Left-handed cookie decorating IS different than right-handed cookie decorating. Generally speaking, as a left-handed cookie decorator you always want to pipe from right to left (NOT from left to right).
Now I’d like to preface this with the fact that I’m right-handed, but I’ve taught quite a few classes (in person and online) and both my sister and mom are left-handed (my mom has taken all of my online classes!). So, I’ve picked up some basic tips and tricks along the way to best guide my left-handed students.
Bottom line: as a left-handed cookier you are ENCOURAGED to pipe from right to left, move the cookie to a more optimal angle and modify the execution of the design to be more comfortable for you! I am right-handed, so not only do I pipe as a right-handed person but I also make my designs from a right-handed perspective. Experiment and do what feels best!
First off, when practicing lines on the practices sheets, simply pipe from right to left.
When piping detail lines (whether straight or curved) and outline of cookies, pipe from right to left. Here are some example photos where you can apply this:
Rotate the Cookie
To achieve the most optimal (and most natural feeling) piping, you want you bag at a 45 degree angle. Because of this, you’ll notice that it’s easier to pipe when you rotate the actual cookie around for certain elements of a design.
Here are a couple examples (you’d rotate for the carrots and the leaves on the bouquet):
Rotate the Design
You’ll notice that some designs are optimized for the dominant hand of the designer. For me, I’m right-handed so some aspects of my designs are definitely optimized for those who are right-handed. Without making adjustments, those that are left-handed will find these designs quite challenging to naturally do.
You can definitely employ the above tricks (rotate the cookie and/or pipe the lines from right to left), or you could even switch around the design itself so it’s optimized for left-handed cookie decorating. Here are some examples:
For lettering, whenever possible pipe the lines from right to left, otherwise you’ll need to experiment with whether you prefer to pipe the letters from right to left or left to right.
When flooding, especially small sections, you may want to flood from right to left. That said, this might be more about personal preference. As a righty, I tend to alternate which direction I flood both big and small sections.
For piping circles, it’s really up to you what is most comfortable! Even for me as a righty, I alternate back and forth between clockwise and counterclockwise. That said, if I had to pick one that’s most comfortable, I’d probably go with counterclockwise. By that logic, lefties might prefer clockwise?
Just like with piping, you’ll want to do your scribe pulls from right to left (which will change the look of the design slightly) OR rotate the cookie 180 degrees so you can still pull from right to left AND keep the design looking exactly the same.
Here is an example:
Want to try cookie decorating?
Try out one of my online cookie decorating classes!
Other posts you might be interested in:
- What Is Royal Icing: A Beginner’s Guide
- How to store royal icing (more detailed instructions)
- Royal icing consistencies – coming soon!
- Common issues with royal icing – coming soon!
- How much icing per cookie – coming soon!
- All of my favorite cookie decorating supplies
- Cookie Decorating Practice Sheets