Monday, September 7, 2015

Blood is thicker than Corn Syrup

Frequent readers of my blog will notice a pattern based on the calendar, and this is the time for my Fan Expo Canada reflections. (For blog posts on Fan Expo Canada from 2014, 20132010, and 2009, click the year links.)

This year, my creative daughter decided to cosplay as Zoe from the video game Left 4 Dead. To continue with our family tradition, I matched my costume to hers by dressing as a Hunter infected. Souvenir stores in Ocean City, MD and Value Village helped me find my outfit but I had a challenging time locating fake blood. Halloween items are slowly emerging on the shelves right around now, but not quickly or profusely enough for most stores to have exactly what I needed. I understand that fake blood is not always in demand beyond October, but it was still frustrating to be stuck on this one detail. I took to Twitter to register my Quixotic quest.
@FanExpoCanada retweeted me and all of a sudden, I received plenty of advice from strangers.

  1. mixing blood here too for Teen Zombie Murder Mystery Friday night! You're welcome.
  2. here's one site with the ratios but there are many more! Fake Blood Recipes-Steve Spangler Science via
  3. kryolan store attached to CMU College is my go to, most Party City's carry blood year round too!
  4. you can make your own, clear cornsyrup, red, and yellow food coloring and mix to the shade of blood you want.
  5. check pinterest for fake blood recipes!
  6. you can make your own with corn syrup and food colouring, or just look up the multitude of recipes on yourtube!
  7. Google making fake blood. Lots of recipes to suit your needs.
  8. Corn syrup and food coloring. ;)
  9. corn syrup and red food colouring. Delicious and cheap. Works well for bloody teeth.
  10. I'm noticing lots of places have Halloween stuff out already! You might luck out at Value Village!

It was delightful to get so much help. I guess I could have searched online for home made fake blood recipes, but I wasn't aware they existed. Silly me. I'm a pretty novice cosplayer. Poppy (who I know in real life as Sharon, but whom I've only met while playing Minecraft on the GamingEdus server) sent me a link with a great series of step-by-step instructions and I decided to try it out and document it here.

The main ingredient is corn syrup. Bulk Barn helped a lot.

Naturally, the recipe calls for a lot of red food colouring, but if this was the final step, it would be too bright and not thick enough. Blood is thicker than corn syrup, so add corn starch.

The surprise ingredient for me (but not for movie fans) was chocolate syrup. The colour darkens and the consistency thickens.

Before we tried the mixture on my face, we placed it on my son's arm. He was so impressed that he said he wanted to dress as an infected (aka a regular zombie) for Fan Expo Canada too.

 My daughter was nervous when coating my eye with the fake blood. (She doesn't wear eye shadow or any makeup so she doesn't have a lot of practice with this sort of thing.) I think it turned out extremely well.

This is the link for the recipe (written in a lovely, experimental inquiry method).
This is the link for one of the best semi-professional make-up jobs for the specific zombie I'm doing.

Here are the photos of us in our complete costumes.

Zoe (my girl) allowed me to share this duo shot

It was so hot my blood ran down my face

I really appreciated the online community that helped me with my outfit and the process of doing the makeup myself. Feel free to make the obvious connections to the classroom.

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