Homemade Face Paint Fun


Our on the fly recipe:
Equal parts Palmer’s Cocoa Butter (or any face friendly lotion) and crayola washable paints
All natural recipe:
Use a thicker lotion for a base, pure cocoa butter, diaper cream etc and Natural food coloring


Rainy afternoons sometimes produce odd requests from D.

  • ‘Mommy, let’s find a spider.’ (who in their right mind searches out a spider?)
  • ‘Mommy, I have your wallet and your phone, please? I want to be a mommy.’ (apparently all you need to be a mother is a wallet and a cell phone)
  • ‘Mommy, maybe we can have Halloween today?’ (this isn’t actually all that odd, there are lots of days that I just want to dress up and eat chocolate)

Our last rainy afternoon D requested a Rose Tattoo…the kid likes Celtic punk, what can you do? You can give him a Rose Tattoo is what. So away we went to find a red pen, but somewhere between the junk drawer and the office I had a better idea, why stop at a teeny tattoo? Let’s make face paint!

Why go through the trouble of making face paint you ask?

1. Face paint is awesome. However, we didn’t have any face paint on hand so we work with what we have.
2. D has more fun playing with things he has a hand in creating, so when given the option, we make.
3. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has drawn attention to the fact that many commercial face paints contain lead, nickel, cobalt and/or chromium…(see above or read on for a more natural non-toxic face paint recipe).

So, I pitched my idea to D and he immediately saw the potential, his tattoo request quickly changed…

to a beard…


then to Spiderman (Yes, it is a terrible Spiderman, but you try painting webbing on an over excited 2 year old).


Then D made a life changing discovery, when it comes to face painting the real fun is for the painter not the paintee, and so I became a butterfly. When he deemed my face paint finished he proclaimed ‘Mommy, it’s a wonderful butterfly!’ and it was.

I actually became a few different butterflies, and a spidermom. He made me clean my face multiple times so he could start with a clean canvas. The activity was a big hit and one we will be doing again.

If you aren’t fond of the idea of your toddler smearing colored stickiness all over your face, have them paint a baby doll or, if you have more than one small child, each other.

To make the paint we used a mixture of washable crayola paint and coco butter, any lotion would do. We were not exact with our measurements, we set out the lotion first then added paint until we were happy with the color, approximately equal parts paint and lotion. We used a mini muffin tin to mix and hold the paint and separate colors. The paint washed off of skin, clothes (and couches) easily and it didn’t cause any skin redness or irritation. If you are worried about using the paint mixture and you decide more than 5 seconds ahead of time that you’d like to have some fun with face paints, here is a great recipe from smilinggreenmom.com for all natural non-toxic face paints.



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