Five tips for fabulous face painting
Face painting expert, Marilyn Grose explains how to get
the best from your face painting stall and - more importantly -
make volunteers more likely to step forward to help!
1) Be realistic
Don't try to offer loads of different designs - three or four
will be fine. Once you have mastered those to speed, then you can
add a few more. It's also a good idea to have a couple of small
designs ready as these are useful for younger children. As a
starting point, Marilyn recommends a pink cat, pirate and tiger.
The latter is popular and is suitable for both boys and girls.
Keep it simple, get some basic training if you can and put in
plenty of practise. It's the 'hands on' experience and regular
practise that will improve your skills, confidence and speed. This,
in turn, results in you taking more money for your cause on the
day. Sit with a brush, sponge and a pot of paint and 'doodle' on
your hand in front of the TV. Pull together a group of willing
helpers a couple of evenings before your event, throw in a bottle
of wine or two and try your skills out on each other. Or, better
still, round up your children and their friends and try it out on
them instead! Agree which designs you're offering and practise some
3) Health and safety
You will need to complete a risk assessment for your face
painting stall. Think about sponges, brushes, water supply,
allergies and unwilling children, as well as your own health
issues, such as whether you will sit or stand to paint, and include
the need for regular breaks.
4) What you'll need
You don't need lots of kit when you're starting out. Keep costs
down by streamlining the kit you have, which will improve your
profits. Consider how many customers you're likely to have and how
many volunteers you'll need - draw up a rota that allows people a
break. You won't all be able to use the same paint pots at the same
time, so you may need to invest in several pots of the most popular
colours such as black and white. You only really need two or three
different brushes, but it can be helpful to have more than one of
each to avoid customers (and members of your team) having to wait -
time is money after all!
5) Make it pay
Sticking to a small selection of designs means that you will
quickly learn how to do them well, which means people will be
willing to pay a bit more. Every area will be different when it
comes to deciding how much to charge, but this will usually be
between £1 and £3. However, remember that parents and children have
a lot of different activities they want to do and you don't want to
put time, effort and money into face painting only to find you have
priced yourself too low. Generally, young children just want their
face painted, so keep it relatively quick and simple to avoid
having queues, and agree a price point accordingly.
Marilyn Grose runs Loopy Looks & Encore in Saltash, Cornwall,
supplying fancy dress and theatrical costumes, accessories and face
painting kit, as well as runing training workshops for face
painting, theatrical makeup and casualty effects. If you would like
to get in touch with Marilyn, please email her on firstname.lastname@example.org.
For step-by-step guides and to buy skin-friendly, non-toxic,
washable face paints, head to the Snazaroo website.
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