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How To Make Your Own Cake Decorating Tools DIY To Save Money

          Photo DYI Cake Rose Nail From Foil

            These cake decorating hacks are an option to replace some cake icing utensils. I had situations in life when I wish I knew some of these alternative options. I can call these cake decorating tools for beginners because if you start learning cake decorating, great to try before buying tools, get a feel for how you like to decorate cakes, and buy good tools later. I was very interested many years ago in cake decorating and have a few cake decorating tools myself. I learned basic and really like very simple cake decor, mostly notes. To be honest, I don’t need most of my cake decorating stuff because I decorate 4-5 cakes a year. In some situations we can use these kitchen hacks, to have a backup if you are not home where tools are but need to help someone with cake decorating. Here is the way how we can decorate the cake without store-bought tools. I saw a few ideas on the Internet and put them to the test, you can see how it works for me and I am sure, it will work for you. This page is dedicated to how to make cake decorating tools from what you have in your kitchen. For example, a DIY piping nozzle with cans is a great alternative for some store-bought piping nozzles.

           I feel like this page is useful for you if you bake just a few times a year or just to learn baking skills. Please let me know in the comments below what you think about these DIY cake decorating ideas, your opinion is important to me. So, I am motivated to make more content like this.

On the page:

  1. How to make yourself 3 different icing nozzle tips (what to use if we don’t have a piping bag)
  2. 2 cake flower nail substitute ideas (easy!)
  3. What we can use for cake decorating turntables?
  4. Substitute for a refillable pastry brush.

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1. DIY How to Make Disposable Icing Tips Yourself

       Can we make a disposable cake decorating piping nozzle tip? Yes and super easy! How to decorate a cake without having a pipe I learned from the Russian baker video and love the idea! I try to make myself and try out handmade pastry tubes and you can see in the photos and video how it works for me. We can use metal cans from soda pop drinks to make great disposable cake decorating pastry tubes. Another reason handy to have this option, when we use different colors of icing and have just one tip from the baker set, make another disposable one, and use it for another color. The metal from soda pops food grate and safe material to use for this purpose. I used a silver inside part inside the tip, so paint not in contact with icing. Nice, we can make it with the tools we have in our kitchen. We can make some other cake decorating tips as well. I tried and it works well with a leaf tip and to make a piping tip for roses, check the photos below as a guide for the writing tip.

What To Use If We Don’t Have A Piping Bag For Frosting?

      The best alternative for a piping bag is freezer ziplock bags. I used a freezer ziplock bag as an icing piping cake decorating bag in the video below. Very nice disposable pastry bags available on the market. However, for my needs, I use ziplock bags for the last couple of years. Easy and what I always have in my pantry. Ziplock bags are a great substitute for pastry decorating bags. I tried to use sandwich bags and it not strong enough to hold the pressure. Of course, this tip for occasional bakers as I am. I like the original frosting bags and used them but I bake much less now. I had washable bags in the past and don’t like it. Maybe less money to spend but so much cleaning to do, especially unpleasant clean after icing with butter. So, I use only disposable bags now. With handmade cake decorating tips we can use any piping bags and it is up to your personal preferences.

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We Need:

  1. Empty can of pop soda
  2. Sheares
  3. Tape
  4. Plastic bag


  1. Make a hole close to the top of a can, it helps start cutting the top off the can.

PhotoHow to Make Icing Tips for Writing Step 1

2. Cut square from the can approximately 3″ x 3″.

Photo How to Make Icing Tips for Writing 2 Step

3. Roll the square from a can in the cone and leave a desirable opening for writing or make other designs.

Photo How to Make Icing Tips for Writing Step 3

4.  Secure the cone with a piece of clear tape outside of the cone.

*If you keep the tape in the middle, it is not going in contact with icing. Better keep it on the top of the icing tip.

Photo How to Make Icing Tips for Writing Step 4

5. Attach clear tape outside the tip to secure the tip. It is optional and not necessary. I like to do it because it really helps, sometimes tip stretches the bag and comes out.

*Just bag itself without writing tips not firm enough to write or for other designs on a cake and other pastries.

Photo How to Make Icing Tips for Writing Step 5

6. Place bag with the tip in a glass and feel with icing.

Photo How to Make Icing Tips for Writing Step 6

7. Twist the bag on the top, so the icing does not come out from the top.

Photo How to Make Icing Tips for Writing Step 7

8. Push out air from the bag and write on a plate or napkin to get a feel of how icing is going before starting on a cake. Before decorating a cake with writing make a trace of your message or design with a toothpick or skewer on the icing, it makes writing easy.

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We can also use a piping bag for writing from baking paper as well but with the tip writes much better.

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Video How To Make Disposable Icing Tip For Writing

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DIY Piping Tip To Make Leaves And Other Cake Designs

     This tip is good to make leaves and other decorations on cakes and cupcakes. The same technique as for writing tips. Make instead of a small cut on the bottom, cut a V shape. Because the metal is flexible, we can make a smaller opening and the leaf will be more delicate. In the photo below, I decorated it with leaves the flower from the marshmallow.

Easy and fun to decorate store cake with marshmallows flowers!

Photo Marshmallow cake decor Image

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How To Make Decorating Icing Tip Rose Petals and Riffels

     This tip is good to make rose petals, raffles, and more. The same technique as for writing tips. Make instead of a small cut on the bottom, the angle cut, is shown in the photo.

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2. Two Cake Flower Nail Substitute Ideas

       What can we use instead of cake decorating flower nails if we don’t have one? To make some roses from icing or other flowers nice to use the nail. Some flowers are impossible to make without this useful cake decorating tool. We can use it when we can’t pipe a flower directly on a cake, cupcake, cookie, or dessert. The cake nail gives us more control and space around a flower. Another convenience to using a flower nail is if the flower comes out not pretty as we desire, we always can make another one very easily without touching a cake surface. Another convenience to using this cake decorating tool is making flowers in advance. We can make many flowers and set them aside for later cake decoration. I am going to share the DYI flower nail icing and cake flower nail substitute idea.       I have Wilton rose nail, I bought it a long time ago and no complaints. But will be honest I use it just a few times, I already mention I bake cakes seldom. So here 2 options to practice how to use a flower nail before buying a flower nail for bakers.


1. DIY Flower Nail For Cakes Icing From Foil

         DIY flower nail icing from foil technique is so simple way to make this useful cake decorating tool. We need just foil and a piece of rigid paper, which can be any box from dry food for example or we cut out the bottom of a plastic cup. This is a really useful DIY cake decorating idea! Works very well for me! We can make a flower nail in any desirable size for almost no cost! Check out this cake decorating rose nail substitute idea!

We Need:

  1. Foil
  2. Shears
  3. Any rigid paper or plastic


      1. Cut a circle from any solid paper. I made my circle from a box of dry food.

* I cut 2″ but you can make any size of rose nail you are going to need.

      Photo DYI Cake Decorating Rose Nail From Foil 1

 2. Place the circle on the middle of the foil square. Wrap the circle in foil.

      Photo DYI Cake Decorating Rose Nail From Foil Step 1

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 3. From the excess of foil on the bottom make a handle.

 Photo DYI Cake Decorating Rose Nail From Foil Step 3

 4. Our handmade rose nail is ready to use! Place a dot of icing to secure our lining square on the flower nail and make your flower. I make my lining on the rose nail from baking paper.

Photo DYI Cake Rose Nail From Foil


Cake Flower Icing Nail Substitute Is Champagne Glass

      We can use champagne glass as a flower icing nail substitute to decorate cakes, cupcakes or other sweets. The champagne glass works great as a  substitute but you can use other glasses that you have available at home. I tried different glasses and found narrow and tall glass is the best. The top is easy to rotate and another convenience, we can stand it on a table if need rest for hand or for other reasons.

Place a glass upside down and use the base of the glass like a flower nail.

      Photo Cake Decorating Rose Nail From Glass

     We can make buttercream roses without a flower nail by using champagne glass instead. In the photo below, I make the rose out of beaten egg whites to stiff peaks.

      Photo Cake Decorating Rose Nail From Glass With Flower

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           Photo Hack what we can use instead of cake turntable

3. What Can I Use Instead Of Cake Decorating Turntable?

           Any revolving cake stand makes so much easier cake decoration and bread decoration. Great if you have a Wilton cake decorating rotating stand. I love my Wilton cake turntable and have had it for 16 years. Wilton cake decorating turntable is not much cost, I have my turntable for so many years. I have a few ideas for cake turntable alternatives if I had known it before, I wouldn’t have bought a specially made-for-cake turntable. The reason is nice to have a turntable that I can use for something else too in my kitchen and when ready to decorate a cake of bread use it. It happens I have a few turntables in my kitchen, so I can share photos and you make a decision about what is best for you. Look around in your kitchen and may find one where you don’t expect, in the microwave!


Microwave Plate As Cake Turntable Alternative

          When I saw this clever idea on the Internet, I run to my kitchen and check my microwave and I was surprised how well it works! Actually, this baking hack became my inspiration for this page. I don’t know, all microwaves have the same plate with rolls like my but I share how it works with my microwave turntable plate. Actually, we can serve a cake on this plate because it made from a glass. Another great value of this clever idea, the turntable plate doesn’t take a space in your pantry, we keep it in the microwave! As you can see on the gif below, microwave plate rotating so easy and very manageable. If table surface too smooth, I use a wet paper towel under the rolls. I wish I knew this life hack years ago!

Gif Rotating plate from microwave for cake decoration

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1. Cake Decorating Turntable From OXO 11″ Pantry Turntable As Cake Turntable Alternative

Photo OXO 11 inch Pantry Turntable For Cake Decor

     Another idea we can fund cake turntable alternative in our pantry. I bought my 11″ turntable from OXO company just recently for my pantry, works just perfect for the pantry as well for cake decorating! What is great, if we decorate cakes very seldom, our turntable we use for another purpose in the kitchen and it doesn’t take space. OXO Good Grips turntable designed to use in cabinets or pantry for easy access to items like sauces or spices.

Why is the OXO turntable so great use for cake decorating?

1. Size! 11 inch just great to place a large plate on it.

2.  The black top is non-slip rubber and plate with cake will be very secure and not slip away.

3. On the bottom 4 non-slip circles, what makes the turntable very stable on the table surface.

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2. Lazy Susan For Cake Decorating As Cake Turntable Alternative

        I have another turntable from bamboo. I learned just recently turnable can call also Lazy Susan. Lazy Susan for cake decorating is a great solution as cake turntable alternative. Just place non-slip cover for the bottom and the top. Basically, most pantry turntables can work as cake decorating turntable as well. Mabe one better than other but still does the task!

Happy cake decorating!

Photo Turntable plate

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3. Tempered Glass Lazy Susan As Cake Turntable Alternative

     Tempered glass Lazy Suzan is an option for cake decorating turntable. It can be a table decor and place spices on the top. When we need turnable for a cake we can use it. We can also serve directly on the top cake if we need it. This made out of glass and easy to clean.


I like to serve spices on my tempered glass Lazy Suzan and we don’t have to pass to each other, we just turn it to rich what we need on the other side. This turntable also can be great to serve fruits on it or other appetizers as well. It is going well with any kitchen decor and style. You can find it easily online.


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4. Substitute For Refillable Pastry Brush

      The best substitute for a refillable pastry brush is a small plastic bottle. The pastry refillable brush is on the photo on the top. I use this brush to infuse my sponge cake with flavorful liquid. I bought this brush to give it a try and it is nice. However, infusing my sponge cake plastic bottles with small holes in the lid works great too, and at almost no cost. Another idea to make a pastry brush is using baking paper. Check how to make pastry brush out of baking paper ⇒ 7 Ways To Use Baking Parchment Paper In The Kitchen

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Bakery Joke


   A customer asked the owner of the bakery: “What do you have without fat and sugar?…”

Answer: “Napkins!”

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