How to Create a Pretend Makeup Kit for Kids

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Kids love to play with any makeup they can get their hands on, but all that usually does is turn your face red. As much as you like when they use their imaginations, makeup can be messy, expensive and hard to remove. Wouldn't it be nice to let your little ones use those products without the hassle? That's where this pretend makeup kit comes in! Create the illusion of cosmetics —from lipstick to blush, bronzer to eyeshadow — when you fill inexpensive cartons with fake, colorful supplies. Your kids can still play dress up, but you won't have to worry about what goes on their faces or sticks to the floor.

Image Credit: Machelle Vanderhoeven

Things You'll Need

  • A variety of inexpensive makeup: lipsticks, eyeshadow, blushes, bronzers and nail polish (dollar stores and clearance aisles are all great places to find these)

  • Peel-and-stick foam sheets

  • Makeup brushes

  • Craft sponge brushes

  • Craft paints (for lipsticks and nail polishes)

  • Acetone

  • Paper towels

  • Sandpaper

  • Paintbrushes

  • Scissors

  • Container for storage

Image Credit: Machelle Vanderhoeven

Step 1: Make Eyeshadows, Blushes and Bronzers

Empty all of your makeup cartons using a butter knife. Use a dry toothbrush to clean the cartons out well. Then, grab the peel-and-stick foam sheets in your desired colors and press the carton against the foam until you get an imprint of the shapes you'll need. Cut the shapes out, peel off the backing and press the foam into the carton spaces. You can also use hot glue to make the shapes even more secure.

Image Credit: Machelle Vanderhoeven
Image Credit: Machelle Vanderhoeven

Step 2: Make the Nail Polish

Empty your nail polish by pouring it all out into the garbage. Then use acetone nail polish remover around the bottle and let it dry. Using a craft paint of your choice, pour a few drops into the bottle. Cover the hole with a paper towel and your finger, and shake until the paint coats all surfaces of the bottle. Turn the bottle upside down on a paper towel and let the excess drip out.

Then, dip the nail polish brush into the craft paint and let it dry next to the bottle. When it's ready, it'll look like the bottle really is full of polish for your kids to put on their nails.

Image Credit: Machelle Vanderhoeven
Image Credit: Machelle Vanderhoeven

Step 3: Make the Lipsticks

Roll the lipstick tubes all the way up, break off the lipsticks and throw them away. Clean the bottom of the tube with a toothbrush.

The wooden handles on craft sponge brushes are the perfect size for these fake lipsticks. Cut them off at about 2 inches. Then, rub the sticks against sandpaper at an angle so that you can get the same slant of a real lipstick. Once you have a slight slant, rub the sandpaper lightly around the whole stick to make sure that there are no rough spots or possible slivers.

Use craft paint and a small paintbrush to give each stick a few coats of your desired colors. Then, place them inside the empty lipstick cartons to keep them upright while they dry. When they are ready, use a dot of hot glue in the bottom of the cartons to adhere the "lipsticks" to the holders.

Image Credit: Machelle Vanderhoeven
Image Credit: Machelle Vanderhoeven

Step 4: Make a Tube of Mascara

To create the mascara, remove the stick from the container and then pull out the funnel top. Use the brush to remove the contents from the jar. When you've gotten most of it out, leave the bottle open and allow what's left to dry for about a day. Then, replace the cleaned funnel piece and brush.

Image Credit: Machelle Vanderhoeven

Step 5: Complete the Makeup Set

Combining all these fun makeup pieces with an array of brushes, sponges and clear lipliner pencils makes the kit complete!

Image Credit: Machelle Vanderhoeven

You can put it all in a fun organizer (like the one used for this project), and then watch as your kids have fun doing their own makeup!

Image Credit: Machelle Vanderhoeven