37 easy face painting ideas for kids
Whether you need ideas for birthday parties, school discos or Halloween, we’ve got you covered with face painting kits, designs, inspiration, tutorials, tips and tricks!
Get ready for your ultimate guide to face painting ideas for kids and adults. There are hundreds of ideas out there to try and you don’t need to be an expert painter to get started. To help you find inspiration fast, we've rounded up our favourite easy face painting ideas for you to recreate at home with your kids. We love the creativity of full-face designs, but small shapes and patterns on cheeks look just as good, so we have a mixture of ideas for you to follow, adapt and inspire you!
If you don’t have any supplies at home (or if you do and want some more to add to your collection) we’ve gathered some of the most popular kits you can buy online. You can find a beginner’s kit fairly inexpensively too, so check out the links to our favourite ones below! There are many great brands on the market but Snazaroo face paint is a favourite with many, including our own editor Zoe, who has personally tested their kits with her family and can confirm they're kind on skin, easy to apply and have never stained any clothes after many many parties and play dates!
When applying paint, it’s best that the skin is clean and dry, and you won’t want to forget some hair accessories to keep those loose strands from falling in front of their face! Sponges are good for large parts of paint, while brushes work for smaller or more intricate areas. If you use a sponge, make sure to wet it, then squeeze out excess water as it works well when damp. Most face paints are water-based so can be easily washed off with ordinary soap and water; baby wipes are also a good option for when access to a sink is limited.
There are also some great cosmetic glitter and confetti packs out there if you want to add a little sparkle to your designs (like this one from Sinoeem, £12.99 Amazon). We hope you have a good time recreating these ideas but remember, it’s recommended to always do a patch test before applying your designs, just to be on the safe side. These face painting ideas are perfect for children's parties (use our how to make balloon animals for beginners guide to learn an extra party trick) or fancy dress parties.
If you’re looking for more fun activities, then check out our easy Halloween crafts for kids, our favourite craft ideas for teens and tweens or our crafts for toddlers round-up to keep you busy. You could also try our arts and crafts to do at home for lots fun ideas.
Best face paint kits for beginners
Snazaroo Rainbow Face Paint Kit
From butterflies to dragons, this kit provides you with 8 bright essential colours, for any kind of design, all together on one palette. Snazaroo face paints are excellent quality and easy to apply, this will make a great buy for starters who want a smaller budget.
Buy it now (Argos, £13.49)
Jojoin Face Paint Set for Kids
Complete with all the extras, this set will make face painting even more easy and enjoyable. You’ll get colourful gems, stencils, glitter, brushes and sponges, a face paint guide and sixteen colours to choose from – plus this product is water-based, tested and easy to remove.
Buy it now (Amazon, £17.99)
Snazaroo Face Paint Sticks Halloween
This set of 6 spooky-coloured face paint sticks are a fun and super simple way to apply artwork on skin and can be used not just for Halloween but for all kinds of themed parties. They create less mess than traditional face paint, so this is a great alternative to use when in a rush.
Buy it now (Amazon, £4.03)
BioKidd Natural Face Body Paint Royal Party Kit
BioKidd use a formula of beeswax and clay, their face paint is made from natural and organically certified ingredients, giving you peace of mind that its safe for skin and environment. With this product, you get ten non-toxic and hypoallergenic pots of paint – perfect for your colourful creations!
Buy it now (Amazon, £22.90)
Snazaroo Mini Starter Kit
Snazaroo’s beginners kit is a great starting point for a face paint collection, it comes with a range of vivid colours, applicators and glitter gel. It’s even all packed into a handy storage box, so you won’t have to worry about where to keep your new face paint!
Buy it now (Amazon, £24.20)
Easy face painting ideas to try
With three basic face paint colours and a brush, you can pull off this pirate design so your kids can create memories to treasure! This idea from Sitters even comes with a headband and eyepatch – perfect for when you can’t find the outfit accessories in your dressing up box.
Who knew the Babybel netting would come in handy for a face paint design for kids? Use it to create the scale features on this lovely mermaid design by Haushalts Muffel. Get the full tutorial here.
Try a nature design for animal themed parties, here’s an easy giraffe idea we think is perfect. For the surrounding leaves, sometimes the messier, the better – making them imperfect will often mean they look more realistic! Here is the full idea from Face Paint.
We love how colourful this idea is. This simple bear design is pawsible with Snazaroo face paint – check out the link to the Rainbow kit above. Follow their step by step instructions here.
5. Polka dot
Just look how gorgeous this one is! It’s colourful, unique and would even make a great matching face paint design for both parents and kids. We recommend using stick on gems and adding other shapes and patterns like zigzags and hearts to make this more impactful – thanks Tastychocolatecurls for the inspiration!
6. Tiger-fly hybrid
A butterfly? A tiger? Can’t decide? Try combining animals to create your own hybrid creature! The best way to do this is stick to the basic shape of one animal but finish the design in the colours of another. See Atop Serenity Hill’s guide to the tiger-fly here.
7. Baby Yoda
Adding this little guy to cheeks, arms or hands is a great quick and easy face paint idea for any Star Wars fans out there. What other characters can you recreate? Thanks Nadinesdreams for the inspiration!
Add some humour to your face painting activities with our simplest design yet! Draw your basic moustache shape with a colour of your choice and then go in with a brush to add detail like strands of hair and a flick. This moustache look is by Daizy Design.
For patient kids, you could try wrapping this snake design around arms, we think that would really make this a unique look. Can you use the Babybel technique from the mermaid design and add scales to your creature? This face painting idea for kids is originally from Wowee Creations.
10. Minnie Mouse
This one from International Face Painting School is for Disney lovers, use this face painting tutorial for a Minnie Mouse headband – for Mickey Mouse just remove the bow and add some red details.
Add some sparkles and glitter to make their Princess dreams come true! The best part about this easy face painting idea is that it can be customised with any colours you have. The yellow and blue combo from this Sitters design works well for fans of Frozen.
Embrace the music with this shimmering tutorial perfect for parties, discos and carnivals! Follow along to the Love to Know guide here.
Face painting for kids can be difficult but line drawn designs are great for beginners. Don’t forget to experiment with different colours and faces for your animals – using a touch of white paint as highlight really makes them pop! Get the tutorials at FacePaint.com.
Foxes are quick and so is this design, all it takes is some whiskers, two triangles for ears and an orange nose. If you have more time to apply your paint you can use a sponge to add colour to the whole face. Kidadl has the full idea.
This realistic looking unicorn design will be busting myths at your next party! Using a range of bright colours is essential for this look. You can recreate this unicorn in three simple steps. Go to the Snazaroo tutorial here.
This idea sparks just as much joy as real rainbows! If you don’t have a split cake palette, try outlining the rainbow stripes on the face first and then fill them in with colour. We’ve been inspired by this look found on the Mamãe Plugada blog.
Spiderman is a classic face paint idea because the character is just so popular with kids – who doesn’t want to pretend they can shoot webs and fight villains? You can find many variations of this superhero design, but we think this one by Nicola Langridge will be straightforward to recreate at home.
18. Queen of Hearts
Paint me! You can live an Alice in Wonderland fantasy with this Queen of Hearts look. After you have colour-blocked your base all this design involves is some love hearts and a bit of glitter. Here is the tutorial by Twist Me Pretty for you to create your own.
We can’t get over how cute this caterpillar is. To all you beginners, take your brush and draw around ten circles around the eye to make this creature look like its crawling. Skilled face painters can add shading around the circles for a more realistic look like this one from Honey Bee Face Painting.
20. Ninja turtle
Start practising your face painting skills now and you’ll have your designs perfected just in time for Halloween. Remove the scales from this design to make recreating it easier or buy a stencil to make yours look exactly like this one found at The Face Painting Shop.
21. Glitter swirls
This is another rainbow design we think deserves a place on this round up. With this you can still easily customise it with different colours, more glitter, sparkles and even clouds! The placement of these glitter swirls by Daizy Design looks amazing.
22. Hello Kitty
When you use this design by The Dramatic Crafter we suggest to wait for the white base paint to dry before you go in with the extra details. Try changing the bow colour and adding some glitter and sparkles!
This already fast and simple design by Wowee Creations would be made even easier if you print out and cut out a Batman shape to use a template.
Ribbit ribbit! How cute is this cartoon frog design from Face Paint Fever?! For all those Princess and the Frog fans you can draw on two frogs – one for Princess Tiana and one for Prince Naveen.
25. Heart tiara
Wear your heart on your forehead with this pretty heart tiara! You can jazz this up with some stick-on gems and glitter. This twist on the usual princess look is from Make Up Your Mind.
If you use face paint sticks for this look, kids can have a go at drawing on this design themselves or for their friends! It can be easily customised with favourite colours or flower patterns but this beautiful look is from Kissablesense.
27. Superhero mask
Kids can create their own superhero with this basic mask design. Colour-block your mask, draw on the line details and you can use a stencil to add cartoon dots and highlights for the finishing touch. Get creative and switch out the mask colours, try using a colour wheel for complimentary ones. Follow the full design by Face Paint here.
28. Rocket ship
Fulfil their dreams of becoming an astronaut with this beginner friendly rocket ship design from Funkee Munkee Face Paint.
Clowns aren’t always scary, watch this easy guide by Jo’s Face Art to bring a fun and friendly one to the party.
30. Melted ice cream
Using the face paint pens will help beginners to create the outline of this fabulous melted ice cream design. Finish this off by gluing a plastic ice cream cone to a headband. The full look is on The Love Notes blog.
The Snazaroo face paint sticks would be really useful for creating this look as it requires lots of line work, you can buy this kit above. This design is scarily easy! Follow the step by step instructions from them here.
Small designs are just the thing for face painting lots of people, and they still look impressive. Outlining in black should come last for this one, and you should create the yellow and white shapes first. To read more about this design head to Crummy Mummy.
Half face butterflies are super popular with professional face painters because of their beautiful simplicity. However, nothing is stopping you from recreating this look by Facepainting Hilke on both eyes!
To achieve this puppy face paint idea, first create you base, add some irregular spots across the face and over one eye, and then reference this image from Jolly Good Fun for the final details.
35. Flower crown
Flower crowns were all the rage a couple years ago but we think a revival is needed – this face paint design could be just the thing to bring them back! Although this looks complicated, Radiant Art Inspirations assure you it’s a fast and easy tutorial for suitable all.
Bunnies aren’t just for Easter! This video from The Classy Clown shows a cute design on the arm but it can easily be painted on the cheek.
Using only pink and black paint, with some optional glitter, you have a kitten design which can be completed within three minutes according to Silly Heather!
We hope you’ve found some inspiration in our easy face paint ideas for kids! Keep a lookout for our easy Halloween face paint ideas as we creep closer to the spooky season. For now, why don’t you check out our DIY Halloween costumes that are easy to make at home, or try this fab how to make slime tutorial, perfect for creating that Halloween slime.
Amy is currently studying for a degree in Magazine Journalism and Production. Alongside her course mates she created Perky Magazine, a digital publication for young women. Using her love for writing and design she helped to produce a podcast and two full issues of the magazine which you can read at issuu.com/perkymag/docs/perkymagissueone. Her experience also covers the running of the Perky and UOG Universal News social media accounts