For our recent stage production of The Revenger's Tragedy, I needed to come up with an economical and effective way to make several gallons of realistic stage blood. Normally, I would have used one of the many corn syrup based recipes that have been popular for decades, but the Technical Director wanted to avoid sugary recipes due to the risk of attracting ants and other nasty creatures into the theatre.
In addition, the costume designer needed to be able to wash the blood completely out of the costumes between performances, the set designer wanted to prevent staining the set, and (since there was a possibility of splashing the audience) we needed to be able to assure audience members that their clothes would not be ruined. This pretty much meant no red food coloring could be in the recipe either.
Furthermore, the blood would have to be visible on both light and dark surfaces and work in several different delivery devices, including air cannons, pneumatic squibs, squeeze bulbs, blood bags and a trick knife. (For a truly excellent pneumatic squib, see Crosius' phenomenal Instructible here: https://www.instructables.com/id/Pneumatic-Squib-Tutorial/)
After experimenting with several formulas I came up with this one, which met all of the needs listed above very well, and only costs about $13.00 a gallon. Compared to some commercial blood at $60.00 a gallon or more, this is quite a bargain. If you need buckets of blood for any reason, give this a try.

Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients and Tools

For this recipe, you will need:

Four 28 oz. bottles of orange or red ultra-concentrated dish detergent (the red frequently contains bleach - do not use any detergent with bleach)
One small bottle of ultra-concentrated Dawn dish detergent (blue)
1.5 cups of creamy sugar-free peanut butter (regular will also work)
One 16 oz. bottle of washable red poster paint
Blue washable poster paint
Black washable poster paint
Sugar-free chocolate syrup

Large pot or mixing bowl
Gallon-sized jug or pitcher
Strainer or cheesecloth
Microwave oven
<p>I might be participating in design for a production of &quot;CARRIE: THE MUSICAL&quot; so this was very helpful. However, we have some cast members who have allergies to peanut butter. Do you have a requested substitute? Thanks!</p>
<p>I did try to make this, i am stuck midway.</p><p>I used</p><p>2 28 ounce bottles of orange detergent (non bleach)</p><p>1 bottle of blue dish detergent</p><p>approximately 20 ounces of poster paint red</p><p>1 jar of peanut butter</p><p>4 tablespoons of chocolate syrup</p><p>Any suggestions, I would hate to waste this goop as I feel I am close, if you look at the photos you will see that one bucket is redder and that is because I poured some into a smaller bucket and mixed more red in, but how much red has to be mixed in! I have already gone through 2 containers of red poster paint, maybe some food coloring?</p><p>Thanks for any responses, our production is sunday night!</p><p>NONE of the photos are altered, thats how it looks in real life right now</p>
Came out purple using double the red. Waste of money.
<p>I too made the first batch way too brownish purple. The second batch was MUCH better. I think the starting point of using 2 ounces each of the dark colors and syrup is way too much. I went very slow the second time, adding them drop wise. A poster paint bottle drop is still quite large and sometimes comes out in globs. I love the texture of this recipe! It really feels and flows like blood! This photo included actually looks a little redder than in real life.</p>
<p>Tried two batches, both purple trying to problem solve.</p><p>First batch used two orange soaps and two red soaps. I followed the instructions to the letter, using the suggested starting amounts of syrup, blue, and black paint of 2oz each. It came out very dark purple. <br><br>The dawn I have is of a darker blue than pictured and the red dish soap (great value brand) had a bit of magenta in it. <br>So, in the second batch I used four orange soaps and only used 4 oz. of Dawn. I also used no blue paint. Still came out purple.<br><br>Not sure what is going wrong. </p>
<p>Will this wash out of a white wig? Looking at using it for a staged production where a white wig will be used on the person with a head injury</p>
Has anyone tried this on carpet? <br>I have my own blood recipe that did wash out, but took a lot of water and elbow grease. Looking for something a little easier. It won't be a lot or be on for long.
<p>will this wash out of white linnen clothes? </p>
Can anyone please tell me if this still looks good once its dry? I plan on covering myself with it for halloween but dont want it flaking off and such throughout the night
<p>Will this stain a bath tub? I have a play that is based on Elizabeth Bathory and need the actress to soak in a blood full of tub. But the tub needs to not hold any stains as it needs to be used for other productions. Thanks</p>
<p>I'd love to know too. I want to do some Bodyparts swimming in blood in my tub</p>
<p>Has anyone used this on a car? For an extended period of time? Does it stain or have an effect on paint?</p>
Wondering about this as well I have a white car and I would like to try this out ?
Will this last in your hair for a couple of hours? Will it drip? I'm going for the movie look of Carrie.
<p>I have an extreme peanut allergy to the point where I can die from anyone else eating nuts around me<br>What would you suggest as a suitable replacement for the peanut butter?</p>
<p>I would try a roux or &quot;rue&quot; sauce in it's place; It is used to thicken sauces.</p><p> A simple mix of butter/oil, flour and little water. <strong>(</strong><a rel="nofollow">instructable for Roux</a><strong>) But I Don't know if this would make it stain. </strong>So<strong> </strong>testing would be needed.<strong><br></strong></p>
<p>I read your tips about spreading on the floor. I'm planning a haunted walk for Halloween and am looking for a cheap way to make large amounts of blood to splatter all over the brick walls (possibly covered with vinyl shower curtains) and also the cement floor on the back porch. Do you think this should be okay as long as I avoid the main walkway? Also, could I just hose it off the porch after or would that cause a lot of suds and make the porch very slippery?</p>
<p>Will this dry on skin okay? I'd need it to last about 5-6 hours. </p>
<p>Incredible! Thank you so much for sharing this! 1000 kudos to you!<br><br>I made this for when I went on a Halloween cruise recently and splashed this over my car - The reactions it got from the other people spoke volumes for how realistic it looked (Many jaws were dropped) and it washed off without much effort later in the evening. Perfect!<br><br>The dish washing detergent does wash off car wax, so I had to wax the car in the morning - but this was a small price to pay.</p><p>Will make again!</p>
<p>This is so cool! Does it irritate sensitive skin though? And it is ok near eyes? If not, would a corn syrup base work as well? </p>
Out of curiosity, has anyone tried almond butter or almond flour and say mineral oil to avoid peanut and rancidity issues? Walnut oil also keeps well IIRC. I wonder about bean flours too, whichever is lowest starch or highest protein/starh ratio. Any ideas?
This stuff is great! Works really well, and I got it out of a white shirt! Looks very VERY real!
That's a good recipe. There a lot of good free ones out there like that depending on your needs (washable vs. safe in the mouth).<br><br>Our company (founded in 2011) has a formula that is both washable AND safe on the skin/mouth. We have washed it out of white shirts, couches, wallpaper, floors, ceilings, suits, skin, etc. with just warm/hot water without any staining. It doesn't contain detergent, so it is non-toxic and safe in/around the mouth and skin. There's no chocolate or peanut butter, so no chocolate or oil stains. Stage managers love using our product.<br><br>Our Blood Jam product comes super thick. As is, it can be used as a stage make-up. It also has an indefinitely life span.<br><br>You can cut our Blood Jam down to whatever thickness you like with water, and it won't lose its color or washability. But, as soon as you cut it with water, bacteria could begin to grow so you have about a week lifespan at that point. Another good trick is to heat it up, which thins it out. As it cools, it will go back to its original thickness. This is great when we want a good oozing or splatter effect, but then as the scene goes on you don't want it dripping all over the stage.<br><br>We ship anywhere in the U.S. and are glad to provide any other tips or consulting to suit your needs.<br><br>Check it out at: http://www.gravityandmomentum.org/stage-blood/<br><br>-Gravity and Momentum, LLC<br>&quot;Behind Everything You Do&quot;
Many, many years ago there was a special effects company that made a completely non staining stage blood. However, they are no longer in business. The ingredients were microscopic beads of dark red plastic suspended in a clear liquid gel. The color never stained because the color was contained in the plastic. Would be great for some enterprising young person to recreate it. They would be rich. Just puting the word out there as there seems to be a great need for it in the theatrical community.
I actually used that stuff for a show back in the mid-90's. The concept was great, and the blood looked pretty good, if a bit tempera-esque. <br>The issue I had with it was that the red microbeads got trapped in the weave of the fabric and wouldn't let go no matter how many times you washed it. The end result was not technically a stain, as the fabric was not actually colored by the blood, but functionally it was indistinguishable from a stain. I was a bit disappointed. <br>If somebody came up with a way to release the beads from the fabric effectively, it would be epic.
hi my name is kylie and me and my friend were going to yuse your idea for fake blood for halloween cause ummm we were going to be vampire-wiches!<br>and i was just wondering if the blood mixture EVER expired!!!<br>THANKS!!!!
Someone shops at Walmart! &lt;3
oh so tasty lookin lol jk
Any thoughts on having lots of blood in a swimming pool (someone falls into a pool after being shot like crazy) without damaging the pool? The blood doesn't need to last long. Thanks!
Obviously because of the detergent content you would not be able to use this blood coming from the mouth. For that I suppose you would have to go back to the corn syrup recipe.<br><br>By the way, peanut butter is an ant attractant for some species of ants. I take it there would be enough detergent content to keep them away.
why is the blood light coloured? <br>
The color balance of my camera is a bit off. It was darker in real life.
oh ok... then this is a pretty great recipe
what if someone in the audience is allergic to peanuts??????? might want to think about befor u use it next. lawsuits could ensue.
Yup. That's listed in the warning section of the Instructable, and lobby signs were posted.
ok good cuz i have a couple of friends that cant even smell peanuts. let alone touch it
Oh where oh where was this tutorial when I had to produce so very much washable blood for Seven Crimes? I managed with a couple different mixtures (mostly detergent based), but this is by far superior (though so far as color went for us, the director had a thing for using red light on all bloody scenes which meant the blood usually needed to be deeply purple to show up, but that's not really an ordinary concern). This is great though, it seems like it really would create a nice visual mess without being a mess to clean up.<br><br>In other words, thank you. You are fantastic for posting this and I know I'll be using it in the future.<br><br>Is there any chance you could add a photo or photos from the production so we can see your handiwork in action?
Thanks for the kind comments. Always nice to hear from a fellow wetworker. ;-) <br> <br>Red light for all the blood scenes? That's a new one on me, although I have been known to strongarm a lighting designer or two in the name of good blood visibility. Usually for me, the lighting was more green than I'd like, which made the blood look like chocolate syrup. In this production, the lighting was never an issue, for which I am grateful. <br> <br>Oddly enough, I was unable to be at the photo call for Revenger's, and so they didn't take any shots with blood, probably because of the cleanup issue. If I had known, I would have taken my own photos at final dress, but it didn't even cross my mind until it was too late. That is a mistake that I won't be making again....
To be fair the red light did look cool in that context, but it nearly 100% washed out blood-colored blood. This was about as light a color as it could go, http://www.featherwurmgraphics.com/Theater%20%28Costume,%20Puppets,%20etc%29/Seven%20Crimes%20%28Add%20More%29/Razor.html as you can see in the more regular light in the last couple photos it's really pretty purple.<br><br>Aw dang that sucks, and I know the feeling, but there's always the next one... there's always a need for blood!
To make the thumbnail more interesting, make the blood arterial and dark. This is to be more anatomically correct.
We chose to go with a more &quot;cinematic&quot; look for this production, as opposed to purely realistic. The blood wasn't as ketchupy as the photo makes it look, though.
At least make a latex wound, it just looks like a spill. But I still like your method.
Maybe it was vomited?
didnt know i'd find this on here, but btw i still have blood splatters (yes stained) into my khaki cargo pants from when I saw RT at GSU.
Sorry about your pants. I haven't heard of any other cases where this blood left a stain behind, including the wedding dresses we used in the show. Very odd. Swing by the Theatre cookout this Friday afternoon, and I'll buy you a cheeseburger by way of apology.
OH, very much enjoyed it. See you around.
Our campus did a production of tRT in october, and it was incredible bloody. I left with small amounts of this stuff on my face, hands, and everywhere else in range of a headshot. :)
Hey, that's when ours was. You don't live in Georgia, do you?
I do! It was at Georgia Southern.
That's the one. Glad to know there are other Instructables folks here in town. You make the fourth one I know of (counting me), and RedHandFilms has graduated and left, so he doesn't count anymore.<br> <br> Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the show,

About This Instructable




Bio: Jack of all trades, master of a couple. Eclectic interests combined with a short attention span make me just knowledgeable enough to be really dangerous.
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