday gift of a Wilton yearbook and basic decorating tools, never did either of them realize that she was sending Diane down the path of her lifetime career. That gift led Diane to attend basic decorating classes, to more advance classes, to teaching the Wilton Method and finally as a decorator in the Wilton decorating room. Diane has been at Wilton since 1996. Diane is involved with Samoyed Rescue, fostering many Samoyeds until they find their forever home. Kayla is a rescue that Diane’s family has adopted.

13 Replies

  1. Lola B says:

    I just want to order a couple of items for now….the 1A tip and some sheets for put on top of your cake ….like animal design…edible of course. Not sure what they are called. Do you have them? If I cannot order just the 1A tip from here can you tell me where the nearest store is to me. My zip code is 74006.

    Thank you,
    Lola Barnes

  2. [...] Decorating tips are an essential part of decorating cakes, cupcakes, cookies and more. With so many tips to choose from, it’s easy to become overwhelmed, especially when it comes to picking the perfect tip for your project. If you’re just starting out, choosing tips that offer the most versatility is ideal. Read more… [...]

  3. [...] Below, you’ll find an overview of a few such tips that work for a variety of different decorating projects, and are great for everyone from novices to experts to everyone in-between. Read more… [...]

  4. Marsha Worman says:

    Where can I find a few decorating tips that are discontinued? The lady who is teaching me decorating said they are a have to have item.

    • Diane Knowlton says:

      Which tips are you looking for? Are you taking a class with a Wilton Method teacher? If so, she should be aware of which tips have been discontinued. The ones that were discontinued were ones that are not popular or can be accomplished by other tips.

  5. Caroll says:

    Diane,

    My daughter and I are decorating a (Wilton) castle shaped cake for my grandson’s bday. It will be covered with the various designs and decorations. Do we ice the entire cake before decorating?

    Thanks.

    • Diane Knowlton says:

      It will Depend on the type of decorating you are planning on doing. Are you coving the cake with stars as in star fill in then doing decrations on top of the stars? Then no, the fill in acts as your covering. If you are leaving areas of the cake smooth and then piping decorations over it then yes it would be better to ice the cake with a coat of icing first. Anywhere bare cake can be exposed you will need to do a base coat first. Hope this helps.

  6. Cindy Bauer says:

    What is the best tip to make hearts

  7. Diane Knowlton says:

    Hearts are nothing more than side by side pulled out beads or shells. Using a round or star tip, pipe a bead with a tail or a shell toward the left, then pipe another to the right meeting in the center. You can take a damp brush and brush out the center line. You can create different size hearts by using different size tips. Using a tip 2 will give you a tiny heart where as using a tip 12 or 2A will produce a very large heart. You can vary the look by using star tips in the same manner.

    Happy Decorating,
    Diane

  8. Bethany says:

    I love that Rose Cookie. It was so beautiful when I first saw it on I am baker’s website! http://iambaker.net/rose-cookies/ You use a lot of her ideas.

  9. […] For the piping of the rosettes and swirls, I used the Wilton 1M tip. […]

  10. Deb thatcher says:

    When will the 2015 yearbook come out? I can’t wait for each addition! I have some yearbooks dating 1980!!! I love them!

  11. Rabia Qasim says:

    Pls tell me this all decoration is with butter icing or fresh cream .?

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