Making Homemade Body Paint

Things You\’ll Need

  • Flour

  • Cornstarch

  • Light corn syrup

  • Water

  • Small disposable cups

  • Food coloring

  • Paintbrush (optional)

... Use homemade body paint to express yourself.

The art of applying paint to the face and body has been practiced for thousands of years. It's been used to creatively express many different sentiments, desires and intentions of those wearing it. Children enjoy having their faces painted at parties and community events. Teens and adults can apply body paint to express themselves without the inconveniences typically associated with permanent body art such as tattoos. Many commercially produced body paints are available, but contain questionable ingredients. Even store-bought products labeled as "non-toxic" or "hypoallergenic" may contain lead, nickel and cobalt. You can make your own body paint with harmless common household materials.

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Step 1

Combine 1 tablespoon flour with 3 tablespoons cornstarch in a small mixing bowl.

Step 2

Add 3/4 cup light corn syrup. Add it by the teaspoon and stir well after each addition.

Step 3

Stir 1/4 cup water by the teaspoon. Stir well after each addition. Blend thoroughly until the mixture is smooth.

Step 4

Pour tablespoons full of the mixture into separate small disposable cups.

Step 5

Add a different food coloring, one drop at a time, to each cup of mixture. Stir it to blend the mixture thoroughly.

Step 6

Apply the body paint with a paintbrush or your fingers. Blow on the applied body paint to air dry it on the skin.

Step 7

Remove the body paint with soap and water.


Mix your homemade body paints in empty camera film canisters or clean baby food jars. Store them in the same containers.