Butterfly Face Paint Step-by-Step Tutorial

butterfly face paint

Butterflies are some of the most colorful insects in the world. These butterflies are not only naturally vibrant due to their scale’s reflective properties, but they also bear unique designs depending on their species, making one different from the other. This is why kids love butterfly face paint!

Of course, butterflies also signify hope and new life, as well as the ability to transform and transition in various aspects of life. It’s easy to see why these creatures play a vital role in our ecosystem today, especially helping plants reproduce through pollination. 

Symbolisms and contributions aside, it cannot be denied that butterflies are just undoubtedly beautiful. Because of this, these creatures make for a stunning face paint on just about every age. Learn how to create amazing butterfly face paintings through this article. 

Different Butterfly Face Paint Designs

Just as there are tons of butterfly species in this world, you’ll be glad to know that there are also numerous butterfly face paint designs you can try your hand on. From smaller versions to big-sized ones, you’ll have no shortage of face paint options. 

Beginners will definitely appreciate the one-sided butterfly. Relatively small to medium-sized, this only requires painting one side of the butterfly’s wings on one side of the face and revealing just a tiny part of the upper wings.

An even smaller piece would be painting a tiny butterfly on the cheek, perhaps just around the size of your whole thumb. While devoid of details, this sticks with the basics and makes for a cleaner and simpler approach. 

Those who want a larger piece, on the other hand, will love a butterfly face paint mask of sorts that shows the full range of colors and intricate patterns that a butterfly’s body has. This goes best with a tropical-themed butterfly design. 

You can go all out and bigger with other butterfly-themed designs. There’s a Frozen-themed butterfly piece that pays homage to the movie, one that’s pirate-themed, or even one that makes use of sparkles all throughout for a touch of glam. 

In the end, the butterfly face paint designs are solely up to you. You can switch up the hues and experiment with different takes as you wish. 

What is the Easiest Butterfly Face Paint?

The easiest butterfly face paint design is perhaps the minimalist version we have mentioned above. 

This does away with the details you can usually see on a butterfly’s body, but this doesn’t draw away from the silhouette and the fact that what you’re making is a butterfly. 

Since it’s quite compact, this butterfly design will just take you anywhere from one to two minutes. This is perfect for those who want a simple yet elegant version to sport. Think of this design as one that even kids at heart will love, especially for events such as festivals, parties, and the like. 

Another easy butterfly face paint design you can make in just a few minutes is no other than the one-sided butterfly design. Taking mainly only the upper part of one side of your face, this face paint can be done in just around two minutes. 

The second option works best for those who are doing face painting for a living. This is a popular line booster as it takes only minutes to make. 

What Do You Need to Use for a Butterfly Face Paint?

A butterfly face paint design can go quite simple or extravagant depending on your preference. While the number of paints and colors you can use vary based on your preferred butterfly design, most of the tools you’ll need remain the same. 

Of course, this already goes without saying that you need some water-based face paints in the hues you want your butterfly design to be. 

On top of this, you’ll also be needing paintbrushes such as a flat brush, rounded brush, filberts, and the like. Sponges, a container for water, and water will also come in handy. 

Those are just the basic tools you’ll need, but you can go the extra mile and have some brush holders ready. A mirror would also be great if you’re painting the butterfly design yourself or for kids and adults to see themselves after getting their preferred design painted on. 

What Paint Should You Use for Butterfly Face Paint?

For painting on faces, it’s always best to use water-based paints. However, there other types of face and body paint you can use. These materials are much friendlier on the skin, especially on sensitive parts. Plus, they are easy to wash off, making them much more preferable.

Other options include grease-, cream-, and wax-based face paints, which have their own merits. Grease-based ones are designed for theatrical makeup because they can withstand the heat of theater lights, making them pretty long-lasting.

Meanwhile, cream-based materials are the professional choice, but keep in mind that the waiting time for it to dry can be quite long. 

Wax-based paints are great as they dry quickly. Just don’t panic if they come to you dried up as you can easily stimulate the paint by brushing on the surface briskly. 

For painting children’s faces, the best bet could be water-based choices as they are generally safe, even for kids. 


Your face, or others’ face, is your canvas. For it to be ready for a butterfly face painting session, you should ensure that your face is clean and well-prepped. To do this, you should wash your face beforehand. 

How to do a Butterfly Face Paint Step-by-Step

  1. Make sure to gather all the materials needed such as the paints, sponges, and brushes. 
  1. Make the base of the wings by creating the approximate shape of the butterfly wings using color only. 
  1. Color the outside of the shape using a different color to add details. You will end up with a butterfly wing shape without an outline.
  1. Create the outline using a darker color, by drawing an arch over an eyebrow to create the top part of the wings. Do this for the other eyebrow, as well.
  1. Draw an arch under the eyes to complete the wings. 
  1. Add details using white paint. You can add varying sizes of dots and lots to create a full butterfly design.

How Long It Will Take to Make a Butterfly Face Paint?

Your butterfly face paint session depends on the design you’re about to undertake. Of course, you should also bear in mind that beginners may take a longer time to perfect designs, especially when it comes to more intricate ones. 

For example, if you’re doing a small, minimalist design, you can finish this anywhere from one to two minutes. The one-sided butterfly face paint design is something you can do in two to three minutes.

Meanwhile, more intricate designs might take longer, but you can expect these to still be done in under 10 minutes at the most. 

If you are going to factor in the prep time needed, this can add anywhere from two to five minutes depending on your routine. However, the face painting time itself can be quite fast. 


Butterflies are some of the most beautiful insects in the world, making them an attractive face paint choice for people of all ages. With these tips and guides, you can experiment and create your own butterfly face paint for different occasions.

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