Arts & Culture

The 23 Uses of Pastry Bags: Photographer’s Edition

  1. Incredible bokeh’d edges: snip the end off a pastry bag, stick it onto your lense, and wallah! beautiful blur on the edges of your photograph. 
  2. Short veil paired with a bride with big swooping veil photo dreams? Just drape some pastry bags in the right way and you’ll be getting incredible veil shots in no time.
  3. Colored pastry bags: put a color filter over your lens.
  4. Camera strap: just stable your pastry bag into two loops at the ends, and your camera will never be far from your face. Literally. The strap will be so short that your camera will be essentially glued to your face.
  5. Elephant trunk: whether you tape the bag to your own face or the face of some little munchkin, you’re sure to get some laughs. Mom will be thrilled to have those photos of Johnny with a plastic bag on his face.
  6. Lunch container: never worry about running out of plastic bags for snacks and lunches again! Just keep some pastry bags on hand and you’ll always have something to store sustenance in for sessions and wedding days.
  7. Emergency goldfish container: we know photographers have a thing for goldfish, and pastry bags are almost just like those little plastic bags they give you at the fish store. You can tote Goldilocks around anywhere.
  8. Gag: stuff a few pastry bags into the mouth of any obnoxious subject. You’ll have peace and quiet, and the subject may even go limp, allowing you to position his body in any desired pose!
  9. Icing dispenser: I know this sounds a little normal in the kitchen, but it’s unique in the photography field. Bring a giant pastry bag full of icing complete with a piping tip, and whenever baby model gets a little whiny, just pipe that little mouth full of gooey sweetness.
  10. Line draw-er: Building off the icing idea, you could also put a little paint in the bag (or even just use your icing!), draw a box on the ground, and tell energetic little boys to stay inside it while you take their photograph.
  11. Sunglass extension: for days when your sunglasses just aren’t enough, wrap some pastry bags around the edges to block out all those pesky rays.
  12. Early morning video chat filters: have a consulting call with a potential client in the early hours of the morning before you’ve had a chance to get read (or get out of bed?)? Cover your camera with a pastry bag for some added blur and no one will ever know.
  13. Makeup appliers: when your senior shoot subject shows up with cheeks white enough to rival Jadis from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, just whip out a pastry bag and handy grass tip from Wilton (see picture). Fill your bag with blush, give it a squeeze right near her face, and you should be good to go!
  14. Taking pictures of chefs: oddly specific, but you could have a chef actually *use* a pastry bag.
  15. Mini Christmas trees: if you’re in need of some Christmas-y props, snatch a green sharpy, color all over your pastry bags, blow a little air into them, and set them upside down. You’ve practically created a winter wonderland.
  16. Travel: if you ever run out of travel size shampoo and conditioner bottles, the TSA has special exceptions for liquids over three ounces (as long as they’re in pastry bags, of course).
  17. Taking a shoot in the woods? Bring a ton of pastry bags and cover those thorny branches with them as you go. This way, your trip back will be much smoother.
  18. Skirts: looking for a beautiful tulle skirt, but don’t have the budget? Try stapling together some pastry bags for a cool tulle city grunge look. (Make sure you buy opaque ones.)
  19. Packaging: for people who buy canvas, metal, or even just paper prints, you’ll need packaging material, and peanuts are so common. Set yourself apart and use pastry bags instead.
  20. Lens cap replacement: let’s be honest, lens caps are small and easy to lose. You should always pack an extra in a camera bag, but when that one inevitably is lost as well, just use a pastry bag and a hair band to protect that camera.
  21. Hat: you’ll need a really large bag, but the possibilities are endless. (pc: Hendrik Kerstens)
  22. Confetti: cut the pastry bag into tiny strips. Perfect for throwing around as substitute confetti or glitter.
  23. Tarp: if it starts raining, just cut the pastry bags lengthwise, staple them together, and make do! Put your pastry tarp under a picnic blanket to keep the family dry, or use it as a makeshift umbrella or rain poncho.

Can you think of more uses for these flexible piping instruments? Leave a comment below! To add a few of these must-have pieces of plastic to your camera bag, visit The Pampered Chef!


  1. Use No.24:
    Ice a Carly Rae Jepsen themed cake!! 😀

  2. Nice, Annalee! This is great!! Although, what about No. 25? You know, using it as a mask when you just want to get the perfect reaction shot/jumpscare? 😉

  3. ??
    why is everything just about food!!!!??????

  4. Use 26:
    Hair curler: replace the normal rags or pieces of fabric used to curl hair with pastry bags. They will crinkle while you sleep, and if they fall out you will know because you can no longer hear them crinkling.

  5. Ahahah, this had me rolling! Great article!