Toothpick Through Your Hand! (in Photoshop)

About: A guy who like to do technical things and reed others instructions. shall try to create one myself sometime.

In this Instructable you will learn how to create a cool, bloody effect, using two pictures (taken of your own), photoshop and some creativeness.

Step 1: Start Like This

Download the two files to your computer. Open the two images (called hand.jpg and toothpick.jpg), the hand-image and the toothpick image, with Photoshop. I'll use Photoshop CS3.

Step 2: Erase

Select toothpick copy and press E to select Eraser. Make the brush big (somewhere about 1337 works for me) and hardness 100%. Erase everything except for the toothpick, this time it doesn't have to be perfect.

Move the toothpick layer so it seems like it is pointing out right from the hand. Not perfect! But it shall at least look like it can be a bit true, otherwise you got to capture new source images (or download at some place, but for this kinds of stuff it is almost easier to capture the photos yourself).

Step 3: Erase Again

Now start over from the erasing point, but do it all more accurate. Remember to save all the time so you can go back to an earlier state if you want to change something. If you don't like to use the eraser tool you can use the polygonal lasso tool.

Place the toothpick so it is in the right place and zoom in around the area where the wound will be.

Press [O] to activate the burn tool (watch out so you don't get the dodge or sponge tool) and choose a small brush size, 6 works for me. Change the exposure to somewhere between 5 and 20. It's often better to use low exposure and paint many times, than use high exposure a few times.

Now start to paint around the root of the toothpick so it shapes a circle around the "hole" through the hand.

Step 4: Get Brushes!

Now's the time to open Firefox (or other if you like) and go to "" and download KeReN's Blood Brushes for Photoshop (cred to KeRen for the brushes) [img]

Import the brushes to photoshop. If you don't know you can watch at the FAQ on there's a good explanation.

Step 5: Paint With Your Imported Brush

The brush is actually a set of brushes, and now it's in your brush-box. It's quite far down so you have to scroll a bit. The brush I use for this tutorial is called Sampled Brush #4 and is in the package named in the last step.

Create a new layer (blood) and place it between the toothpick layer and the hand layer.

Activate the imported brush and choose a good, blood-red color. Change the size (I used 862) and then paint once. One simple click, or two if the shape is to light.

Step 6: Warp the Blood! (and Make the Skin Look Weird)


Drag in the handles until the blood seems to be a bit more realistic.

Now skin:

Now duplicate the blood-layer and hide the original blood-layer. Rename the "blood copy"-layer to "skin". Erase everything on the skin-layer without the area around the hole, so what's left is shaped almost like a circle.

Warp the skin-layer (if you like to you can use Liquify instead. Filter --> Liquify)

Warp until it looks good. Right-click on "skin" and open the Blending Options menu. Click on Bevel and Emboss and choose the options shown in the image.

Press ok.

Set the Opacity on the skin-layer on 66% and fill 40%.

Step 7: Masking

Place the skin-layer so it is the top-layer. Press the add layer mask button to add a layer mask.
Use a brush with the same diameter as the toothpick has, and paint over the toothstick. This will hide the "fakie-skin" so it looks a bit better.

Show the blood-layer again.

Step 8: Smudging

Use the smudge tool with around 55% pressure, some brush that isn't just round and try to drag the blood out a bit, so it looks like it flows down on the hand. I use long smooth motions and thinks that it gives the best results.

Open the blending options for the blood layer and use these settings:

Soon we're finished...

Step 9: Blood Spatter

If this image would have been real, the toothpick would have been put trough your hand from the other side, the side you don't see on the image. This means that it has to be blood on the toothpick.

To paint some more blood follow these steps:
Activate the toothpick-layer ctrl-click on the toothpick-layer to select it. This prevents blood to come on places you don't want it to be on.

Get a splatter brush (built in to photoshop) with low opacity and red color and start to paint a bit on the stick. Just a bit, and maybe some splashes with blood too.

Step 10: Extras and Saving

So, almost done.

If you like to you can make the hand more grey (by adjusting black & white in Image --> Adjustments --> Black & White) or paint a bit more blood, like I did (either with the new brushes, or with some of the main-brushes). If you want more blood, paint it in the blood-layer to get the same effects as you already have on the main-blood.

Just saving left:

To save the image, press: File --> Save As... --> Write a name, change psd to jpg (or png or wathever you like) in the list below the name-form.
Then press Save and choose settings for the jpeg-compression, around ten works good.



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    59 Discussions


    9 years ago on Introduction

    i know form experience that a toothpick through your hand doesn't look like that, it doesn't actually bleed at all, the skin at the other side is just stretched a bit(yes it went THAT far trough)


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks :) Have been looking around for ways to do it better but haven't found any yet. shall maybe upgrade the blood (and the instructable) a bit. We'll see...


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Good job, but there should be somesort of shadow or something on the toothpick to hand and also the contrast should be lower, it seems too bright compared to the image which is mainly in darkness.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Yeah, that is an idea, but that wasn't my intention when I made the tutorial, I was learning about photoshop-brushes and wanted to use it as much as possible. And I don't know if ketchup would be that much better ( hopefully it would have "poured" downwards, I don't think the gravity would look away for that moment (still worth a try :P), and not in strange directions as in my photoshop image.), the color isn't really blood red (and my photoshop blood definitely is blood red :P). Quite a long sentence. Someday, I'll maybe do a DIY IRL version of this tutorial. 'Til then //mangenoll

    Yeah :P, but thats not digital. Why not do a "How to create this effect (with a link to this page of course), but without a drawing program! ", but they will have to have a computer to read your tut anyway :P, and to do this in gimp isn't that much different from this method.

    Cheers! :)

    could do that. besides, i guess if you dont plan on wearing it for Halloween or such there isnt much use for actually sticking it on XD


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    brushed my stomach(the organ). I passed out of blood loss. Lost 3 pints. Lucky I'm not dead. I passed out when I felt the paramedics pull me off the wall.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    wow that must really have sucked the worst that ever happened to me was the nail through the hand and i cut my arm real bad with a jigsaw


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    yah that reminds me i got caught on fire too my propane tank for a torch had a leak and i didn't know it and i lit the torch and BOOM!!! and as supprising as it may sound the only thing that happened to me is my hair got burned a little