Fun Face Painting Ideas for Kids

Whether you’re throwing a themed party or just want to brighten up a rainy Tuesday, face painting for kids is a great way to give your little ones some inspiration for creative play! We’ve put together some fun kids’ face painting ideas for you to try, whether you’re a makeup artist or just starting out with the brush.

Feel free to download and print our face painting pictures for whenever you need a little extra inspiration!

face painting for kids

Easy face painting for kids

Before you get started:

Make sure that any sponges and makeup brushes you’re using are clean! If your little one has sensitive skin, or hasn’t worn face paint before, start by doing a patch test – apply a little face paint to their arm, leave for fifteen minutes, and then wash off. If the skin shows signs of irritation, it might be best to give this activity a miss – why not make some paper mache masks instead?  

Cat

This is a basic cat design that you can use on its own – if you want to make it a little more complicated, you could fill in the area around your child’s mouth and eyes with white paint and add thick grey or brown “stripes” before you paint on the nose and whiskers.

  1. Paint the tip of the nose black
  2. Put a few black dots around your child’s mouth.
  3. Draw a few horizontal lines on each of your child’s cheeks, coming out from the mouth (for whiskers).
  4. If you want, give your little feline some markings by adding some thicker black stripes on the forehead.

Tiger

For something a little fiercer than a standard cat, while not paint your child as wild tiger? Bright and colourful, it’s a favourite at parties!

  1. Start by giving your child a white “moustache” and painting their chin and eye area  in white (make sure to have you little one close their eyes to prevent tears).
  2. Paint the rest of your child’s face orange with a damp sponge. You can use a stipple sponge (one with a slightly more open weave) to blend the orange into the white for a more natural “fur” look if you like.
  3. Add a nose and whiskers, as in the cat design.
  4. Now for the most important part: add black stripe markings on the forehead and cheeks. How you do this is really up to you but a good starting point is to paint a ‘V’ between the eyebrows and some vertical stripes down the side of the face.

Lion

If your child is more interested in being the king of the jungle then why not go all out with a ferocious lion?

  1. Start with step 1 of the tiger, filling in white around the eyes and mouth.
  2. Paint the rest of your child’s face yellow with a damp sponge – again, you can use a stipple brush here if you’d like.
  3. Add your nose and whiskers in black.
  4. With a brush, paint in a brown or black “mane” around the edges of your child’s face by applying the paint in short vertical lines that are spaced close together.

Butterfly

For a more delicate animal, why not paint your child as a butterfly? You can even get them to choose their favourite colours to make up the design and help make it special.

  1. Pick out two complementary colours for the wings – red and yellow are a good choice, as are blue and purple.
  2. Have your child close their eyes, and dab one of your colours over the eyelid, working up over the eyelid and filling in a little under the eye as well. You should be aiming for an inverted triangle shape over the eyelid, with each side of the triangle fanning out a little above and below the eye.
  3. Dab your second colour around the outside of the triangle, blending it with the first colour as you go. Make sure you keep the triangles the same size – butterflies are symmetrical, so both sides should be as even as possible.
  4. Using a fine brush, outline your wings in black or white paint – white paint will create a sharper outline on darker skin tones. Use the same colour to paint the body of your butterfly – paint a small ‘v’ between your little one’s eyebrows, with a line coming vertically down from it between the eyes.
  5. Add patterns to the wings in black or white paint . You can do whatever you want here, as long as you make sure it’s the same on both sides!

Witch

This is a simple kids’ face painting design that can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be!

  1. Paint your child’s face green with a soft sponge.
  2. Use a fine brush and some black paint to add in “warts” (at least one on the nose) and other witchy designs. Why not try a black spider web on one cheek?
  3. Finish with optional dark circles under the eyes made with black face paint and maybe even some black lips.

Knight

This is another easy face painting idea that you can be creative with and is perfect for little heroes!

  1. Use a fine brush and some black or white paint to draw the outline of the armour, starting at the jawline and going up over the cheeks to the forehead.
  2. Fill this in with a sponge and some grey paint, and then use your brush and black paint to draw in plates and rivets.
  3. If you’re feeling confident with your brush skills, you can even paint in a coat of arms on the forehead!

Fairy

Another great option for little princesses, you can keep this design simple and easy for a quick option or try some more elaborate brush techniques for something a little more detailed.

  1. Use the “wing” design from the butterfly as a template for the general face design
  2. When decorating your design during the last stage, replace simple butterfly patterns with flowers, hearts and stars. You can even use some stick-on glitter for an extra magical look!

There you have it! If you enjoyed these ideas for face painting for kids, why not get your little one’s friends over and have a face painting party? Just make sure you have OMO on hand to clear up any messes left on clothes afterwards!