What are Some Face Painting Ideas?

Nychole Price

Face painting is a fun way for children to celebrate Halloween or birthdays. Usually an adult is designated to paint the faces of children with watercolor paints. Combining a couple of face painting ideas can help to make some spectacular designs.

Watercolor paint can be used for face painting.
Watercolor paint can be used for face painting.

At a craft store, purchase paint specifically for face painting. If you are painting the faces of several children, such as at a carnival or Halloween party, consider making your own, as you can save a lot of money. For each color of paint, you will need to mix together a couple of pumps of unscented hand lotion with two drops of poster paint and two drops of liquid hand soap. The more paint you add, the darker the color you will achieve.

Professional face painters should have images of their past work to show to new clients.
Professional face painters should have images of their past work to show to new clients.

Face painting ideas include using a comfortable chair for your customers to sit in. They may be sitting down for a little while and sitting on a stool will quickly become uncomfortable. Position a table near the chair with the necessary supplies you will need.

Having all your supplies readily available is one of the most important face painting tips. You will need face paint, a cup of water, various sizes of brushes, paint sponges, tissues, a damp sponge for correcting errors, and a mirror. Cotton swabs also work great for face painting, since you can toss them out after each customer. Although it is not necessary, it might be a good idea to have some samples of your work handy, for customers to choose from.

Simple designs on the cheek can be made with a fine-tip brush. Set up for face painting with a set of store bought watercolors, or your homemade face paints, and a small cup of clean water. Clean the brush between colors and people. Simple face painting ideas include holiday themes such as a snowman, a Christmas tree, pumpkins, bats, witches, hearts, or cupcakes. Simple, everyday ideas include a butterfly, cats, a princess, paw prints and other animals.

Creating complicated designs, such as a tiger or Dracula, requires using a base color. In order to make the base color smooth and flawless, use a sponge. Cut the face painting sponge in half to create a sharp edge, which can be used to make sharp lines and clean edges. You can also create a stipple effect with a porous sponge. Use the various broad- and fine-tip paintbrushes to create your design over the top of the base paint.

Many face painting ideas are made more spectacular with the addition of glitter. Add a small amount of face painting glitter to petroleum jelly and gently apply over the top of the design. Keep the glitter away from the eyes, as it is made from glass and can cause severe damage.

Children find it very difficult to sit still for long periods of time. Stencils will help make the face painting process easier and quicker. Think of some face painting ideas, such as hearts, butterflies and pumpkins. Sketch the designs out with black ink, lay a piece of acetate over the top and cut it out with a hobby knife. It is now ready for use. If you have trouble coming up with face painting ideas to use with your booth, consider purchasing a book of designs, available at most craft stores.

Squeeze tube paint works great for adding details onto a face painting.
Squeeze tube paint works great for adding details onto a face painting.

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Discussion Comments


I have a friend who does children's face painting too Rundocuri, and she makes her designs very simply yet brightly colored. By using these face painting techniques, she can more quickly on to the next child so the groups doesn't have to wait too long, and also makes them happy with the vibrant colors.


My sister does face painting designs for kids at various events and birthday parties. Balloons, animals, flowers, and butterflies are some of the designs that she loves to do and that the children request most often.

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