How to Make your own Halloween Blood - Blood Recipe For Haunted Houses
You have many options for fake blood on your props. The right formula depends on your needs- just looking good is not enough if it is not durable or if the color fades in time. The formula that I use has been developed for look, cost, and durability. This is a very simple tutorial that outlines MY recipe; YOUR recipe might vary slightly based on your preference and use.
Blood rule #1 It will be in your show all year so it should not be edible- This is a common mistake I see in prop blood, Karo syrup on a set means you will also have ants on your set. In the south this could mean biting fire ants which can even pose an allergy risk for your actors. Rats, mice, possums would all gladly relocate to your sweet digs if they are provided with sugary snacks.
Blood rule #2 Once dry the blood should look wet- paint for blood is very 80s and just does not have the gloss that is necessary for any degree of realism. Haunt lighting is often dim so allowing the blood to catch the light increases the impact on the guest. It has to look wet!
Blood rule #3 Blood is a bodily fluid made up of several different parts- a clear plasma and red cells that give it color. The ultimate replica would be similar in construction a clear material with a colored material suspended in it, the translucency determined by the amount of suspended material.
Blood rule #4 It has to be thick- two big issues with most fake blood is that they are to runny to drip down a wall or to stay put on a wall where you want it. A puddle on the floor is no where near as effective since most patrons don’t look down. Within a foot or two of eye level is where you want the bulk of your blood and that means it needs to dry horizontal and vertical for the most impact.
Keeping all those in mind- here is my formula.
For the clear liquid I use Clear school Glue- It is one of my secret “go to” ingredients at my shop. I buy the school glue by the gallon from www.Discountschoolsupply.com. This glue dries glossy and has a great thickness for blood. It is also water based, so it takes color easily.
For the color portion of the blood I use Red leather stain from Tandy leather. It is a liquid dye that disperses well and adds great depth of color. The exact product name is
Eco-Flo Professional Waterstain Red. You can find a Tandy Leather near you, or you can order it online. You will not regret it, buy the big bottle. The web address is www.tandyleatherfactory.com . I use a ton of their products for a variety of things from wall treatments to blood to mask and prop painting- very useful resource.
The ratio varies and I use a lot of trial and error based on the set that it will be in, but a good rule of thumb is 2/3 glue to 1/3 stain. Mix well. Some folks like to add a few drops of blue or green food coloring but I often skip that. The colored lights in most haunts add those notes to the sheen of the blood so I don’t find it necessary to add them during mixing.
Like Elmers Glue the clear glue dries glossy and with plastic like qualities. Try this recipe it is super simple and relatively inexpensive, I use it almost everyday.
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