How to Make Red Water for Halloween

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic wrap

  • Jugs

  • Gloves

  • Food coloring

  • Corn syrup (optional)

Faux blood and blood-tainted water (red water) is a common Halloween decoration for parties and bashes—poured in sinks, bathtubs, toilets and fountains and/or splattered across other party décor. As premade faux blood can sometimes contain toxins or, depending on the amount of blood needed, pose an expense too high for decorating budgets, Halloween party organizers/decorators often choose to use food coloring to make red water from scratch rather than buy premade blood mixtures to color water.

Step 1

Cover your workspace with plastic wrap.

Step 2

Remove the cap from the first jug (for example, a milk or water jug container) and fill with water leaving about 2 inches of open air between the water and the mouth of the jug.

Step 3

Set the jug on your workspace and then add red food coloring to the water until the water is the shade of red that you desire. To reduce the risk of using too much red food coloring, add 5 drops, cap the jug securely and then shake it to mix the water and food coloring together. Repeat in 5-drop increments until you reach the desired shade.

Step 4

Cap the jug when finished and set it aside. Repeat with your other containers as needed.


To make water with a sticky, thick blood-like texture, add corn syrup. Add 2 tbsp. of syrup and then check the consistency of the water. If not bloody enough, continue adding syrup in 2 tbsp. intervals until you have the desired thickness. If your food coloring/corn syrup mixture becomes too thick, add water to thin it.


Always cover your work area with plastic wrap or sheeting as food coloring can permanently stain some surfaces. Also test a sample of your red water on an inconspicuous part of your sink, bathroom, fountain or other areas before use to check that it won't stain.