Recipe: Non-Staining Fake Blood

It’s one thing to use a home-made or retail fake blood product for a film shoot or prop: with careful scripting and storyboarding the director can shoot all the “messy” stuff at the end of the schedule do, short of pick-up shots there won’t be any need to reuse props, clothing (or actors) splattered with staining fake blood.

However for lighter-hearted activities such as Halloween trick-or-treating, or other parties where you need a spot of fake blood to complete a costume, having something that doesn’t stain is rather useful.

The solution to this is quite simple – use the basic fake blood recipe but substitute the food colouring with poster paint!

You will need:

  • Glucose syrup or corn flour (supermarket brand corn four is fine) and water
  • 1 teaspoon of red poster/powder paint (check the label first)
  • 1 teaspoon of ground coffee granules such as Nescafe or cocoa powder

Simply mix the glucose syrup with the paint and then add coffee granules or cocoa powder to darken the mixture to the colour required… red poster/powder paint tends to be quite bright and primary so will need to be toned down to look realistic.

If using dried corn flour, then start with the volume of water you require for your final fake blood supply and keep adding heaped tablespoons until the viscosity gets to the intended level. Using warm (not boiling) water will help this dissolve, but wait until it has cooled sufficiently before you apply it to anything.

Is it realistic?
Yes, again dependingon your eye for colour and how “goopy” you want the blood to be. Remember that venous blood is quite dark whilst arterial blood is oxygenated, and much brighter. If you really go wrong with colouration and get something bizarre, then you can always dress as an alien and claim this is what their blood looks like!

Is it safe?

Yes, although check the poster/powder paint to ensure it isn’t toxic… it shouldn’t be as most varieties are designed to be used by children. However, this certainly won’t taste very nice so although it won’t kill you if it gets into your mouth, you certainly won’t enjoy the flavour!

Does it stain?

The name suggests it all – as you are using water-based paint as the colouring element this should all wash off without a problem. It should also come out of clothes without too much effort too, so can be used on items that may be reused.

Drawbacks?

In close examination, the blood can show a bit of particular residue, especially if it’s left to settle. However on the plus side, the paint element means that one it dries, it generally stays a convincing blood colour on a suitable background!

/SJ/