How To Run A Face Painting Stall

Face painting stalls are a staple at most school and community fundraisers, and while it may seem to be a simple setup, there are several things to consider regarding how to run a face painting stall, some of which may not occur to you beforehand. From water-jars to preparatory test painting sessions, we've compiled information on everything you might want to consider.


If this is your first attempt at running a face-painting stall, you may find it useful to start your planning at the designs you are going to offer. This way you can ensure you have exactly the right paints and brushes you require for each design.

There are plenty of books and websites with designs and guides on how to create them. You should decide on a set number of designs that you are willing to offer on the day. If you're comfortable copying designs with no preparation, you may feel able to offer a wider range. If you are a less experienced painter and needed preparation for each design first, it might be best to stick to perhaps ten designs overall.

Classic designs you might want to include:

  • Animals - tigers, lions and cats always go down well and can be relatively easy to paint.
  • Characters - popular characters from kids media such as Barbie, He-Man may be in demand.
  • Themed - if your event has a certain theme, you could come up with some designs catered for that. If it's a school fete for example and their children are divided into school houses, you could have a design for each.
  • Symbols and smaller designs - for those that don't want a full-face and would prefer either something small on their cheek or arm, you could offer a number of smaller designs or logos. Harry Potter's scar, or the Thundercats logo, for instance. You can charge a third or half price for smaller designs.
  • Abstract patterns - not every design has to be related to something, you may wish to simply play with shapes and colours for some designs, offering flashes or swirling patterns that fit with the shape of people's faces.

How To Run A Face Painting Stall

Paints & Brushes

A non-toxic face paint like Snazaroo is the best place to start, and if you're buying from scratch then you will need to make sure that you at least have all the basic primary colours.

You could look to buy:

  • Basic set - most manufacturers make a pack with all the basic colours, and this can prove quite cost-effective.
  • Black and white - you'll need these for tinting the other colours you have, and for outlining and highlights.
  • Neon and glow in the dark - you might want to buy a few individual paint pots with some special colours. Glow in the dark paints can be perfect for events that go on as the evening draws in, and neon colours can add a flash of interest to simpler designs.
  • Glitter - glitter paints always go down very well, and kids can request a bit of glitter added to any design. Always use glitter in face paints specifically safe for the skin - metallic glitter for use in crafts is not safe for use on the body.

In terms of brushes, it's a good to idea to get a selection of sizes. You can buy brushes specifically for face-painting, although this is not strictly necessary and decent artists brushes will do a great job.


Along with all the following, you might find it useful to arrange for a box with a handle to put all your loose equipment in, especially if your face painting stall is some distance from car-parking areas.

  • Water-pot - you'll need a container for water to clean your brushes. It's good policy to refill the container for each child - a jar full of dirty water doesn't look very appealing!
  • Water - find out how accessible water will be where the event is, because if you are in the middle of a field with no tap you'll need to bring bottles of tap water with you.
  • Bucket - for tipping dirty water into, as you may be some distance from a drain or bathrooms.
  • Tissues - for cleaning spills, dabbing paint from faces and cleaning paint brushes.
  • Wet wipes - if you make a mistake, a child decides they don't want their face painted anymore, or parents want their kids faces clean before they leave the event, these will come in handy and people will appreciate you having thought of it. The last thing any parent wants is their child dozing off in the car and leaving half their face behind on the upholstery!
  • Sponges - these can come in very handy for applying larger patches of colour, and larger sponges can be cut into smaller pieces to go further. You can buy small sponges which are specifically for face painting.
  • Mirror - so that the child can see their face when you're finished painting. You might want to set a bigger one at the side of the stand, so they can continue to admire your work while you get started on the next face.
  • Chairs - you need to decide whether you want to stand or sit while you paint. If you want to sit, you'll need two chairs of similar height. If you wish to stand, you could use a high directors chair for the children to sit on, to bring them up to your height and avoiding the need to stoop.
  • Table - for setting brushes, paints and jars on, and laying out potential designs for people to browse.

How To Run A Face Painting Stall


You will need to consider how you present designs to people, for them to choose what they want. Ideally you will have photos to demonstrate the designs. If you have painted faces before, or tried some demos before the event, you may be able to use your own photos (always get permission from the parent or guardian if you are using photographs of children's painted faces; get a signed agreement if possible). If not, you could use a book or create a pamphlet using photos from books or the internet. It might be wise to credit your sources and do not try to carry these photos off as your own work.

It's a great idea to pin up designs on a board at your face painting stall, with more popular designs printed bigger, to catch people's eye as they walk past. Display the price nice and visibly too.

You'll need to give some thought to how you might organise a queue, although kids are so restless that they will normally just come for a face-painting when they see you are free. Or, if the organisers of the event are willing to let you use their tannoy services, you could issue numbered tickets as a virtual queue and then shout out ticket numbers over the tannoy. This way no-one has to queue and you won't feel under pressure to rush while painting faces.


If you've not done face-painting before, you would be wise to try a demo session some time before the event. This will give you a chance to find out what kind of designs you feel you are able to offer, what kind of brushes and paints you might need, and allows you to prepare in advance for anything unexpected that comes up.

If you're particularly nervous, why not ask some adults to be your paintees for the first couple of tries? They won't fidget as much as children and can make it a bit more fun to try a load of designs in one go.


You could advertise a reduced-cost patch/repair service for kids that smudge parts of their design during the day. The children will appreciate having the design last, and you can make some extra money later on during the event.


We would suggest a price of £1.50 per face for full-face designs, and 90p for smaller symbols or logos.

With a little preparation, perhaps one test session and some planning, your face-painting stand could provide entertainment and a good profit for your event. If your event is going to be busy, rope in another assistant to paint faces and, if you plan to paint-faces again in the future, think about taking photos of your work this time around. You don't need to consider everything we have written about here, but take into account the essentials and you'll have the information you need to make a fun and profitable stand to complement your fundraising event.

Charnwood Fundraising offers a range of Snazaroo face painting products to help you create great designs. To enhance your designs PDK offers books and guides showing you how to create a range of fun and colourful face-painting designs, as well as sponges, brushes, starter kits, glitter gels and other accessories that will bring a bit of extra enjoyment to your face painting designs.

All Snazaroo paints and gels are easy to apply and, because they are water based, they are easy to remove with soap and water. They are non-toxic, are not tested on animals are are fully compliant with EU toy and cosmetic regulations.