Learning To Pipe...super Shaky Hands

Decorating By nikileebakes Updated 5 Jun 2013 , 7:19pm by Unlimited

nikileebakes Posted 31 May 2013 , 5:38pm
post #1 of 15

I am trying improve my piping skills and it seems like whenever I do start piping my hands just start shaking like crazy causing me to have shaky lines. I had never really noticed it was that bad until I had write on a cake for a customer today. Does anyone else have this problem or any ideas on how to make it stop? Or is the shaking just because I am new to piping and it will get better with more practice?

14 replies
sixinarow Posted 31 May 2013 , 6:20pm
post #2 of 15

I'm a shaker too, I have Raynaud's disease, so it effects the feeling I have in my hands sometimes which can be a problem when consistent pressure is needed to pipe evenly!

 I got some great tips from the master decorators on CC. One of the tips that has helped me the most was to keep my wrists locked in place and move with your shoulders instead of trying to move your wrist like normal writing -- hope that makes sense.

 

Hopefully some of the great decorators will chime in and give you their advice!

I'm getting better with practice, but it's definitely not my favorite!

denetteb Posted 31 May 2013 , 6:26pm
post #3 of 15

Make sure your icing is the right consistency, too stiff and you will have to squeeze harder and more likely to shake.  And practice makes a huge difference.  Do a little every day.  When I was going to be doing a scroll design I had a container of icing and I would practice on the sides and bottom of an upside down cake pan every day for 15 or 20 minutes.  Then I would scrape it off and use it again and again and again.  I could see the difference day after day.  Doing it regular like that helps with your strength and coordination and your confidence.

shake n cake Posted 31 May 2013 , 7:45pm
post #4 of 15

I have the same problem. I find I have to "warm up my hands" before piping by practicing on a practicing board for at least 10 minutes. This is especially true for writing! I also find it helpful to place my elbows on the table to add additional balance. But everyone above is correct.. lots of practice and you'll be great!

nikileebakes Posted 31 May 2013 , 10:25pm
post #5 of 15

well it is good to know that practice might help me! I made a batch "practice buttercream" and it is at a meduim consitancy. I think I might try put my elbows on the table while doing my writing at work for now. We will see how I do! I practiced some a bit ealier and it is still not very good however you can tell my hands started to shake a tiny bit less the more I did it. :]

 

Thank you for the help everyone!

denetteb Posted 31 May 2013 , 10:28pm
post #6 of 15

It will come, just stick with it.  You might also take part of the batch and thin it just a tad more and see how that works for you.  Play around with it to see what you like best.  If you over thin it, then you will know.  And then just add some more powdered sugar to bring it back. 

dawnybird Posted 31 May 2013 , 11:21pm
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikileebakes 

I am trying improve my piping skills and it seems like whenever I do start piping my hands just start shaking like crazy causing me to have shaky lines. I had never really noticed it was that bad until I had write on a cake for a customer today. Does anyone else have this problem or any ideas on how to make it stop? Or is the shaking just because I am new to piping and it will get better with more practice?


I have this problem too. My hands never shake until I know I'm doing something that can't be "erased", then they start shaking like mad! I think it's nerves because I know if I make a mistake, I'll have to scrape it off and leave a messy-looking spot on the cake. I think the practicing probably makes you feel more confident so you get less nervous. (At least I'm hoping that's the case!!)

Unlimited Posted 1 Jun 2013 , 12:27am
post #8 of 15

You were probably just nervous in front of the customer — it gets easier with practice. Think of it this way — the customer probably can't write on a cake, so it's your chance to show off in front of them... be confident and just do it!

Use thin icing and let it fall onto the cake (don't draw it on)... make sure it flows from the pastry bag easily. You can't do this with your elbow on the table—you need to get over the cake so your arm doesn't drag through the icing.

If you are a visual learner, I made a video. v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v

nikileebakes Posted 1 Jun 2013 , 12:39am
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unlimited 

You were probably just nervous in front of the customer — it gets easier with practice. Think of it this way — the customer probably can't write on a cake, so it's your chance to show off in front of them... be confident and just do it! Use thin icing and let it fall onto the cake (don't draw it on)... make sure it flows from the pastry bag easily. You can't do this with your elbow on the table—you need to get over the cake so your arm doesn't drag through the icing. If you are a visual learner, I made a video. v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v

Well looking at your video I now know that I defiantly need to thin my icing out and I think it will help a ton! I have been practicing at home for most of the day and I am not shaking as terrible so I am sure a lot of it had to with being nervous like you said.

Unlimited Posted 1 Jun 2013 , 12:44am
post #10 of 15

Actually, the icing in the video was cold from the refrigerator! However, I don't recommend using it cold when you're trying to practice — thin and room temp would be best.

nikileebakes Posted 1 Jun 2013 , 12:53am
post #11 of 15

I would have never guessed! It looked nice and thin with how easy it looked to be coming out of the bag! 

KathyK1298 Posted 3 Jun 2013 , 7:06pm
post #12 of 15

I have the same problem with hand shaking which is made worse, I'm sure, by rheumatoid arthritis. Enough can not be said about correct consistency of frosting. When I  was first learning my instructor told our class that a rule of thumb was that when it came to piping and writing, that often when you think you have the frosting thin enough, add another teaspoon of water/milk.  

 

Something that I do to help with my arm stability, depending on the type of cake I am working on, is to support my elbow on a bean bag pillow. It is the type that is filled with the micro-beans and it is made in the shape of a roll pillow. Mine has been around for quite a while so it does not have much shape at all anymore, so I can just fold it over, roll it up and mold it every which way. Then I sometimes fold and stack towels on top of the pillow for extra height. Another suggestion that came from therapy for my hands is to get a big bowl and fill it full of DRY rice, microwave the rice for 1 minute and then dig your hands into the rice. Let hands rest in the rice and absorb the heat.

nikileebakes Posted 5 Jun 2013 , 2:41pm
post #13 of 15

AWell today I had to write on another cake for a customer and I went in knowing that the customer would most likely be happy considering they probably didn't know how to or didn't have the time to. My hands were way less shaky! And it turned out way better. I just need to work on spacing so I can be sure to fit everything on the cake haha.

nikileebakes Posted 5 Jun 2013 , 2:42pm
post #14 of 15

AWell today I had to write on another cake for a customer and I went in knowing that the customer would most likely be happy considering they probably didn't know how to or didn't have the time to. My hands were way less shaky! And it turned out way better. I just need to work on spacing so I can be sure to fit everything on the cake haha.

Unlimited Posted 5 Jun 2013 , 7:19pm
post #15 of 15

Told ya! Have fun showing your skills!

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