Airbrush Station that Can Brighten your Photos

The title of this post may confuse you but, trust me, it will be clear soon. I am going to show you a great 3 in one tool for your cookies! I use it in some way almost everyday to brighten my photos (bouncing light) or as an airbrush station. It is cheap and easy to make.

Airbrush Station

I made an airbrush gun station so airbrushing cleanup would be super easy. I NEVER have a mess and not one little speck of color goes anywhere except on my cookies and on the parchment paper bottom. I will show you how easy it is to make but first, I want to show you how it helps me with my pictures. Did you just say, “What? An airbrush gun station for pictures?” Yes! You heard me right! I use my airbrush gun station to brighten my photos. Before I made this I would try to hold boards and my camera to try to get the right angle for the best light. Now that I have my station, my hands are free to take pictures. I use this all the time. It is flexible so I can move it around until I get the light I want and it will still stand on its own. Here is how to make it.

Supplies for Airbrush Station that will Brighten your Photos:

3 Cake Boards (19″ x 13″)
Painters Tape
Airbrush Station thebearfootbaker.comAll you do is tape the boards together with the painters tape. I like painters tape because you can remove and replace it as needed without damage to the boards. Leave a little room between the boards so it will fold flat for storage.

But, some days are very cloudy and I need even more light. I don’t want my cookies to get stale waiting on the sun to come back out. Don’t laugh! Here is what I do…Airbrush Station thebearfootbaker.comI used spray adhesive to apply aluminum foil to the back to make a reflector. You could buy one if you want but, this one is easy and costs pennies! It gives me that extra boost of light that I need. This is a super fast and cheap way to see if you would like a reflector.   And remember, it stands by itself so your hands are free to take the picture.

  1. Spray the backside of the boards with the spray adhesive.
  2. Unroll the aluminum foil. I found it is best to remove it from the box and roll it along the boards.
  3. Then, trim!

Airbrush Station thebearfootbaker.comAll these pictures were taken and edited the same way. To me, the middle one looks better because I took the picture on a day the sun was shining bright. Now on a cloudy day, the last picture would have looked better because the foil would have given my a little extra bounce of light. If it is sunny like today, your picture might look washed out.

Anyway, you get the idea and see the difference.

Airbrush Gun Station

In the past few weeks, I have received emails asking  if I have ever had problems with my airbrush gun producing a fine mist of color that would settle in my house after I used the gun. I have never had that problem. I made an airbrush station shortly after I purchased my gun and my clean up is very minimal. Even before I made the station, I didn’t have this problem. (This is the gun I have.) I would however get carried away and spray my counter by accident. I was so focused on the cookie, I forgot about the counter.

Airbrush Station thebearfootbaker.comAnyway, here we are at Cookie Con 2012 (click here for CookieCon 2014.)As you can see, we had 3 airbrush guns set up in a room full of white tablecloths and there was no mist of color particles except where we were aiming the guns. The white tablecloths were fine when we were done. So don’t sell your gun because you have heard bad things about airbrush guns.

Airbrush Station thebearfootbaker.comI felt bad for the few people who contacted me and I wanted to help so, I started experimenting and came up with this. My normal airbrush gun station with a vacuum hose hole to suck out all the particles. Now let me say, I will not use the vacuum because I do not have an issue with my gun being messy but, if you have an issue, I suggest you buy a small vacuum that would only be used for this purpose since it is close to food. It will not touch the food but, I am a cautious kinda gal and want to be safe. I would not want something that picked up icky things and dirt close to my food period! I “think” this will work but, I can’t say for sure because, my airbrush gun doesn’t make a mess. I was just trying to think of ways to help.

Supplies for Airbrush Station:

Airbrush gun station
Vacuum Cleaner hose

Airbrush Station thebearfootbaker.comTrace your vacuum hose onto one of the cake boards. It needs to be near an edge but, not close real close to the sides so the board will stay strong and not bend or break.

Airbrush Station thebearfootbaker.comThen, cut the hole for the hose.

Airbrush Station thebearfootbaker.comFor set up, set the boards in a “U” shape on parchment paper that will cover the entire bottom of the “U” shaped area. Insert the vacuum hose in the hole you made and you are all set! Spray away mess free! No particles anywhere except in the vacuum hose.

NOTE: My vacuum cleaner is not super strong but, when I tried this, it didn’t affect my airbrushing. The spray went where I aimed it.

Airbrush Station thebearfootbaker.comI hope this helps those of you that are experiencing problems or are just scared your gun will make a mess.  Don’t sell your guns on Craigslist or eBay or give them away! Try this first. An airbrush Gun is an amazing tool for cookie decorating. If you are like me and don’t have problems with your airbrush gun leaving particles throughout your house, make a station without the vacuum cleaner hose. Making a station is a great way to enjoy airbrushing with a super easy clean up.

I hope this tutorial helps you with your airbrushing and pictures. I said it before but, I will say it again. I use the station for almost every picture I take. It really has brightened up my photos and my hands are free to take the picture!

For more photography tips, follow the links below:

Custom White Balance
Poster Board for Pictures
Taking Pictures-Background Matters
You are My Sunshine-Light Box

Happy Creating,



  1. Come live with me. Please?
    We could have such fun making cookies. And you could hold my hand during the airbrushing.

  2. I LOVE that you put aluminum foil on your cardboard sides! SUCH a good idea!!!


  4. Ok so I am back and I have decided that you are the McGuyver of cookies!

  5. Katydoescookies says:

    Thanks Lisa!!! Looks very doable. Posted a link on the forum for the gals. Ready to get mine out of the box now:) –Katy

  6. Love Is In The Details says:

    You have no idea how much you have helped me! I got an amazing airbrush set up for Christmas and I’ve been feeling so overwhelmed and scared to even take it all out of the box. So happy I found this series you have done, because almost everything else I’ve read has just served to scare me and make me think I want to return it all. Your suggestions for making a cookie airbrush station are perfect and totally doable, I was at Home Depot today stressing about buying an exhaust fan to somehow build into a crazy airbrush box I saw recommended elsewhere :) Anyhow I just wanted to let you know how much you have helped me & I can’t wait to get going on some cookies! Thank you!!

    • I am glad I could help! I love my airbrush system because it is so easy to use! I never use the vacuum cleaner and my clean up is a breeze!! You can do this and remember, I am just an email away!

  7. Hi! I won the Pegasus airbrush at CookieCon 2014 (I had on the crocheted cookie scarf) and I’ve been afraid to use it since then because everyone says it will be all over my house! I was even thinking of buying a CakeSafe down-draft before I even tried it. Thanks for encouraging me to give this a try before making another big investment.

    • Hi Julie,
      Congrats! I am so glad you won an airbrush gun! I am working a lot of airbrush tutorials now so stay tuned for some helpful tips!

      As far as the mess goes, I use my airbrush all the time and I always use the airbrush station. I have never had spray on my counters except for the first time I used it. That is when I made the station. It is easy to store since it folds flat and makes clean up a piece of cake. Please let me know if you have any questions.

  8. Hi Lisa:

    Great tutorial, as usual. I just used my airbrush for the first time and I want you to know that I was so intimidated by it until I started reading all your airbrushing posts! My cookies came out looking horrendous but for a first attempt, at least I didn’t have color all over the house and I had fun. Boy, do I need some serious practice.

    I have a question about the station and how you use it for photos. After you adhere the foil to the boards, the foil side is on the outside, correct? In other words, you have a U-shape, with the white sides facing in? OK, I’m so bad with photography and don’t understand then how the foil helps if it’s not facing the cookies. My lighting is so bad at my house and I need a solution. Even with my DIY lightbox they still come out “greyish” for some reason.

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