How To: Make Realistic-Looking Fake Blood

Make Realistic-Looking Fake Blood

Store-bought fake blood isn't too expensive, but the consistency and color are always the same. Real blood varies, from bright red when oxygenated (arterial blood) to deep, dark red when deoxygenated (venous blood), and it can be either thick or thin. So to achieve the best special effect, you're better off making a batch of DIY fake blood yourself to get the look and texture you're going for. And it's very simple to do.

Chances are, your kitchen and bathroom already contain the things you need to make that perfect red goo at home. In this guide, there are three fake blood recipes, any of which will work great as a finishing touch for your next gory costume party, violent music video shoot, or super-scary prank. Who said that fake blood is only good for Halloween?

Method 1: Fake Blood Made with Corn Syrup

Cinematic makeup artist Dick Smith, whose celebrated special effects on films like The Godfather, The Excorcist, and Taxi Driver, changed Hollywood standards with his legendary formula for fake blood that continues to be used to this day. Greg Nicotero of The Walking Dead described Smith's mixture as a "staple of the industry." The main ingredient? The same that we'll feature in our first recipe: corn syrup.

To create this fake blood, you'll need the following ingredients:

  • water
  • corn syrup
  • food coloring (red, blue, and green)
  • flour, cornstarch, or chocolate syrup

Begin by combining one part water with three parts corn syrup, then slowly add drops of red food coloring to the mixture until the desired shade is reached.

For a more realistic blood color — one perhaps approaching CSI carmine — add a few drops of blue or green. Then, to achieve a consistency closer to that of real blood, add a thickening agent, such as sifted flour, cornstarch, or chocolate syrup.

Let the mixture sit at room temperature for 10 minutes and your fake blood is set.

Method 2: Fake Blood Made with Cocoa

This non-toxic, edible fake blood can also be made in minutes and uses four basic ingredients:

  • corn syrup
  • food coloring (red, blue, and green)
  • cocoa powder
  • flour or cornstarch

There's that corn syrup again! In fact, this recipe pretty much starts with the second step of the "corn syrup blood," as you'll be combining corn syrup with red food dye, and then adding drops of the blue and/or green food coloring in order to get the shade of blood you want.

To this, you'll then add a small amount of cocoa powder, which will not only darken the fake blood but also make it edible (drizzle it on everything!). The final step is to thicken the imitation blood with flour or cornstarch, adding pinches at a time. If you happen to add too much, simply add a little water to thin it out. This one really is like cooking!

Method 3: Fake Blood Made with Hair Gel

This fake blood recipe can also be described as "movie set blood," and as with the first two methods, uses four main ingredients:

  • water-soluble hair gel
  • water-soluble personal lubricant
  • food coloring (red, blue, and green)
  • chocolate syrup

Mix three parts hair gel and one part lubricant in a bowl, then add drops of red food coloring (and drops of blue/green) until you reach the desired shade of blood red. To get the consistency just so, add a little chocolate syrup and you're done. Talk about quick! This particular version is great for creating realistic-looking blood splatters.

To use this "movie set blood" for a special effect, add a spoonful or two to a small, thin plastic bag and then place the bag beneath your clothing. When you get "shot" or "stabbed," crush the bag ("I'm hit!") so the fake blood spills out, and there you have it: movie magic.

This technique is actually similar to the one Dick Smith used in The Godfather, where he created a gun-shot special effect that relied on a hidden bladder. Placed under foam latex on an actor's forehead, the bladder was "popped" once the shot was fired, allowing the fake blood to ooze out of a well-disguised, pre-arranged hole.

As said, fake blood need not only be for Halloween. From action scenes to macabre pranks and, yes, Halloween decorations, fake blood is a key player in realistically pulling your intent off.

2 Comments

this is great. now i just need to find a way to make it taste like the real thing!

Add a little iron oxide powder super fine and in a tiny tiny tiny amount it might give the "blood" the proper taste without making it too toxic to ingest by accident or purpose.

  • disclaimer- I do not take responsibility for any bad thing done with my suggestion also I am not a lawyer so this is not written very well.

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