How to Make Fake Wounds and Cuts

Bearded man with fake shot in his forehead at Halloween
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Combine chemical ingredients to make fake wounds suitable for Halloween or other special events. This is a great, easy activity for kids and adults alike, and it only takes a few minutes!


  • petroleum jelly
  • red food coloring
  • cocoa powder
  • disposable tissue
  • bowl
  • toothpicks

How to Make Fake Wounds and Cuts

  1. Use a toothpick to mix 3-4 drops of red food coloring into a dollop of petroleum jelly (e.g., Vaseline).
  2. Stir in enough cocoa (a pinch or so) to darken the red color to a deeper, blood-like tint.
  3. Separate the tissue and tear out a small rectangle (3x2 inches) from a single layer of the paper.
  4. Place the tissue at the wound site and cover it with the petroleum jelly mixture.
  5. Mold the tissue into a wound shape with the edges raised higher than the center of the wound.
  6. Add some petroleum jelly mixture to the center of the wound.
  7. Sprinkle cocoa at the edges of the wound to darken it. Add cocoa to the wound center if a scabby (as opposed to fresh) appearance is desired.
  8. Red food coloring will stain, so avoid wound contact with clothing or furniture.