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Pre-Production Hack: DIY Fake Blood Recipe

Some directors are very particular about their fake blood. Others just want something that looks realistic enough without staining the set and wardrobes.

If there will be blood, there will need to be fake blood recipes to guide you.

So, whatever your practical or aesthetic ambitions for your splatter, there’s a DIY fake blood recipe to match them.

For today’s post, we scoured the internet for the best fake blood recipes.

The better you know your special effects makeup choices, the better prepared you’ll be.

So choose wisely!


No matter what genre you work in, chances are you’ll interact with fake blood at some point in your filmmaking adventures.

Thankfully, it’s inexpensive, easy to make, and (depending on the recipe) easy to clean up when you’re done with it.

Although it may seem like a small choice, the color of fake blood is crucial for selling the tone and believability of a scene.

As you move through pre-production, it will be important to plan out all of your special makeup effects. Anticipate the number of takes you may need to do, which will inform how much blood you’ll need to make.


How to make fake blood

If you’re a special effects makeup artist, you might have heard of Dick Smith. His expertise in splatter has contributed to the harrowing movie experiences like The ExorcistScanners, and Poltergeist III.

His DIY fake blood recipe has basically been a standard since he invented it. Compliments of NoFilmSchool, the fake blood ingredients are:

  • (1 qt) Clear corn syrup
  • (1 tsp) Methyl paraben
  • (2 oz) Powdered red food color
  • (5 tsp) Powdered yellow food color
  • (2 oz) Kodak Photo-Flo (WARNING: this is poisonous)
  • (2 oz) Water

Now, to make it, start by mixing your methyl paraben with part of the corn syrup in a cup.

Get a mixing bowl and pour in the red and yellow food coloring in a big bucket. Then mix in the water.

Once you get the color to your liking (more on this below), you’re ready to use.

But be careful! 

Two of these fake blood ingredients are toxic, so apply carefully to your actors (particularly around their mouth, nostrils, and eyes).

To play safe it might be advisable to make edible fake blood.

If you’re averse to the stickiness of a corn syrup-based DIY fake blood recipe, here is an alternative.

You will need:

  • (16 oz) Powdered sugar
  • (1 oz) Red food coloring
  • (1 tb) Cocoa powder
  • (8 oz) Water

First, blend the water and powdered sugar in a blender. Then, add the food coloring and blend again. 

Finally, blend in the cocoa powder and you then you’ve got your less sticky, DIY fake blood recipe!



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