The first step in successful cookie decorating is finding a great cookie recipe. I recommend using a recipe with little or no leavening. Leavening is the ingredient used to make cookies raise up while baking. While it does make a lighter cookie, it can also make it lose its shape while baking. Cookies made without leavening will be slightly more dense than a traditional sugar cookie, but they will still taste great.
I am a baker before anything, so taste is important to me. I always use the best ingredients available. Fresh butter and pure vanilla extract give my cookies a flavor that is just as special as the decorations I put on them. I also like to add almond emulsion occasionally for a different flavor. I recommend this Basic Sugar Cookie recipe, or you can try one of your favorites and cut out (or at least cut down) the leavening.