Bored? Stuck inside on a rainy day? Forgot to buy face paint for Halloween and only have a few minutes before trick-or-treating? Save the day by making your own face paint. Follow these five easy steps, using household items, to make doing-it-yourself a fun and creative way for kids, teens, and adults to enjoy a little creativity.
Homemade Face Paint Ingredients
For a small amount (1-2 colors):
¾ teaspoon of cornstarch
½ teaspoon thick/heavy facial lotion
¼ teaspoon of water
1-2 drops of food coloring
For a large amount, double each ingredient except food coloring, and separate into small bowls or ramekins before adding food coloring.
Supplies for Making Face Paint
Small to medium mixing bowl
Small whisk or mixing spoon
Small bowls or ramekins (for multiple colors)
Q-tips/safety swabs or soft-bristled, fine paintbrushes
Old newspaper or wax paper for easy cleanup
Optional: small-scaled stencils or images to use for face painting designs
DIY Face Paint Directions
1. Lay out newspaper or wax paper to protect work area from food coloring stains.
2. Use a small bowl to mix cornstarch, thick facial lotion, and water with a small whisk or spoon. To make a heavier paint, add an extra pinch or two of cornstarch. Depending on the thickness of the lotion used, more cornstarch or water may be added to reach desired consistency.
3. Once the desired consistency is reached, separate into small bowls or ramekins to make two or more colors.
4. Add one drop of food coloring and thoroughly mix until color is evenly blended throughout the paint mixture. For deeper color add another drop of food coloring. * Keep in mind, not only does food coloring stain clothes, but adding too much color will leave residual color on the skin.
5. Use Q-tips/safety swabs or soft-bristled, fine paintbrushes to paint designs. If painting for Halloween or other costume, make sure to apply after putting on the costume and covering it with a paper towel to protect clothing while applying face paints.
Making your own face paint for Halloween is super simple and fun. Painting faces makes a great activity for a rainy day or play date, from involving kids in mixing the ingredients to applying the paint. Kids love to paint caregivers’ faces. Practice any time of year to perfect the art of face painting for birthday parties, summer festivals, and school events, without the hassle or cost of running to the store.
Adapted from The Everything Toddler Activity Book by Jodi Levine, M.Ed.