How to Make Face and Body Paint for Kids

Moms are in on the secret: kids like to get messy, whether it’s mud or paint. Regular tempera or acrylic craft paints can stain skin and clothes, but you can make your own homemade paints that wash away without a trace. Cover your work surface with newspaper and let the kids help you mix things up without worrying about spills. Then, store your leftover paint in a jar in the fridge for a summer cool-down.

Fast Fun With Lotion

Turn painting into sensory play by using lotions with different scents to combine smell, sight and touch. Mix one part body lotion, one part water and two parts corn flour or cornstarch with three to five drops of food coloring.

Milking It for Color

Mix four parts corn starch to two parts milk and one part water. Add the food coloring, mix it well and brush it on.

Cooking Color for Painting Pleasure

Things You'll Need

  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Food coloring

Mix all the ingredients except the food coloring in a saucepan.

Simmer the mixture over medium heat until it has thickened to the consistency of pudding.

Stir in the food coloring and allow the mixture to cool completely.


  • You can stir in extra-fine glitter for the body paint. Don't use glittered paint on children's faces, as they may accidentally rub it into their eyes and cause injury.

    Continue your paint-making project with watercolors, puff paint and other crafty products.