This is something that I have created from a little bit of information, and lots of trial and error.
I will just make one warning, if someone is diabetic, they may not want to get this in their mouth.
As you will see, I have found that this is best prepared three to four hours before it is needed. I apologize that I do not have exact ratios or amounts - I have always done it by eye, usually on set in the middle of nowhere, while also directing (the joys of multitasking on indiefilms!) and not measured it.
You will need:
- Tubes of red food colouring (I get mine from Co-Op) - this gives a strong red colour. Get more than you think you will need.
- Golden Syrup (in the USA, I believe you can substitute corn syrup) - this provides the consistency of the blood.
- A jar of ground coffee - this darkens the blood, to a realistic shade
- Water - needed to dissolve the coffee
- Two receptacles, one for mixing the blood, and one for mixing the coffee.
You will want to experiment with this, a few times. I developed this for our feature film Mordred, which with 6th Century wounds and killings, certainly was going to need blood!
1) Get your blood receptacle. Pour in your Golden Syrup, and the red food colouring, and mix thoroughly, then let stand.
2) Get your second receptacle, and pour in some instant coffee powder. add just enough water to dissolve it. This is your darkening agent. Once stirred and dissolved into sticky glop, add it cautiously to your blood mix in the first receptacle. Do be aware a little coffee goes a long way in this so be careful how much you add. You can always add more.
3) Lots and lots of stirring - make sure it is all completely mixed.
For the best result, leave your blood to stand for a few hours - even better if its used the next day. The longer it waits, the more it darkens and gets slightly congealed, and more blood-like. I always get a froth on top that I have to skim off, but the blood underneath is a gory joy to behold. :) Keep your melted coffee gloop in case you need to make your blood darker (remember blood can look a bit different depending where on the body it is coming from)
I am not going to guarantee that this washes out of costumes, i have had mixed results, but your best bet is to soak the costume in water and stain-remover agent, as soon as you can, within a few hours before the blood has dried.
Photos modeling lovely blood with Ryan Hannaford and David Welland, filming Mordred. This blood was freshly made and therefore lighter and more runny than it became later in the day.
If you have refinements, please comment with them - I have lots more projects coming up, needed lovely stage blood.