One life skill that’s particularly useful to possess this time of year is the ability to whip up a batch of fake blood at a moment’s notice. After all, fake blood is a Halloween staple. Even if you don’t have time for a truly badass costume, a little fake blood can go a long way in turning your average getup into something really scary.

Of course, you can always buy your blood premade online or from a store. But where is the fun in that? It’s easy (and cool) to make your own. Plus, you probably already have all the ingredients at home that you need to make it, so it’s cheaper too.

Whether you intend to use it for your Halloween makeup, add some bloody handprints to your spooky decorations or keep a batch on hand to terrify the family at a later date, it’s time you learned how to make your own fake blood.

Step into our lab, where we’ve been hard at work experimenting with several recipes to find the grossest, coolest, creepiest and most realistic faux blood out there. Pick your favorite to start concocting your personal batch, and then go off and be a vampire, someone from American Horror Story or whatever other gory costume idea gets your blood pumping this Halloween.

How to Make Fake Blood

Photo credit: Landon Phillips

Photo credit: Landon Phillips

This clean, runny blood perfect is for dripping and splattering. Plus, it was the easiest to make of all the recipes we tested.

  1. Combine 1 cup corn syrup with 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup in a bowl.

  2. Stir in red food coloring until you get a deep red color. We used about 8 drops.

How to Make Fake Blood Without Coloring: Substitute beet or pomegranate juice in place of the food dye. You can also try red Kool Aid or jello, tomato paste, fruit punch, or strawberry syrup.

How to Make Fake Blood for Clothes

Photo credit: Landon Phillips

Photo credit: Landon Phillips

This darker, viscous blood is made for smearing (á la the shower curtain in Psycho). It also can look really drippy without actually dripping all over the place. To make dried blood clothes or surfaces, just use a hair dryer.

This blood includes detergent and IS NOT edible, so you should avoid putting it directly on your skin. It’s great for splattering a Carrie-like prom gown or a lab coat for a mad scientist.

  1. Combine 2/3 cup chocolate syrup and 1/3 cup Tide laundry detergent.

  2. Add 4 to 6 teaspoons red food coloring.

How to Make Fake Guts

To manipulate the texture of guts, you can use anything from chunky peanut butter to oatmeal. We went more extreme by adding in thin strips of toilet paper, which best mimicked the look of vital organs.

After I was all covered up in fake blood and guts, I decided to test drive my faux injuries and texted my mom (a woman who is not easily fooled) a picture:

Photo credit: Landon Phillips

Photo credit: Landon Phillips

  1. Prepare either fake blood recipes (above).

  2. Tear thin strips of tissue paper.

  3. Stir into the blood until you’ve reached your desired texture.

How to Make Fake Scabs

Photo credit: Landon Phillips

Photo credit: Landon Phillips

This was our favorite and the most realistic looking blood mixture. It will darken slightly as it dries and the texture gets better as it sits, so feel free to make it about an hour ahead of time. The chunky texture of the added onion flakes gives the appearance of “scabs.”

  1. Combine 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 4 teaspoons water, 1 teaspoon corn syrup, 1 tablespoon onion flakes, and 4 drops red food coloring.

  2. Clump it onto your skin and let dry.

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