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  • Writer's pictureLaurie Swigart


by Graham Holt

Fake Blood --

This is just about the easiest thing to do. Instead of buying runny blood that doesn't look real you can make your own that doesn't run so much and in any color that you like.

You will need: Corn syrup, food coloring, toothpick, shot glasses, and some film canisters.

You will do: Fill a shot glass . full of corn syrup and color to taste (8 drops red and 1 and two blue works for me). Mix with toothpick till even. Store in the film canisters and apply with a toothpick.

HINT: Food coloring stains, don't get it on your clothes.

Pallor of Death --

Make yourself look dead. Basic shadowing and blending, a good thing to practice if this is new to you. Clean your face before you start.

You will need: Cream make-up, sponges, tissue, little sponges.

You will do: Apply a base coat of white to make yourself look pale. Then add a little black as shadow around the eyes, nose and mouth. Blend really well and use your fingers if you have to. Practice until it looks right. You can add purple for a bruise. You don't even need a base

coat for just a bruise or cut.

Scar Effect --

You will need: Gelatin, hot water, food coloring, a toothpick, black make-up, and a shot glass.

You will do: Boil some water and add 1 tbsp. Gelatin. Set aside. Measure 1 tbsp. water into glass, and add color to taste. Mix in gelatin being careful to avoid bubbles AND dissolve it completely. Apply this to your face or arm. Spread it on rather thick. Poke at it with the side of the toothpick to get a bumpy texture before it dries. You must work quickly before it solidifies. After it is no longer tacky rub black into the nooks and crannies then wipe away the excess. NOTE: If you add 1/6 tsp. Glycerin it will dry out a lot slower and won't be as full of little bubbles.


This is a fresh looking blood, and one of the most basic ever used. Invented by make-up master Dick Smith.

1 c. White Corn Syrup

1 tbsp. Red Food Color

1 tsp. Yellow Food Color

1 tbsp. Water (this is optional, it makes the blood a little thinner)


This recipe will make a thick blood that won't run off your actor.

1 Large Tube of "Close-up" Clear Red Toothpaste (or any other clear red brand)

1/2 oz. Red Food Color


You can drink this stuff if you want, but it will turn your mouth bright red. I don't suggest using it too often as new research shows that digesting too much of some dyes may cause cancer.

1 Can Frozen White Grape Juice Concentrate (this is kind of hard to find but you could try

it with another light/white frozen juice)

2 tbsp. Red Food Color

1 tsp. Yellow Food Color


Red food coloring today has a lot of yellow already in it. You have to be careful not to put too much yellow in it or the blood will look too orange. If you add blue or green food coloring you can make different shades of blood, like vein and artery blood.


If you add peanut butter to the karo syrup mixture it will add some thickness, it will stay on the actor better and the oil in it can prevent the dye (of the food coloring) from staining

the skin. The best part is that this method keeps the blood edible!


You can make some good scabs by using half and half water and unflavored gelatin. Just smear the stuff on your area, but work quickly because it hardens really fast and won't stick anymore. It comes out crumbly, and scab-like, some will flake off while you work color onto it,

but it'll wash right out of your brushes with warn water. You can also mold gelatin if you use the same mixture but heat it until it melts. Don't let it boil though, because then you'll have bubbles in the final product. Gelatin turns out very rubbery and flexible, but it's only good for a short term use because it hardens when it dries and molds if you try to keep it wet. You can speed up the drying of scabs using a hair dryer, and molds by sticking them in the fridge. Gelatin will melt in the hot sun or if you mess up you can melt it back down and try again.



Corn Starch

White Glue (like Elmers)

Mix together equal parts of flour and corn starch, then add glue and mix until you get a doughy substance. It shouldn't be wet or sticky, just like a lump of dough that's kind of rubbery. You can roll this dough out, how ever thick you want it, to end up with a 'skin'. As this stuff dries you can bend it and the surface will crack and look more realistic. After a couple of hours it dries hard (and shrinks a little bit) but looks the same, then you can paint it with normal paint. Try it out by making a small amount and playing with it.


First-degree: Mild causes redness. Sometimes a small blistering.

Second-degree: Severe blistering. Always surround second degree burn with a first degree burn.

Third-degree: Flesh charred and black Surround with second-degree burn and surround that with first degree burns.

Third Degree Burn --

Tear tissue into desired shape. Apply with liquid latex. When dry apply another coat over the tissue. To get a charred effect add cotton wool and cover in latex. When dry spray with black hair coloring. When dry peel some areas back. Mix knox gelatin and warm water. Use this to

form droplets like blisters. Cover in glycerin to give an oozy fresh look.


Decide how many stitches you need. Take black thread and tie knots about every 25mm along thread. Cut between knots. Apply scar plastic in a line to create a gather of a skin. Press stitches into plastic quickly. If needed, spirit gum can be used to attach stitches. Knots should be stuck every 12mm along a wound. Make the area appear sore by applying red. Then take an eyebrow pencil and draw lines along either side of knot.


Materials: Orange stick, liquid latex, powder, derma wax, flat brush, spirit gum.

Dip an orange stick into latex, remove and let dry. Start at top of latex (do not powder yet) remove by rolling down top to bottom. When removed squeeze into a lump. To flatten the wart on the bottom cut with scissors. Dab spirit gum (no smaller than bottom of wart) onto skin. Tap gum lightly until tacky. Press wart firmly into spirit gum. When dry use derma wax to blend into skin with a flat brush. Powder carefully and brush off excess.


Materials: Derma wax, Plaster of Paris, Vaseline, Slush latex, Paint brush, Popsicle stick, Glass dish with sides, Disposable bowl, Mixer stick, Cotton

Take derma wax and mold scar welt, etc., in dish as it would look as if put directly on skin. The popsicle stick can be used to shape wax in tight spaces. Use a soft brush to feather out edges of scar and to smooth any surfaces you wish. Use vaseline to coat all areas in dish and putty this will prevent plaster from sticking. Estimate amount of plaster to be used (remember it is better to mix too much than too little) in bowl add as little water as possible. Plaster should be thick, mix until lumps are gone. Pour plaster over derma wax. Use popsicle stick to press lightly over plaster and even it out. Let dry over night. When dry carefully remove plaster by moving side to side, it should come out easily. Scrape out any derma wax that is caught in mold. Pour slush latex into mold let sit until desired thickness is reached. Take cotton and absorb excess latex. Let dry overnight or use a hair dryer to speed drying.

Powder scar while still in mold. Peel scar out of mold powdering as you go along. This will prevent it from sticking to itself. To apply use spirit gum.


Take a coarse stipple sponge with gray-brown grease. Draw it quickly across skin. Use a fine brush to paint blood on different parts of the scratch. Then add tiny dots of congealed blood sporadically along scratch. Dot coffee granules occasionally, be subtle.


Materials: Hot glue gun, wax paper, and other accesories you decide to use.

Scars --

Make a line across wax paper with glue gun and let cool. Cut around the glue scar, making sure to leave some wax paper around scar to later be used as base for prostetic. Apply to face, neck, etc., using either Spirit Gum or Liquid Latex. (I prefer to use latex since spirit gum is somewhat hard to work with on wax paper.) Then, carefully use make-up to conceal.

Slash --

Same materials and steps as above, fifth step being to simply add blood.


Take some old nails, break them in half, and file tips til edges are smooth. Lay out a sheet of wax paper, drip hot glue on surface of wax paper, and dip nails in glue before it cools.

When cooled, cut out around prosthetic, again leaving some to be used as base. Apply to face, neck, etc., using either Spirit Gum or Liquid Latex. Apply blood as you see fit. Besides nails, you could also try the same effect with glass, old drill bits, bolts, screws, kitchen utensils, etc.

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