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How to Make Fake Wounds for Halloween

Published by Zena Droke

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If you start tap dancing on October 30 just waiting for the next day to come and watch marathon episodes of “Roseanne” during Halloween week, you must have a love for horror. If the thought of wearing a cutesy Halloween costume makes you roll your eyes, consider yourself a horror snob. If people come to your home and notice a collection of horror movies, then you’re “in the know” about what’s scary. And if you can think of ways to improve haunted houses to make people be too terrified to enter or want to fine-tune Six Flags Great America’s Halloween Night, you are a Halloween graduate.

But with this holiday degree, you have to know how to make fake wounds to match your equally gory costume. There is an art to this and depending on skin type, you may have to put in more or less work. If you’re not the accident prone type who already has sores and scars to know what they look like on your skin, try doing an Internet search on what type of fake wound you want to gross people out with. Look for someone with your complexion to use as an example.

The best kind for Halloween costumes would probably be the “it’s-healing” wound. Sometimes people overdo it with the wounds by hanging wet spaghetti from them to look like an open wound, but that can get a little messy if your Halloween costume will cover the fake wound. Adding ketchup or barbecue sauce will make you smell like the family picnic, and using washable paint is okay, but it tends to be too bright red.

The best way to create a fake wound is to use makeup. Do not try to find the brightest red you possibly can because blood is more maroon than it is fire red. If the red makeup you have is too bright, mix it with brown or black to darken the color.

Start off with a base coat that’s beige. If your skin is dark, then the beige should show up immediately and stand out. You don’t need to use too much, just enough to look like your original skin color is tainted. Then add some red makeup over the beige to make the fake wound look like dried blood. However, if you have lighter skin that will make the beige look more like a concealer and less like flesh, you can start off with the red makeup.

Now that the fleshy, bloody look is in effect, use a paintbrush or a makeup brush to smudge blocks of brown. This makes the fake wound look dirty and even less appealing to look at. If you want the fake wound to look like it hasn’t properly healed, try a red Sharpie and draw a jagged line down the center of the fake wound or hold the Sharpie still so it can leave a blotted marker print. If you want extra flavor, outline the fake wound with yellow to make the skin area look dry and infected the way a wound would look for someone who stepped on a nail.

For an added touch, check out Halloween stores that sell fake weapons to achieve the stabbed, shot, or beaten look-the more extravagant ones will have everything from sledgehammers to knives that can be attached to your fake wound.

Playing around with makeup colors to achieve the desired effect usually helps. There are too many different skin types and complexion to measure out just how much makeup to use for all fake wounds, but with an example to look at, you can get the desired and repulsive effect.

And here’s a neat trick. You can paint a nonstick telfa pad and get a wraparound bandage net to put around your arm or leg. This way, you don’t have to worry about washing the makeup later. Just pull off the telfa pad and bandage when the night ends.

Good luck on grossing everyone out and Happy Halloween!



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