I'm always looking for the next great cookie decorating idea to share, for ways to make hosting your own Drop In & Decorate party easier, faster, and more affordable.
At my most recent party, a Mother's Day/May Day cookie decorating afternoon, we tested some products that worked really well, and that we'll certainly be using next time.
For the icing, in addition to pastry bags, we tried squeeze bottles. Made by Wilton for decorating candy, the bottles come in a set of 18, though you can buy them in sets of 2 for $1.99 on Wilton's web site. (I purchased ours at Michael's, a chain craft store.)
The bottles are easy to wash and they're reusable, which is an advantage over the disposable clear pastry bags we've been using. The caps keep the icing from drying out. Because the bottles are translucent, you can see the icing color inside.
Many folks found the squeeze bottles easier to use; others preferred the pastry bags for the variety of sizes of tips, and greater control.
One downside is that the bottles hold less icing than the pastry bags. I'll look for bottles that are slightly taller, but not larger in diameter so they'll still be easy for hands of all sizes to grip.
My husband Ted made the stand to hold the bottles upside down, which kept air bubbles from forming. He took a piece of scrap wood, drilled one-inch holes, and made the legs out of leftover parts from our printer's ink cartridges! The bottles could rest with the nozzles facing down, high enough off the table.
My recommendation: Try squeeze bottles for your icing.