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5 ways to make money face painting

Kamal Khurana 6th Dec 2019 One Comment

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Do you enjoy painting faces as a hobby?  Can you work with children and adults? If so you might be able to turn your artistic hobby into a money-making opportunity. If you want to make money face painting, take a look at our guide below.


Getting started with face painting

Earning money painting faces

The first thing you’ll have to do is learn a couple of different designs. Usually butterflies, tigers, skeletons and Spiderman are the most popular ones for children. It’s also useful to be able to do small designs like flowers and abstract patterns. There are loads of resources on the internet to get you started. Take a look at some links below:

For step-by-step tutorials you can search for videos on Youtube like this one…

Grab a family member and start practicing different animals, patterns, Halloween faces etc. Other things you can do to get started are:

  • Do voluntary face-painting sessions for charity events like school fetes or church fundraisers
  • Offer face-painting for free to friends for their children’s parties
  • Do a sponsored face-painting session to raise money for a charity you support

Once you think you’ve got the hang of it take some photos and start building up a small portfolio. At first it may be difficult to generate a regular income – but if you are open to all jobs big or small you will soon build up a network of people who will recommend you and your face painting skills.

What you’ll need

When you start face painting you will have to invest in a face painting kit. This will probably set your back around £19.99.  If you’re serious about generating an income being well kitted out will give you an advantage and hopefully it won’t take you too long to make this money back. Here’s what you’ll need.

To start off with you will need a basic kit which will have to include:

  • Face paints – Make sure you buy face paints that are skin friendly and easy to apply and remove. Get a palette with a variety of colours like this one from Snazaroo for £17.79. Colours like black and white will get used up very quickly so it might be best to invest in single pots which cost around £2.99
  • Paint brushes – Invest in a few brushes specifically for the face. You can get a set of three face painting brushes for just £1.95 here.
  • Sponges –  A selection of sponges (big and small) mainly for the base colour. Remember if you’re doing an event you’re going to be painting a lot of faces and often won’t have time to clean the sponges every time you use a new colour. Make sure you are well stocked.
  • Water pot – A simple water pot to wash brushes.
  • Face wipe – Working with kids can always be messy so make sure you have some wet wipes and tissues at hand. These can also be good for mistakes.
  • Glitter – Facial glitter is always a nice finishing touch and a big hit with the kids. Get 4 pots for £7.50 here.
  • Carry case – Finally a sturdy case to carry all your equipment in will be useful.

Here are another 5 easy ways to make money in your lunch hour

Girl with face paint


5 ways to make money from face painting

Many people think face painting is all about children’s parties but there are many different ways to make money from face painting. Take a look at 5 of the most popular ways below.


1. Face painting at children’s parties – As mentioned above this is the most obvious way to make money from face painting. If you know some parents of young children inform them about your services and ask them to recommend you to their friends and family. You can also put up posters in local libraries and community centres to advertise your services.

2. Face painting at festivals and special events – Festivals are a great place to make money from face painting. Everyone wants to get into the party spirit and small designs on the face, arms and neck can be very popular. You might have to rent a booth or stall so make sure you check in advance. If you charge a few pounds for your services, you could potentially make a mint.

3. Face painting at nurseries and schools – Contact nursery managers and school head teachers and offer your services. Schools need face painters for their annual summer and Christmas fairs.  Many nurseries like to encourage children to play freely and face painting can be a great form of self expression. This might be a tough place to make a lot of money as they will probably only require you to come in once a month or maybe even less. Nevertheless it’s worth trying to contact nurseries and schools in your local area. For this you are likely to need a DBS check.

4. Face painting for films or theatre – Many local film productions and theatre shows hire face painters for their stage productions. If you are really good and can do elaborate face painting you can make quite a good income. Call around local theatres and ask if they need any assistance. It may be the case that you have to do a trial session but if you’re confident in your skills this should be fine. For this type of face painting you can charge around £9 an hour or even more if you’re really good.

5. Face painting classes – When you are an established face painter or have really good skills you can charge others for teaching them how to face paint. You can inform your participants about the best equipment to use, how to get started, teach them intricate designs and more.

Jasmine says...

Quote 1

If you’re going to do this a lot it’s probably worth getting public liability insurance. It’s just in case a child has a bad allergic reaction to something or they trip over your equipment etc. It’s worth being covered.

Quote 2

Go here to find 44 more ideas to make extra money


How much can you make?

Making money as a face painter

This all depends on how much work you get.  If you get a few booking here and there it could be a great weekend money maker. If you want to start a busines it will take time, and it’s unlikely it’ll become your full-time profession for many years but it is possible. Promoting your business across the local community will be the best way to get started. Make posters, business cards and leaflets and start networking.

What you charge for your services will be up to you, but make sure it’s reasonablem or you probably won’t make any bookings. For small festival designs you should charge around £1 and for summer fairs £2-£3. At children’s parties, you can either charge per a child or set a fixed rate per hour. If you’re really good you charge as much as £9 or maybe even more!


Important things to remember

  • Make sure you buy safe face painting products that comply with the EU and FDA toy and cosmetic regulations.
  • If you’re working with children you’ll most likely be asked to present a DBS certificate. Here is our article on how to get one.
  • If you will be trading in public places make sure you check with your local council whether or not you need a licence or public liability insurance.
  • Perfecting your design is a vital part of being a face painter so even if you start getting regular jobs, make sure you keep practising new designs.

On the same note, if you want to take your face painting business a notch higher and be above your competition, you can enroll for classes. Here you will learn the latest tricks and awe your clients with your prowess thus attracting even more. The easiest way to learn is an online course, and there are affordable ones ranging from £49 to £130.

Also check out 7 magnificent ways to make money

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8 years ago

Loads of great advice, it’s not easy making money as a face painter!

Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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