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How to Make a Clown Face


What would the circus be without clowns? Help students get in the clown spirit by watching the following video, then have them follow these instructions to create their own clown faces.

Watch the Video

How to Make a Clown Face

Big Apple Circus clown Glen Heroy shows you how to create your own clown face.

Materials Needed

  • Kid-safe face-paint
  • Baby powder
  • Washcloths, hand rags, water
  • Pictures of favorite clown faces
  • Mirrors
  • Various wigs, hats, noses, costume material (optional)


Find pictures of clown faces on the CIRCUS website, other online sites, or in books. Make different expressions with your face in the mirror. Try happy, sad, surprised, confused, etc. Feel the muscles underneath your face to understand how they work to create your expressions. Wash your hands and face. Use face sponges, brushes, or fingers to apply face-paint. Vary the types of lines you use, hard and soft, and colors. Try to accentuate your natural expressions, rather than cover them up. When you are happy with your face, set the makeup with baby powder. Use face/makeup pencils or brushes to draw outlines (optional). Choose a wig, hat, and/or nose (optional).

Suggested Activities

  1. Take digital pictures of students in their clown make-up to create a class-clown gallery. Have students work in pairs to take still or video pictures of each other before and after their clown faces are applied. Invite students to use these media to share their reflections on how their “real” personalities are the same or different from their clown personae.
  2. Put students in groups and ask them to invent a clown skit. Possible ideas include:
    • Clowns are scared of some invisible monster
    • One clown takes the other’s food
    • Clown dancing
  3. Assemble multiple skits into a class clown show.
  4. Have students make a clown movie using a video camera.