Homemade Face-Paint

Looking for a fun new tradition to add to your 4th of July festivities? Why not paint a patriotic design on your child’s face…using ingredients you probably already have on hand. What kid doesn’t love face-painting(well, besides my 18-month old who won’t sit still for anything)??? :)



Here’s the recipe (adapted from The Preschooler’s Busy Book):
1 tsp. corn starch
1/2 tsp. milk (I used whole)
1/4 tsp. water
Food coloring

1. Mix the milk and cornstarch together until well blended.  

2. Add one drop of food coloring at a time. Once you think it is dark enough, add a drop or two more as it will lighten up on your child’s face (I didn’t make mine dark enough, even though it looks dark in the bowl).
3. Find the smallest paintbrush you possibly can and get your little wiggle-worm to sit still for a minute or two.
4. Paint! My art skills are seriously lacking…as you can tell. 

Once you’re ready to take it off, just use a wet paper towel and 15-seconds later, he’s good as new!

What is your family’s favorite 4th of July tradition???


  1. Do you think it will work with Soy Milk? My little one is allergic to regular milk. I'll probably just have to try it.

    Our favorite 4th of July thing to do is run in the 5K before the Parade and then plop on a blanket and rest while the floats drive by.

  2. As you can see, it didn't stain my son's skin. I think there is always a risk of staining skin whenever using face paint. Even if it doesn't wash away immediately, it will with another wash or two. :)

  3. Phannie,
    I would think it would work with soy just fine. The original recipe I had actually called for cream…but I didn't have any, so I used whole milk.

    Hope this helps!

  4. I know this is way after the 4th of july….but i found it for halloween. i wanted to do an easy facepaint for my little boy and didn’t want to pay a ton for something i would use a few drops. it worked great! it dries fast and doesn’t stain teh skin. i loved it and will use it whenever i need to paint faces =)

  5. My 12 year old is so happy tonight…we’re out of cash for the day, and he wanted to paint his face for school spirit day tomorrow…I played with the quantities, and I didn’t have any actual plain cornstarch…but I had cornstarch based baby powder. It works great! I added a touch of blue tempera paint for the color he wanted.

  6. I just did this tonight…the blue and red definitely stained our skin. Other than that, it worked wonders and was nice to know that it wasn’t toxic to the kids’ health!

  7. just did this for my daughter she loved it and loves getting her face painted but always been a bit funny about the store bought. so thank you. do you know how long it will keep for if to store it in fridge?

  8. Love this idea, will try it for Canada Day for sure.

    I wonder if you used any water or not? If so, when…thx!

  9. Nowadays, most of the colors are to be proven toxic and contained heavy chemicals and metals. So you here are strongly recommended to use home-made substances to highlight your designs on any part of the body. Good tutorial.

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