Children's carnival face painting ideas

Written by kristen may
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Children's carnival face painting ideas
Simple shapes and colours combine to make many face painting designs. (Painted face girl image by il gitano from

When working in a face painting booth at a carnival, it is important to have a number of face painting and cheek art ideas that will work for boys and girls of all ages. In addition, simplicity is important so that each design can be finished quickly and the line will keep moving. With some basic face paints, brushes, sponges and glitter, any of these designs can be completed in five minutes or less.


Boys will love the pirate design, which gives them an eye patch, bandanna and a beard. A similar version can be used on girls, although they may want to omit the beard. Sponge black face paint around one of the child's eyes to make an eye patch shape, being careful not to get the paint in the child's eye. Then sponge red, blue or another bright colour across the child's forehead to make a bandanna, dimpling it back on one side. Using a paintbrush and black paint, add details such as an outline on the bandanna, strap for the eye patch, stubble across the chin, and a dark and wild eyebrow on the eye that does not have a patch.


A popular face painting design for a carnival booth is a butterfly. The butterfly's wings should be sponged on around the girl's eyes and down onto her cheeks. The centre of the wings can be in a different colour than the exterior, if desired, and blended into the outsides. Then with a different colour and a paintbrush, the wings can be outlined, the butterfly's body and antenna should be drawn on the bridge of the nose and between the eyebrows, and designs can be added to the wings. A touch of glitter will make the whole butterfly seem to shimmer and sparkle.


Younger children enjoy a simple rainbow on one cheek, and this design is fast and easy. All that has to be done is to paint the outline of a large red semicircle, followed by smaller semicircles inside in yellow, green and blue. A small white cloud on either end of the rainbow completes the design, and a little bit of silver glitter adds a finishing touch.


It can take more than five minutes to do a full-face Spiderman design, but a small cheek web will be satisfactory for most boys. For the full face, Spiderman needs white teardrop shapes around his eyes, with the point toward the upper edge of the face. The rest of the face should be sponged with red paint. Then, with a brush and black paint, Spiderman needs his white eyes outlined and a web design painted on his face. A smaller version of this design can go on one cheek, or even just a red spiderweb with black detail.


A vine of flowers of any variety can be painted along one side of a girl's face. Starting at the forehead and working down to the jaw, use a paintbrush to apply a curvy green stem and add a few small leaves. Then make small flowers along the stem in the girl's favourite colours, and you can even add a little butterfly in the cheek area as well.

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