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Cute and Scary Halloween Face Painting Ideas

Updated on September 10, 2010

Face Painting Is Easy To Do!

Kids love to have their faces painted, and Halloween is a good time to paint on special looks. Face painting can be a nice alternative to wearing masks and is easy to do. Sometimes masks can hinder sight and make it hard to eat those treats. Painting designs on a face lets your child enjoy wearing a costume, have fun trick or treating, and enjoy Halloween parties without having to take off and put on their masks.

Use Quality Face Paints:

Water-based face paints go on as easily as watercolors, and removal is a snap with just a paper towel and water. It's important to use watercolor paints that are made specifically for face painting. Do NOT use watercolor markers or acrylic paints because they can irritate the skin and are very hard to remove!

Remember, "non-toxic" does not automatically mean "safe for skin!" Acrylic paints, watercolor markers and pencils are not meant to be used on skin. Many people are allergic to non-FDA approved chemicals and dyes used in craft paints, i.e., nickel, and their skin can break out with a nasty rash. Also, watercolor markers cannot be removed from the skin easily, and can take days to finally remove it completely! Be sure to use safe face paint that is readily available in craft stores.

Before Beginning to Paint:

Set face paints out, gather 2 or 3 small to medium sized paintbrushes, a bowl of water to rinse the brushes, and a roll of soft paper towels. Have a small towel handy to drape around the 'victim's' shoulders (oops, that should be subject's shoulders) to protect clothing just in case any paint escapes from your brush.

Easy To Paint Designs:

Face painting is easy to do and you can easily create a fairy princess, pirate, ghost, pumpkin, witch or vampire, even if you have no experience!


The ghost is probably the easiest design to paint because it's basically a triangle. Load the brush with white paint and paint a wavy-line in the shape of a triangle for the ghost outline. Add another thin layer of white paint to fill in the oval shape. Use black paint and paint on eye shapes and a ghostly smile. That's it, the ghost is complete!

Candy Corn:

What could be sweeter than a candy corn face? This shape is also a triangle and painted like a pyramid. Imagine (or dot markings) the face is divided into thirds. Paint the bottom third of the face with yellow, orange on the middle third, and white on the top third (or peak). If you want a more simple design, paint a row of candy corn across the forehead to create a candy corn crown.


Pumpkins and Halloween go hand in hand. Use orange paint to make the pumpkin shape on the face. I suggest applying the orange paint above the eyebrows with a widows peak in the nose area. This inverted 'V' shape will allow you to paint a stem to finish the design. Once the orange paint has dried, use black paint to make triangles in the eye and nose areas. Use green paint to paint the stem at the center top of the face. Just keep it simple and remember, children are not looking for a Picasso creation. They simply want to celebrate Halloween and face painting is perfect to light up any child's face.


Begin by applying green paint to the entire facial surface. When covering the entire face surface, apply thin layer(s) of paint because heavy face paint layers will crack. Use a thin liner brush to line the eyes with black. Apply a thin layer of black or purple over the eyelids to give a ghoulish look to the witch's face. Paint arched eyebrows with black paint, and use black lipstick to fill in the lips. All witches have a wart on their nose, and that can be created by adding paint to petroleum jelly, or pick up a stick-on wart at many Halloween supply stores.


This is another easy design to paint. Paint the entire face with a thin layer of white face paint. Use the liner brush to paint black lines on the eyes. Use red face paint to make blood drops or drool at the corners of the mouth to make it appear like blood was sucked from a victim.

Other Face Painting Tools:

Rubber Stamps that are made specifically for face painting are easy to use, and are perfect for beginners or people who are uncomfortable drawing free hand designs. Begin by pressing the rubber stamp onto a washable child safe ink pad. Gently press the stamp onto the child's face and fill in the design with desired face paints.

Stencils are another easy alternative to free hand drawing, although most designs are earmarked for air brush painting techniques. Begin by laying the stencil over a sponge. Fill in the open stencil area with white face paint (dabbing off excess paint). Remove the stencil and gently press the sponge onto the face. Fill in the design with face paints of your choice.

Free Hand creations are not as scary as it may sound. Simple shapes, such as, a lady bug, sun or moon are super easy to do. Practice drawing on paper, or surf the Internet to find pictures you can print and use as guides. Face paint crayons are ideal to draw the outline on the skin surface, and then you just fill in the design with a face painting brush. If you need to make fine lines always use a liner brush, and fill in designs with a larger brush. Sponges can also be used to spread background colors or blend full face colors.

Cleaning Up

Always read the manufacturer's instructions on any face paint you buy. These instructions will provide proper methods to remove the paint from skin. Most often mild soap and water cleans the face paint off skin without any fuss. Baby wipes should be used to remove a freshly painted design and lets you start over, if you happen to make a mistake or just don't like the creation. If you paint a design on another person's child, be sure to let the parent know how to remove the face paint.

These are just a few face painting ideas. With a little creativity and experimentation, you can come up with many unique Halloween designs to paint on little faces. Even if you have never painted faces, you will find it incredibly easy to do!


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      AliciaAlvarez 4 years ago

      I like them but I ment like for 13-15 not for 7_10 no but I do like them