How to paint a leopard face

For this make up I used gold, white and black Wolfe brand face paint and gold cosmetic glitter. Don’t use craft supplies. Only use products made for use on the skin. My lovely friend Willa is my model.

Note: Click here for an updated version of this tutorial

Start by applying white around the eyes and on the muzzle area (under the nose and below the mouth) with a dense make up sponge. Don’t worry if it’s a little messy, the edges will be blended with the gold or yellow.

Next, load your sponge with gold or yellow and apply over the rest of the face. Grab a small round paintbrush, load it up with black and paint lines along the eyebrow and down the sides of the nose. Paint the end of the nose. Add an outline around the white muzzle, and two rows of dots or lines. Complete the look with leopard spots. Admire.  Go play!

© 2016 Auntie Stacey Dennick, all rights reserved. Please do not copy without written permission.

Classic and original party themes for children’s parties

Every parent, or auntie, that’s read the same story 10,000 times knows that kids love what’s familiar.  They cherish the characters they see in the media.  But children also have fantastic imaginations.  So, I’ve put together some party theme ideas incorporating the usual suspects, and some twists on classic themes to please both girls and boys.

• Roughest, toughest sea – home to pirates and mermaids

This ocean fantasy also provides an ideal environment for princesses, sharks and oceanographers.  Costumes & fancy dress can be created using thrift store clothes–no worries about cutting those old PJs evenly!    Use sheets for sails on a mock pirate ship.  Serve moldy hard tack, raw shark and lemons for grub.  Just kidding.

• Jungle

Dora the Explorer isn’t the only one who hangs out in the jungle.  Big cats, scientists, exotic butterflies and even dinosaurs have been found there.  Decorate with extra plants and green streamers for vines.  Serve mango smoothies.  Decorate the house with large rubber bugs and paper butterflies.

• Space

It is the final frontier, after all.  Why wait for Halloween to dress up like an alien or an astronaut?   Download photos from NASA’s website for decoration to mix in with planetary mobiles.  Celestial face paint is where glam meets cosmic.

• Alice in Wonderland

It’s a mad, mad, mad world!  Have a tea party where you celebrate everyone’s Unbirthday.  Instead of spending a lot of money on goodie bags, give each guest one toy that can be used during the party– a pack of cards or a gold paper crown would compliment the Alice In Wonderland theme.  Decorate with red and white balloons, cut out photos of roses (got an old gardening catalogue?), a banner made of playing cards.

• Superheros

from Power Rangers to firemen to divas, heros are inspiring! Enlist older siblings, an aunt or parent to help the kids transform old sheets or thrift store fabric into personalized capes.  Just write the first letter of the child’s name in block letters with a Sharpie pen, safety pin or tie around the neck, and voila, you’re ready to save the world!

Have fun!  Be colorful!


– Auntie Stacey

© 2020 Auntie Stacey Dennick, all rights reserved

Top Ten Party Planning Tips for Little Kid’s Parties

1) Avoid overwhelm by keeping the number of guests to a minimum.  Consider the wisdom of inviting the same number of guests as your child’s age.

2) Listen to the guest of honor.  Children love being involved in picking themes & colors, planning menus and decorating.  Siblings too!

3) Ask for help. Enlist other grown ups for specific assistance such as bringing a food dish, straightening up, or sticking around to lead activities.

4) Eschew perfection. Don’t worry if the house is spotless or the banners are hung crooked, or didn’t get hung at all!  Focus on making the guest of honor feel special.

5) Avoid the sugar blues.  Serve wholesome favorite foods well before chips and cake.

Paw Patrol with Frozen Princess, SF Bay area face painter Auntie Stacey Dennick

6) If you’ve hired a face painter, I’ve found it’s best to have her arrive late enough to make an entrance, but early enough to paint the guest of honor before the party gets too hectic.  Make sure someone takes lots of pictures.

7) Plan more activities than you think you’ll need.  Favor cooperative games over competitive ones.  Don’t award prizes unless everyone gets one.  Alternate frenetic games with story time or craft activities.

8)  Have contingency plans for wet, sweltering or arctic weather.

9)  Here’s a radical idea.  Don’t open the birthday gifts until after all the guests leave.  This avoids jealous tears, and makes it a lot easier to keep track for thank you cards.

10)  Avoid the sugar blues part II.  Send everyone home shortly after the cake is served.  This ends the party on a sweet high.

Have fun, be colorful!


Auntie Stacey

© 2020 Auntie Stacey Dennick, all rights reserved

Why not paint the kids yourself?

It’s not rocket science, you can do it.  You’ll need some supplies, some practice and someone else to greet guests, serve food, and supervise the kiddies.

First, please, please, please use only FDA approved, cosmetic grade FACE paints.  Snazaroo, Kryolan and Wolfe are good brands.  Craft paints may be non-toxic but they are not made for use on the skin and could be harmful.  Cosmetic glitter is made of acrylic without any sharp edges, craft glitter is sharp edged and scratchy.  If a child rubs craft glitter into her or his eye it will ruin your party.

You’ll also need high density sponges and good quality paintbrushes.  It’s much more difficult to paint with cheap brushes, although they don’t have to be sable, synthetic brushes are fine.  Start with a filbert, a flat, and a couple of rounds.

Practice some designs on paper, on your arm and then on a wiggly child.  Older children can help but I wouldn’t let any little ones paint themselves.