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How do you blood stain a shirt for halloween?

Halloween is just around the corner, and if you’re looking for an easy, last-minute costume, a blood-stained shirt can be a gruesomely effective option. With some simple supplies and techniques, you can transform an ordinary shirt into something that looks truly gory and horrific. In this article, we’ll walk through various methods for creating fake blood stains that will make your Halloween costume scary and creepy.

Supplies Needed

Here are some of the basic supplies you’ll need:

  • Old shirt (white or light colors work best)
  • Fake blood
  • Corn syrup
  • Red and brown acrylic paint
  • Small paintbrushes
  • Sponges
  • Scissors
  • Black eyeshadow or powder

You can find fake blood in Halloween stores or make your own by mixing corn syrup with red and brown acrylic paints. The acrylic paint helps the “blood” dry more quickly on fabric. For added realism, you can also mix in a small amount of black powder or eyeshadow.

Staining Techniques

Here are some techniques for creating different blood stain effects:

Dripping Blood

For fresh dripping blood, carefully splatter your fake blood onto the shirt using a small paintbrush or by dipping your fingers into the blood and flicking it onto the fabric. Let it drip down the shirt for that freshly killed look.

Smeared Blood

For a smeared look, apply some fake blood to a sponge and dab or wipe it across the fabric. Twist and press the sponge as you smear it for the most realistic effect.

Blood Splatter

Grab some fake blood with a stiff brush or toothbrush and flick the bristles with your finger to create tiny splatter droplets around the shirt. Focus the splatter near stomach or chest areas.

Soaked Blood

For blood-soaked clothing, liberally apply your fake blood all over the fabric using a sponge or rag. Twist and crumple the shirt as you apply the blood to disperse it realistically.

Blood Pool

To create the look of dried blood that has pooled, paint on some thick fake blood near the edge of a shirt pocket or around knife wounds. As it drips down and dries, it will create a gory pooled blood effect.

Creating Wounds and Tears

For added gore, use scissors to cut slits, tears, and jagged holes in strategic places on the shirt, like the stomach area. Cut layers into the fabric to mimic torn, shredded skin and tissue. Apply extra blood around these wounds so it looks freshly oozing.

Aging the Blood

For blood stains that are a few days old, use a brush or sponge to blend out the edges of your stains so they look less freshly dripped and more faded and oxidized. You can also blot at the stains with a clean rag to lift some of the bright color out.

Blood Types and Meanings

For added realism, consider the symbolic meaning behind different blood stain patterns and locations. Here are some common blood stain types and what they might indicate:

Blood Type Meaning
Dripping from mouth Internal injury like punctured lungs
Pooling around chest Gunshot or stab wound to chest
Splatter on arms/hands Defensive wounds; victim tried to shield against attack
Dripping down forehead Blunt force trauma to the head
Drag marks Body was moved and left trail of blood

Layering Blood for Realism

For the most realistic look, layer a few different blood stain techniques. For example, you might:

  • First splatter some droplets of “fresh” blood
  • Then smear and soak the fabric with darker, oxidized blood
  • Add smears and handprints using a sponge
  • Use acrylic paint to add imperfections and clots

Layering the blood in stages like this adds visual depth and dimension, making it look aged and gruesome.

Setting the Blood

To help the stains set and last longer, you can:

  • Let the shirt dry fully after applying blood
  • Spray with an acrylic sealant
  • Set in the dryer on high heat after staining
  • Store in a sealed plastic bag after drying

This helps prevent the stains from cracking, fading, or smearing off when you wear the shirt.

Remove Stains After Halloween

Don’t worry about ruining a shirt with realistic blood stains. Once Halloween is over, you can generally remove the acrylic and corn syrup-based blood using:

  • Hot water
  • Laundry detergent or stain remover
  • Dish soap and a scrub brush for tougher stains

It may take a bit of scrubbing, but you should be able to return the shirt to its original condition once you’re done with your creepy costume.


Creating gruesome blood stains on a shirt is an easy way to complete a last-minute Halloween costume on a budget. With some basic supplies and techniques like blood splatter, smears, tears and drips, you can transform an ordinary shirt into something that looks quite terrifying. Strategically cut holes, layer blood for dimension, and think about stain placement to get the most realistic results.

While ghastly to look at, fake blood made from acrylic paint and corn syrup is removable with some scrubbing and laundering. So let your creepy creativity run wild this Halloween. With the right techniques and a bit of practice, you’ll have blood stains that look eerily authentic and horrifying.