the Face Painting School

Discover the Art of Face Painting

How to build the perfect face paint case

ALL the professional face painters I know are constantly looking out for ways to streamline their work and improve their kits. That’s why customised face painting cases like this one have become so popular. They tick all the boxes.

The perfect face paint kit and set up created by Helen Green.Photo used with permission from Helen Green

The perfect face paint kit and set up created by Helen Green. Photo used with permission

It’s rumoured UK face and body artist David Southworth introduced the idea when he converted an old guitar case back in 2012 and shared the photos online. Naturally it wasn’t long before this type of face paint set up took off and since then face painters all over the world have re-purposed all types of cases for their kits, in all manner of innovative ways.

Taking only a couple of minutes to set up and pack away it’s not hard to see why so many have fallen in love with the custom face paint case. Everything is easily and safely transported and it looks really impressive too. Perfect!

The good news is if you have been thinking about customising your own case it isn’t hard to do. With all the supplies handy, and a plan, you should be able to knock out this project in an afternoon – or morning if you prefer. And the best part is – when it’s done it will be exactly the way you want it.

Above is an example of a finished face painting case – this one was built by Helen Green. Helen re purposed a large aluminium case which was meant for a model helicopter.  I happen to have them for sale here – or you can try a guitar case, a keyboard case, or something similar.

I really like the case Helen used because it comes with wheels and a handle already attached. It’s so easy to move around. It’s not massive, so it should fit in the boot of most small cars, but it’s not small either. In short – it’s perfect! Thank you Helen for allowing me to share it here!

How to build the perfect face paint kit – step by step with Kate Matthews

You don’t need to be Fix-It Felix to make your own custom face painting case. You don’t need lots of tools either. Even I could do it – with tools I had in my craft kit!

To help you out I’ve broken it all down step by step with photos. Plus there’s a list of tools and things you’ll need to build your own custom face painting case. Too easy! Are you ready?

Step one: find a suitable case. 

I used a hard case 880mm long x 336mmx 200mm (Buy it here). You could also use a guitar/keyboard case, hard cover suitcase. Look for something sturdy. Deep enough to hold at least two layers and not too heavy that you can’t lift it out of your car, especially when it’s full. Something with wheels is ideal – but you can add them later if not already installed.

face paint case

A good sturdy hard case with wheels is a great start. This one is for sale at – ready for your own customisation

Step two: make a list and a plan. Take care with the measurements!

Working it all out on paper first is a good idea. It can be a rough plan or detailed, whatever your personality type requires.
List what you need to carry and then draw up where you think it might be best placed. Everyone is different, but personally I’m right handed which means I like to have my paints on my right side, with my rinsing water within arm’s reach. Why not check out some other examples and see what other face painters are doing with theirs? See my Pinterest boards for some great examples under Face Painters Set Ups.

Step three: gather your supplies, and your tools. 

Having everything handy will save time and stress. Below is a list of what I used, most I already had around the house.


  • Knife / box cutter
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Ruler
  • Messure tape
  • Cutting pad
  • Hot glue gun & glue


  • Case
  • Corflute (5mm)
  • Vinyl adhesive
  • Cloth tape
  • 10mm foam sheet (I used a camp mattress – $6 from the discount store)

Assembly Instructions

Step One:

Remove any existing lining from your case – mine was a model helicopter case and I didn’t need all the shaped foam.

FPCASE-step 1A

Step one – remove any existing interior padding.


Step One (cont’d) the case stripped of the original padding.

Step Two:

Measure the interior dimensions. Twice. The lid may be slightly different to the base so it’s worth checking both. Better safe than sorry. Then cut your foam to size (I used a yoga/camp mat) for the base. Apply using a hot glue gun. Edge with tape – I used ‘Bear’ cloth tape.


Step Two: I used foam to line the base and secured it with strong tape


Step Two (a): the foam is held in place with tape

Step Three:

Measure the interior lid and cut the adhesive vinyl to size. Apply the vinyl and take care. I found this process surprisingly easy.

I peeled back about 15cm of the backing at one end and lined up as best I could.

It wasn’t perfectly straight but edging with the cloth tape covered any imperfections.


Step Three: the vinyl adhesive goes in place. Take your time. Then smooth out any imperfections


Step Three: line the edges of the vinyl adhesive with tape to give it a finished look

Step Four:

Using left over foam measure and cut lining for sides of base. Fix these with hot glue and tape.


Step four: using some of the left-over foam, measure and cut it to size then line the sides of the base. It will help hold the corflute shelf in place plus provide added insulation.


Fix the foam to the sides with hot glue gun. The next step is taping around the edges for a finished look.

Step Five:

Next measure and cut the corflute – this will form both the compartments on the bottom layer, as well as the base to the top layer.

Corflute: remember measure twice and cut once.

Corflute: remember measure twice and cut once.

Step Six:

Cut out notches or slots so the pieces will fit neatly together in a grid.

This will form the support for the upper layer & compartments for storage below


Step six: cut notches in the corflute – mine are placed so it divides the piece into three equal portions.


Step Six (cont’d) close up of notches in corflute.

Step Seven:

Assemble the corflute in a grid pattern – mine is six equal compartments, but you may prefer something different.


Step seven: assemble the corflute to make a grid. This will form the support of the upper layer – to hold your tray of paints. Down the track each section will be used to store the various bits and pieces I need handy, but don’t want to have on display – eg sponges


Step Seven (cont’d) line the edges with more tape


Step Seven (cont’d): now line the top of the corflute with tape. Not essential but I think it will make it more durable, and it looks nice


Step Eight: Measure and cut a larger piece of corflute to form a shelf. This will be lined with more foam and hold your paint palette. Mine is deliberately short – making it easier to lift out, and leaving some space to have my water rinse cup handy up the top left. But you can use the full space if you wish.

So that’s where I’m up to right now. It’s still a work in progress. The steps I described above took less than two hours to complete – even with interruptions.

The next step is to finish the upper layer, which will hold all my paints (ok, not all of them but most of them). It will be removable, so it’s easy to access the compartments underneath. After that I’m going to fit out the inside of the lid, so I can store my brushes, stencils, and other bit and bobs – just like Helen did in the example photo at the top of this page.

To be continued……

I’d love your help so please give me your tips on what you think would work best in your ideal face painting case? Pop on over to my FACEBOOK page and share your ideas – just post them on my wall or PM me if you wish. The best ideas may end up in the finished product which will be given away to one lucky newsletter subscriber. Oh yes… perhaps you would like to win it?

There’s a competition running via my Facebook page right now – entries close July 31, 2014 – so why not try your luck?

Also, did I mention I have a limited number of these cases in stock and for sale? :)



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