Distressing Costumes With Blood

Thursday, 5 May 2011, 8:00 | Author : Kricket
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People who have lived through a traumatic event will always have visible signs of wear on their clothing; one of which is the appearance of blood.  Depending on whether the blood is a result of injuries to your and your friends or whether it is the blood of someone you may have violently attacked will influence the placement and application of the blood.  Through our own experimentation, we will share what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to bloodying your costume.

When deciding where to apply the blood, your number one concern should be avoiding transference onto other objects.  Take a moment to assess whether you will be brushing up against a crowd or dripping freshly applied blood onto a hotel carpet.  The safest place to apply blood is near the throat and chest area, but ultimately, the decision is up to you.

Another concern is how quickly will the blood dry and whether or not it will permanently stain your clothes. The following table illustrates the types of blood we suggest for use on clothing.


Permanent Blood Washable Blood
Permablood Reel Blood
Latex Paint Food Dye & Dishwashing Detergent
Acrylic Paint Kool-Aid & Laundry Detergent
Wood Stain Ketchup or Tomato Sauce
Strawberry Syrup

(Hint:  If your blood is too bright, try mixing in dark green, purple, or black.)


In order to simulate clothing ripped by teeth or fingernails, dip a thin hooked knife into your blood. Puncture your fabric and rip in the desired direction, smearing blood onto the fabric as you go.
Often with bites to the jugular, blood can spray out from your victim. To create the “splattered blood” effect, dip a wide paint brush into your blood and tap it against a solid surface such as a piece of wood.
If you want blood to be smudged into the fabric, try using a densely packed paint brush.
For those of you who narrowly avoided the grasping hands of a zombie, you can add a hand-smear to the front or arms of your shirt (probably with the help of a friend).
For your more serious injuries, you can try pouring or dripping globs of blood onto the front of your shirt.
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