Geek Tutorials

A catch up post from July

How to make fake wounds for Halloween or Cosplay

A comparison of several methods

so I was attacked several times…

I love dressing up for Halloween, and my favorite part is all the little details that really draw the whole thing together. So, drawing on my theatre background, I am showing off several methods of producing fake wounds for your gruesome costume!

I did get some of these methods direct from others, so I will provide links below.

Look at my messy workspace!


  • Make up: your normal foundation, plus a highlight and shade from a contour palate. A lipliner in deep red if you are doing an older scar.
  • Color make up: a palate that has a red, green, yellow, and dark brown or black. I used this one from Party City, which is grease paint, but they have others (more expensive) that are the water based paints.
  • For older scars: Rigid collodion, New Skin, or clear nail polish (more later)
  • For scar wax based scars: Petroleum Jelly, Flour
  • For toilet paper based scars: toilet paper, white glue, food coloring in red, cocoa powder
  • For fake blood: water, corn syrup, food coloring in red and yellow.


Older Scars:

I like to do older scars. I’m a school bus driver, and having the open wound type gashes doesn’t really go well with my job. Also, it lends itself better to cosplay.

  • First, check out the age of the scar you would like to reproduce. A scar will retain a lot of it’s redness for years after the wound, if it was deep, but will eventually fade to white.
  • Trace out your scar in your highlight or your lipliner. If your highlight is not as light as you would like, trace it again with a white from your color palate, if it has a white.
  • Now we are going to shade it. Just like I had you do for the “Old Person Make Up” you are going to trace that line with the shade from your contour palate. Once you like that blend, trace it again with the highlight. Unless you’ve got a really grievous scar, these lines should be pretty thin. We are creating the illusion of depth, not making it looked bruised.
  • Now comes the fun part. Make sure you are happy with how the scar looks, because you cant fix it after this.
  • There is a product theatrical make up artists use called Rigid Collodion. It is perfect for painting on your scar and having your skin bunch up like a real scar would. It is also really expensive ($10-12 US for 1/8 of an ounce). So I painted some scars on my arm and tried out some alternatives:
  • New Skin: a antibiotic sealant meant for painting over scrapes that can’t be easily bandaged. ($5.99 for 1 ounce on Amazon)
  • Clear Nail Polish
Left to right: Rigid Collodion, New Skin, Nail Polish, and an older scar with Rigid Collodion
  • I still like the Rigid Collodion the best, but I think the New Skin also works really well.

Older, severe scars:

But what if your scar is bigger than you can draw? You turn to scar wax or toilet paper!

  • Choose your method for applying the scar, following links below. For the toilet paper and these scars, I colored the glue with my foundation, to blend it in.
  • Blend in your scar to your skin with make up.
  • You get more control with the scar wax, but I couldn’t seem to get it to look good. It was my first time with this recipe, so maybe I mixed in too much flour.
  • I, personally, like the look of the toilet paper one better. If I did it again, I might add a smidge of red to the mix, so that it looks a little inflamed.

Open Wounds

But Token Geek Girl! We wanna look gory!!! Alright:

  • Pick your poison, scar wax or toilet paper. If scar wax, cut a line through it that will be the basis of your wound.
  • Color that wound up with red and green and yellow, for a human bruise. Zombies would be mostly black. Vulcans would be green and yellow.
  • Have fun with it! keep adding color and shade and blending till it looks like you want it to!
  • Dip your fake blood down the wound to get some real gore going.
  • I like both of these, though I hand a harder time coloring the wax (again, probably because I added too much flour). Doing it again, I would spread out the red glue more, and probably add some darker color right on the inside of the toilet paper.
  • So, you get more control with the scar wax, but a more organic “gory” feel with the toilet paper.

Plus, it’s 2020. We should use toilet paper for everything!

Extra Bonus Wound!

While you’re making those scars, might as well have some bruises, too, am I right?

  • Start in the center of your bruise with red or dark brown/black. You can get creative here, and have more than just a spot. Outline some fingerprints, or a fist! It all depends on how you bruised yourself.
  • Outline that red with the green, then yellow. Blend that out and in, as bruises fade at uneven rates.

Clean Up

  • Rigid Collodion, New Skin, and the Toilet-Paper-Glue Mix peeled right off of my skin. I used spirit gum for the scar wax, so used spirit gum remover.
  • You might need a bit more oomph, depending on where you placed your scar. Cold Cream or a grease based cleaner will get most of these off of your skin. Plus it avoids the skin irritation of just peeling it off.


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