Discover how to make movie blood with these great fake blood recipes. Warning – the page and video include images of fake blood!
Every filmmaker and film makeup artist discovers how to make movie blood. Fake blood is in everything from war and zombie action scenes to fights and accidents in student short films. Commercial fake blood is easily available, but quickly eats up all your small budget, so homemade fake blood can be the solution.
Luckily, making realistic fake blood is a lot easier, and more fun, than you may think.
This video is titled DIY FAKE BLOOD | Blood Recipe, Gel Blood, Textures and was created by YouTube channel RealFakeBloodFilms. They show you how to make movie blood the easy way with many awesome tips.
Since all their good fake blood recipes use cheap, everyday ingredients, there’s no worrying about making poor quality fake blood with paint or ketchup! Just press the white arrow in the centre of the screen to start the video.
How to make fake blood at home
It’s a messy process to make your own fake blood, so put a bowl of water and cloth next to you for washing your hands. Or stand next to a sink. Don’t forget an apron to protect your clothes!
You’ll need at least one big bowl, and some spoons to mix the liquids.
Also find a white surface to test your mixture on as you work. A paper towel or an old white T Shirt is ideal.
Think about your surroundings too. If you spill any of the liquids on the worktop or floor, can it be washed off. Don’t start making blood for a student short film in a carpeted room thinking there won’t be any spillage.
The ingredients for fake blood
The first batch of fake blood recipes create a liquid suitable for scenes needing fake blood splatter. A traditional fake blood recipe starts with Karo syrup, which in the US is a readily available commercial light corn syrup derived from maize starch.
You can buy Karo syrup in the UK, including from major retailers such as Tesco and Amazon. However, it’s not cheap so you may prefer an alternative. Golden syrup is possible, but is more viscous so creates a different texture and colour than using Karo syrup. Have fun experimenting!
Next you’ll need a large bottle of red food colouring. You may have to buy this online.
A multipack of small bottles of food colouring can be bought from the local supermarket or grocery store.
You’ll also need a bottle of washing up liquid, or dish soap.
Cheap fake blood recipe with corn syrup
First, pour a quantity of corn syrup into the bowl. Then add a good amount of red food colouring on top. The two liquids remain layered so immediately start mixing the two liquids together thoroughly, breaking through the layers.
Then add just one drop of blue food colouring. You can also add green and some yellow. This is because blood is not just a bright red. Blue deepens the red hues, while green and yellow introduce brown tones.
Check the texture of the fake blood on the back of your hand. If it beads up, add a little bit of washing up liquid, or dish soap, to the liquid. A drop or so is fine, and then mix the fake blood liquid again.
Once you’re happy with the colour and texture, that’s your batch of fake blood ready for your short film or indi movie.
How to make fake blood without corn syrup
While corn syrup is the best known ingredient to make fake blood, you have plenty of easy fake blood alternatives. They include:
Corn starch/ corn flour method to make fake blood
You can use the same method to make fake blood, but using cornstarch instead. In the UK it’s known as corn flour. Every grocery store and supermarket stocks it.
It’s not as easy to work with as corn syrup, because the powder and food colouring mixed together can become lumpy. You’ll need to keep mixing and flattening to get a nicely mixed, thick liquid.
Cocoa powder method to make fake blood
Cocoa powder is easily purchased at any food retailer. Add the cocoa power to the red food colouring.
It makes a darker, deeper red fake blood which is good for older blood. Or you can add it as layering for a film scene where the blood is from more than one individual.
Chocolate syrup method to make fake blood
Remember your childhood ice creams topped off with chocolate syrup? Well it can make fake blood for your filmmaking projects too.
Using chocolate syrup is the liquid version of the cocoa power method, and also results in a richer, darker fake blood colour.
Non dairy creamer method to make fake blood
Non dairy creamer is known in the UK as coffee whitener, and is sold by most food retailers.
Again, mix it with the red food colouring and add a drop of the other food colours to add depth to the red of the fake blood mixture.
How to thicken fake blood with everyday materials
While the above fake blood recipes are great for fake blood splatter over clothes and walls, or for creating pools of blood coloured liquid. Thick fake blood is necessary for wounds on the skin. Luckily there are numerous ways of creating home made fake blood suitable for this job.
How to thicken fake blood made with red food colouring:
If you use powdered gelatin, the fake blood mixture becomes gritty and granular, giving a coagulated look.
With thick gloopy hair gel, you get a fake blood texture which isn’t as coagulated as the gelatin based mixture. But it’s also much thicker than the result you get with the first few methods.
Red gel toothpaste
Red gel toothpaste goes well into a fake blood mixture too. Closeup and Dabur sell red gel toothpaste in the UK (e.g. superdrug and Amazon) and US (widely).
Petroleum jelly gives a thick coagulated result. Add a bit of washing up liquid, or dish soap, as skin protection.
Adding white flour to red food colouring gives a thick, gloopy result. Experiment with quantities to get the red shades you’re looking for.
Make fake blood more gruesome!
You can make any of the homemade fake blood recipes on this page more gory and gruesome by adding some basic household items, including:
Small pieces of ripped up toilet roll mixed into fake blood replicates blood and flesh for an impressive movie wound.
Take some cotton wool, shred it very finely with your hands, and add it to the fake blood. It will instantly absorb the liquid and clump together. Now you have a gory piece of bloody flesh which is pliable and flexible.
You can buy great quantities of clear glue very cheaply. If you add it to red food colouring, with drops of other colours, it creates a red, pulpy blob. Be careful though, because it dries more quickly than the other materials.
Edible fake blood
For most fake blood uses, filmmakers are looking for realistic fake blood on skin, clothes and surroundings. However, edible fake blood may be needed for wounds on the lips, tongue, or spat from the mouth.
You have to be VERY careful about doing this. Millions of people are allergic to milk and wheat products, and others choose not to consume milk or meat products for religious or ethical reasons.
If you’re going to use homemade fake movie blood, test a small area of the performer’s skin before filming, and check whether there’s any reaction over the next 20-30 minutes. If everything is ok,ask those performers who will have the fake blood in or near their mouths to just test a small amount before filming. Again, monitor over 20-30 minutes for any allergic reactions.
The following fake blood recipes listed on this page are made solely from edible ingredients and therefore should create edible fake blood for in or near the mouth:
- Corn syrup
- Corn starch/ corn flour
- Cocoa powder
- Chocolate syrup
- Non dairy creamer
- Powdered gelatin (contains pork products)
- Red gel toothpaste
- White flour
Non staining fake blood
Why would you need fake blood that doesn’t stain? Well, you may be hiring or borrowing a costume, or filming in someone’s home.
Using food colouring will only create a washable fake blood if you choose a brand which specifically promises not to stain. And even if you do use a brand making this promise, do lots of experiments on skin and materials well before the production begins shooting.
Imagine thinking that you’ve created a non stain fake blood, and discovering that it isn’t washable at call time – or worse, after the liquid has already done its damage!
To be on the safe side in the circumstances, you may prefer to buy a non-staining fake blood, rather than take a risk with a homemade fake blood recipe.
Now experiment with your own fake blood recipes
We hope you’ve enjoyed learning how to make realistic fake blood with this great range of fake blood recipes showcased by YouTube channel RealFakeBloodFilms. Now it’s over to you to do lots of experimenting, so you have the perfect selection of homemade fake blood techniques for your next short film. Luckily, making fake blood can be lots of fun!
Thanks to Gabriel Rojas Hruska for the top photo, used under a CC BY 2.0 licence.