Next in our wee series of DIY projects you can do to assist in productions for stage and screen comes an age old staple - fake blood!
(If you haven't seen our first post on Sugar Glass bottles you can make at home you can check it out here!)
Now, fake blood recipes are an old favourite - almost as old a a T-Rex steak. though much simpler to make nowadays. Much like our Sugar Glass bottles these recipes aren't designed to be replacements for the professional products available on the market but more to make you aware of them, give you something that can help in a pinch, and provide something that can help scratch that creative itch we all get every now and again.
We've got 4 recipes for you here - 3 of them use all edible ingredients, and the last one uses a mixture of food stuffs and poster paint (so not exactly edible) but is easier to clean out of clothes!
Please note: There are many other brands of each of these ingredients out there. The ingredients used where what early lockdown allowed me to get my hands on at the time.
These bloods all use food colouring, which is notorious for staining anything and everything it touches, so please be careful and aware of this. Whilst you'll want it to look convincing for your purposes, you'll want to avoid any untoward suspicion...
All measurements used below allow for enough to fill a small pot for testing, so increase amounts as required for the volume you need.
Kitchen Equipment you'll need - Ideally a blender, but failing that, a whisk and a bowl will do just fine
Without further ado, let's get bleedin' started!
Edible Fake Blood Recipe #1
- 150g Corn Syrup (or Golden Syrup as a
- 1/2 tablespoon Cocoa Powder
- 1 Tablespoon Red Food Colouring
- 1 Tablespoon Corn starch
- 1/2 tablespoon chocolate sauce
- Throw it all into a blender or a bowl and mix. You can add extra:
- Cornflour to thicken
- Food Colouring to make it more red (if it is too bright, but you have your desired thickness, you can add a drop of green food colouring to affect the colour only - but only add a drop at a time, a little goes a long way!)
- Cocoa Powder to thicken and darken
- Chocolate Sauce to thin it out and to darken it
- Corn Syrup to thin it out.
It's best to test out your blood on something white, to allow you to see the contrast of colours and see how viscous it is. I used Kitchen Towel which also helps highlight how watery it is very well..
This blood was pretty ideal as a fake blood substitute - it was a deep rich red that stands out, thick enough to look real if leaking from a wound, or being sputtered alongside a dying breath. Plus it tastes damn good too. Again, just be wary about how this might stain clothing/costume etc.
Edible Fake Blood #2
- 225g Icing Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Red Food Colouring
- 1/2 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder
- 125ml water
- Add the Icing Sugar and Water to the blender/bowl and mix until all lumps are gone.
Add the food colouring and mix again
Finally add the Cocoa Powder and mix.
Add additional drops of food colouring until the desired colour.
To make it thinner - add more water
To make it thicker - add more icing sugar
To make it darker and thicker - add more Cocoa
If it is too red, add a few drops of green food colouring.
As it uses water rather than a syrup, the blood comes out much more watery (oddly enough). You can use more icing sugar to thicken it, but you have to use quite a lot which risks it becoming lumpy. Also, the trouble I had finding any during lockdown means it might be a valuable commodity you don't want to waste too much.
This would be a good blood for splattering on costume and set (reminder of the fact this can stain), or for use in blood spray effects for things like squibs.
Edible Fake Blood #3
Kitchen Utensils - for this recipe you will need a pan and access to a hob
1 Tablespoon all purpose flour
2 Tablespoons red food colouring
Add the water and flour to the saucepan and stir together, ensuring there are no lumps.
Turn the heat on to high until the mixture starts to bubble. Reduce the heat and simmer for around 30 minutes
Allow to cool, then add the food colouring.
To make it thicker, you can boil it for longer.
You can add more water to make it thinner.
You can add more red food colouring if needed, or a drop or two of green to darken.
This blood comes out bright red, so perhaps a little less red colour and a bit more green would be ideal. It's mostly thick with a little bit of running liquid, so would be great in blood bags. Also, with the flour, it can congeal and coagulate, and would be perfect for the beginnings of gore effects (which we will be covering soon).
Whilst edible and not harmful, this one will not taste very nice at all. You were warned!
Paint-based Fake Blood #1
We've included this recipe as it came out while looking for a fake blood recipe that is less likely to stain clothing than the 3 food based ones above.
That's because this one uses red poster paints which, as often used by children, is designed to be easily washed from most surfaces and clothes - thought his may be slightly different between brands.
Also, whilst most poster paints are non-toxic (again, brand dependant, be sure to check), and so can be ingested, it won't taste nice at all!
Corn Syrup (or Golden Syrup)
1-3 teaspoons red poster paint
1-3 teaspoons cocoa powder
Pour as much corn syrup in a container as you require (if you need 100ml of blood, use 100ml corn syrup),
Add 1 teaspoon of food colouring and mix,
Add 1 teaspoon Cocoa powder and mix,
Add further teaspoons of both until the desired colour and thickness is obtained,
If it's too thick, add a drop of water at a time until it is thinned to your liking.
This blood is a really good one for blood bags - can be as thick or as watery as you need for the desired blood effect you're going for. It's also great for decorating sets and costumes as it washes out really well without staining!
And there you have it! Some great DIY fake bloods you can make at home with minimal time, effort and cost.
Just to reiterate - these aren't meant as substitutes for professionally made fake blood products, but are designed to help out in a pinch to to help boost your creative outputs where needed.
Also, please be sure to look into the ingredients you're using and the capacity in which you're using them - ensuring you're aware of allergen info and edibility of your ingredients is paramount before getting started.
Keep tuned for our following blog posts on DIY creative projects that can be used in both stage and screen and all manner of creative arty ways!