Funny Face
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10 Halloween Face Paints to Make at Home

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Funny Face
Zinkevych/istockphoto

Funny Face

It's almost costume season again, and Halloween face paint is a fun addition to any festive disguise. But rather than head to the costume store for supplies, why not concoct your own at home? It's easy enough that kids can help, and you can save money by using everyday ingredients — such as flour, cornstarch, and vegetable oil — and mixing only the colors and amounts needed. For Halloween face paint ideas that are less toxic and chemical-laden than store-bought versions, check out these options for making face paint in your own kitchen.


Related: Freaky Facts About Halloween

Lotion and Cornstarch
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Lotion and Cornstarch

Materials: Cornstarch, white cold cream or face lotion, vegetable or baby oil, nontoxic washable paint


Steps: Combine equal parts cornstarch and white cold cream or face lotion. Adjust the consistency by thinning with water or thickening with more cornstarch. Add a tiny bit of vegetable oil or baby oil (about one-quarter teaspoon) to help the paint go on more smoothly and prevent caking. Add color with nontoxic washable paint, which costs a few dollars at the craft store. Start with a dab of paint for every spoonful of mixture. Food coloring can be used instead, but it may stain skin. Flour or baby powder can be substituted for cornstarch.


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Shortening and Cornstarch
Amazon

Shortening and Cornstarch

Materials: Cornstarch, vegetable shortening, washable paint or food coloring, petroleum jelly (optional), flour (optional)


Steps: Mix two parts cornstarch with one part vegetable shortening, which yields a homemade white face paint perfect for clown faces. Alternatively, color it with washable paint or food coloring. For a more sophisticated recipe, mix two tablespoons of shortening, one-eighth teaspoon of petroleum jelly, and a bit of paint or food coloring. Combine five tablespoons of cornstarch and one teaspoon of flour, and add this powder to the shortening mixture a little at a time. The end result will be chunky, a bit chalky, and solid enough to handle.


Related: Horrifying and Hilarious Halloween Lawn Decorations to Wow the Neighbor Kids

Kool-Aid
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Kool-Aid

Materials: Water, flour, vegetable oil or baby oil, Kool-Aid


Steps: Mix three teaspoons of water, two teaspoons of flour, and one teaspoon of vegetable oil. (You can use baby oil, too — but then disregard the part about it being edible.) Add a sprinkle of Kool-Aid for color, and keep adding until it reaches the desired color intensity. If the mixture is too thin, add more flour.

Chalk
Anna Usova/istockphoto

Chalk

Materials: Chalk, lotion or water


Steps: Use up leftover sidewalk chalk from summer for this homemade face paint recipe (regular chalk works too). The result is sheer, almost like eye shadow, making it a good option for youngsters who want to play with makeup. Crush chalk into a powder, then mix with lotion for a thicker paint or water for a thinner paint, and use right away. For a creamier product, let the concoction dry first.

Lotion and Tempera Powder
Amazon

Lotion and Tempera Powder

Materials: White lotion or cold cream, tempera powder (powdered pigment)


Steps: Add powder to the lotion until you achieve the desired color. This recipe earns points for simplicity, although it may not have the staying power or vibrant color of some of the thicker paints.

Milk and Cornstarch
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Milk and Cornstarch

Materials: Cornstarch, milk, water, food coloring


Steps: This combo produces a thinner paint that's easy to wash off, so it's an ideal recipe for playing around with different face designs before settling on "the one." Mix one tablespoon of cornstarch, one-half tablespoon of milk, and one-quarter tablespoon of water. Add food coloring one drop at a time, and when the color looks dark enough, add one or two more drops. (The paint lightens when it dries on skin.)

Gelatin and Cornstarch
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Gelatin and Cornstarch

Materials: Unflavored gelatin, water, cornstarch, paint or food coloring


Steps: Soak one package of unflavored gelatin in one-quarter cup of cold water and set aside. While boiling two cups of water, mix one-half cup of cornstarch and three-fourths of a cup of water to make a paste. Stir the paste into the boiling water and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture boils and clears. Remove from heat and stir in the gelatin. Let it cool, divide into containers, and add paint or food coloring. This blend also works as a regular paint for other craft projects.

Flour and Salt
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Flour and Salt

Materials: Flour, salt, water, food coloring or paint


Steps: In a saucepan, mix one cup of flour, two tablespoons of salt, and 1.5 cups of cold water. Whisk briskly or use a hand mixer until the ingredients are combined thoroughly. Add one and a quarter cups of hot water and bring to a boil. Boil until the mixture is smooth, whisking again as needed. Add food coloring or paint for color and store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Toothpaste
Devonyu/istockphoto

Toothpaste

Materials: Toothpaste, food coloring


Steps: If you're in a pinch and need to draw a small design such as a mustache, this recipe is certainly cheap and easy. Start with plain, white toothpaste without abrasive particles (mint-free and fluoride-free are best for sensitive skin) and blend in food coloring. This method isn't cost-effective for making a big batch, but it's perfect if you need a little color and want to avoid making a mess in the kitchen or measuring out different ingredients.

Food-based Natural Dyes
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Food-Based Natural Dyes

Materials: Flour; vegetable oil; various fruits, vegetables, juices, jams, and chocolate for color


Steps: The particularly DIY-inclined can substitute food-based natural dyes for paint or food coloring. The Sierra Club's online magazine suggests using the following:

  • For green: puréed spinach or avocado with a squirt of lemon juice.
  • For red: cranberry juice.
  • For yellow: turmeric.
  • For orange: carrot juice.
  • For pink: beet juice or the water left after cooking beets, seedless raspberry jam, or puréed and strained raspberries.
  • For purple: seedless blackberry or blueberry jam or puréed and strained blackberries or blueberries.
  • For brown: chocolate sauce or cocoa powder.

Mix any of these dyes with flour to make a paste. When the paste has dried on the skin, dab a little vegetable oil on the surface. The color lasts only an hour; other recipes may have more staying power.