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How Do I Make Fake Wounds?

G. Wiesen
G. Wiesen

There are a few different ways in which you can easily and effectively make fake wounds, and you should choose the method that is best for you. One of the simplest ways to create a fake wound is through the use of liquid latex, which you can make look like a wound and add fake blood to improve the effect. You can also use bathroom tissue and petroleum jelly or liquid latex to achieve fake wounds that are quite realistic, also through additions of fake blood.

Only a few basic supplies are typically required to create fake wounds, and you should be sure to choose a method that you can perform easily. Both of these techniques can require a bit of practice to perfect, so you should take some time to try these out before you need to create a wound for a performance or costume. Liquid latex can be purchased at costume stores and similar locations, and you can either purchase or make your own fake blood. You also might want a scouring pad or similar sponge as well as a few toothpicks.

Petroleum jelly, which can be used to make fake wounds.
Petroleum jelly, which can be used to make fake wounds.

One of the simplest ways to make fake wounds is to apply some liquid latex in a cleaned area of skin in which you want the wound to appear. You should apply it in a way that suggests the basic outline and shape of the wound you want, leaving the middle open. The liquid latex should be allowed to dry somewhat, before you use a scouring pad or sponge to clean up some of the area around the wound. You can then brush on a light amount of fake blood around the outside of the wound to make the skin look purple and bruised.

Eyeliner may be used to create lifelike scars.
Eyeliner may be used to create lifelike scars.

As the liquid latex begins to dry, you can then use a toothpick or similar small instrument to begin picking at the inside of the fake wound. You want to make it appear to be ragged, and pulled up slightly so that it seems to be an opening in the skin. Additional small amounts of fake blood can be applied around the surface of the wound as well. You can then pour or otherwise apply fake blood to the inside of the wound, in an uneven way, to give it the illusion of depth.

Bathroom tissue can also be used in a similar way to make fake wounds, either by applying some liquid latex or petroleum jelly to the area to make it stick to the skin. You can then use the tissue to effectively sculpt the wound on the skin, rather than using liquid latex directly, and apply fake blood in and around the area in a similar way. Both of these methods can be improved upon with the application of makeup to create even more realistic and unsettling fake wounds.

Discussion Comments


@bythewell - My suggestion would be to find a local community college that teaches makeup with a film component and then ask for volunteers to help make you up (or pay them reduced rates if you can). Often they will be looking for chances to increase their portfolio and will work for cost with that in mind.

If you aren't trying to get fake wounds for a film or of a high production value, then there are cheap and relatively effective fake wound kits in any store that sells toys or costumes.


@Mor - A friend of mine wants to get into movie makeup and she makes wounds so realistic I often think they are real the first time I see them (which makes for an interesting time at her house!).

She told me that one of the best things to add authenticity to fake wounds is to put something in them, like broken "glass" or stones or whatever.

She's done things like making it look like a drink can has punched through a forehead, or an arrow is going through an arm, which is pretty cool. But she is top of her class so I don't know if everyone would find it as easy as she does.


There are some really fantastic film makeup tutorials online that show you how to make very realistic fake wounds. In fact, they are actually pretty easy with basic materials, so I'm always surprised to see poor quality makeup in short films and things like that.

I suspect it's because the people involved simply didn't look deeply enough into how to work the process, but it's a shame, because fake wounds are actually easier than just putting general makeup on.

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    • Petroleum jelly, which can be used to make fake wounds.
      By: blueee
      Petroleum jelly, which can be used to make fake wounds.
    • Eyeliner may be used to create lifelike scars.
      By: cedrov
      Eyeliner may be used to create lifelike scars.