4 images showing Jane face painting and her amazing work

How to Make the Most of Your Face Painter from a Face Painting Pro!

Having a face painter at your child’s next birthday party can be a great addition to WOW your guests and give your child a memory and experience to treasure for years to come.

I have been face painting for 11 years but I wanted to call upon a fellow face painter to give a different opinion on what it take to make the most of your face painter so meet Jane below!

Hi! I’m Jane, better known as Daisy Jane of Daisy Jane’s Face Painting. I’ve face painted as a hobby for over 20 years, but for the last 7 years I’ve taken it to the next level and become a full time professional face painter.

During the last 7 years I have amassed a huge amount of experience face painting on a weekly basis at every kind of event you can imagine, from small parties, to huge high volume events.

As with most things, 99% of the time things go very smoothly and there’s lots of smiling faces at the end of the day, but very occasionally something pops up that is set to challenge us or doesn’t quite meet our expectations.

The good news is, I am about to share my top tips with you so you can be sure to avoid any pitfalls and make your party as magical as you dreamed!

  1. Do your research.

Before booking any kind of service its always best to do a bit of research before committing and its no different with booking a Face Painter. You will likely have several options within your local area and there’s no harm in contacting a few to get quotes.

I regularly have parents contacting me last minute due to being let down by other face painters. So here’s some essential pointers you should be looking for and asking about to minimise the chance of this happening to you:

How much – You will find that most professional and reliable face painters within a certain area will have a similar price point. Most will have a base rate which is generally for to 2 hrs and between 20-30 children. Price can vary depending on date, time, distance etc so you will likely have to provide some details to get an accurate quote. Keep in mind that if you find a face painter quoting way below what the standard rate in your area is, then think about why this maybe.

Are they Insured? – Do they hold Public Liability Insurance (PLI)? Any professional face painter will hold a PLI Certificate and will be happy to provide evidence of this if asked. By holding insurance you can feel reassured that they will be using cosmetic grade safe paints, they will follow manufacturer guidelines and although very rare, if needed, they will be insured should any of your guests have adverse reactions. All face paints are labelled for use on children aged 3 years and above, so again you will find professional face painters have strict policies about only painting children 3 years and over to follow manufacturers instructions. By going against that, it could invalidate their insurance.

Secure Your Booking – Expect to pay a booking fee to secure your date and time. If there’s no booking fee required, be cautious. The booking fee is as much for your benefit as the face painters, it shows commitment on both sides.

Reviews & Recommendations – Check out reviews from previous customers. Good points to look out for from them are positive comments around reliability, quality of work, communication, interaction with children and hygiene.

  • Beware Bouncy Castles!

It seems like a marriage made in heaven right?! Children’s party, bouncy castle and a face painter… amazing! But not always!!

Before you book your bouncy castle check that they allow face painted children on their castles. I know it sounds like a no brainer, but there are actually a few companies that have strict policies around this and if your guests wipe face paint on their castle you could be landed with a cleaning bill or worst still – the bill to replace the castle!

But fear not… there are still LOTS of castle companies that do allow face painting or some might just have specific castles that they prefer to hire out when there will be face painting. Darker coloured castles are better, so make a few calls.

Thinking of having a WHITE Castle? I have yet to find one company that allows face paints on their white castles, ball pits or soft play. So my advice would be to choose one or the other, they don’t mix well!

  • Location, Location, Location!

It’s always a good idea to plan ahead of time whereabouts you will position your face painter on the day. Here are some pointers to consider to help you get the best out of your face painter.

Having your event outside? Your face painter will need cover whatever the weather. I often suggest if there’s a veranda on the side of a building that’s a good place, or if that’s not an option a gazebo or space in a shared marquee. We are in the UK so if your event will be outside, then it’s always best to have a backup plan of somewhere to move inside just in case!

Lighting – It’s essential!

A position near a window is always a good spot for your face painter. If you are having a disco or intend to turn the lights out for a prolonged period at your party, or if you know the venue doesn’t have very good lighting, this is a great thing to tell your face painter about. Like myself, most will have lights they can bring with them, but these may need to be charged up, so advanced warning is essential. If they don’t have their own lighting, then have a think about what you can do to ensure they are positioned in a well lit area.

Sound Systems – please aim to position your face painter as far away from speakers as possible. Not only for the health and safety of theirs and your guests ears, but also so they are able to communicate as easily as possible with the children coming to them for their face paint.

Balls and bikes – or anything that involves flying objects and fast moving children!

Seems obvious to say, but a lot goes into planning a party so its easy to forget. Ball games etc are another popular addition to many parties… your face painter will really thank you for positioning them as far away from these as possible. It will greatly reduce the risk for the child being painted or the face painter accidentally getting bashed or knocked.

  • Check those fine details

Communication is key and leaving nothing to assumptions will really help you and your face painter know exactly what you’re each expecting and help your party be the best yet with no disappointments. Here are a few things to let your face painter know ahead of time and check with them that they can fulfill what you are hoping for.

Number of children – This is normally one of the first questions your face painter will ask. On the whole, professional face painters will be able to paint 12-15 children per hour. Some more, some less, so always discuss the number of children you are expecting to be painted and the time available to complete them.

Timing – What time do you expect your face painter to arrive to set up and are you hoping they will paint the birthday child before the guests arrive? This isn’t always guaranteed, so its definitely something you need to ask about. Often for a small additional charge the face painter can arrive extra early to ensure this happens if its something you specifically want.

Food – Do you plan to stop all activities for food? The number of children to be painted and the time available will determine if the face painter needs to continue painting throughout or if they can pause whilst the children eat. So again speak to your face painter and they can advise you what to expect.

Parking & Stairs – Please let your face painter know if the venue has onsite parking or stairs. I personally always encourage customers to choose a venue with easy parking and no stairs. This is helpful for everyone! From yourselves carrying in cake, decorations etc, to the entertainers and your guests.

We are also all more likely to be on time if we haven’t had to drive around searching for parking. Keep in mind, most entertainers including face painters tend to come with a lot of bulky and heavy equipment so it’s generally not possible to lug it up stairs and if there’s no parking then transporting it to the venue becomes very time consuming and may impact if they can accept your booking or not.

Theme – Is your party based around a theme and are you hoping for your face painter to offer designs based on that? Experienced face painters will have a vast library and ability to paint on almost any theme you can imagine. Especially some of the most popular themes I.e. Princess, Unicorn, Dinosaur, Superhero, Animal etc but I would always encourage you to let your artist know ahead of time just in case its a theme they haven’t come across before. Especially when its an unusual or very specific theme.

Some themes don’t lend themselves as well to face paint designs, so they need a bit more time put into them to enable your face painter to create designs on your theme, that will look great as a face paint and will be quick enough to paint at a busy party.

Lastly on the subject of themes, consider if your theme is non negotiable or if you are happy for themed designs to be offered alongside some freedom of choice. I would always suggest the later as you can almost guarantee when you host a rainbow unicorn party, the children will all want to be tigers! At the end of the day we all want the party to be enjoyed and the face paint experience to be the best for everyone, so sometimes we have to choose our battles and allow a bit of freedom of choice on the face paint design.

Last but not least…

  • Managing the queue.

The most common suggestion from parents I get when face painting at birthday parties is for me to have a list of names or number the children in some way so they don’t have to queue.

Believe me when I say I have tried this on many occasions and very rarely does it help or work. Why? Because parties are noisy… try calling out a name over the music, bouncy castle, happy squeals of excitement and chatter, no one can hear me, so I have to go searching for the next child.

This is most likely a child I’ve never met before, so by the law of averages they will probably be the last child I find and during the search 5 mins has past -that’s almost enough time to paint 2 children!

If I have to search for each child of the 30 attending, it doesn’t take long for so much time to have been wasted that a good portion of them wont be able to get painted at all.

So what are the options?

A possibility but not ideal: If you are set on the idea of having a list and you have a family member or friend who is able to stay by the face painter for the entire party and manage the list of children’s names, ensuring they find the next child ready to jump in the face painting chair as soon as they finish, then this is certainly something that could work. However, this is a big ask and probably an unrealistic expectation for someone at a busy party, they will almost certainly get called away.

What I find works the best when there are 20-30 children or more, is to have 2-3 empty chairs next to the face painter. This is the queue! It enables me to have someone ready to jump in my chair right away, it allows a very small amount of children to queue if they wish, but it doesn’t take too many children away from the other entertainment. If more children try to queue, I will gently remind them that as soon as they see an empty chair they can come and sit down to wait, otherwise they should go and have fun at the party. I find having this visual system in place much more effective as its easier for children to understand and follow. It also means I can paint consistently throughout and no one needs to help manage a list.

I’m sure other face painters will have other things that work for them, so the main take away would be to discuss how the queue will be managed if you are thinking of having a list. Again, ultimately we all want everyone to have the best most enjoyable party experience.

I hope you’ve found some of those tips helpful and they have given you some ideas or thoughts that you hadn’t considered before.

Thanks for reading and happy partying!!

Jane aka Daisy Jane!

If you would like to follow me or see more about what I do you can find me on:

www.instagram.com/daisyjanesfacepainting

www.facebook.com/daisyjanesfacepainting

I am based in the South of Leicestershire England, also covering Northamptonshire, Oakham, and surrounding areas for birthday parties. Larger events throughout the midlands and UK.

A huge thank you to Jane for taking the time to be a guest blogger!

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