How To

How To…Blood

How To…Blood

By Megan O’Connor

There are lots of technical elements that go into making a show visually impactful and one of those is hair and makeup. This area encompasses more than what goes on a person’s face or if they curl their hair or wear a ponytail–sometimes it can require a lot of special effects. In this new  column from the Brelby Buzz, we’re going to be asking some of our artists about their area of expertise and getting an inside look at their design process. Hopefully, you made it out to see Brelby’s first Studio Show of the season, Blacklisters, but in case you didn’t, we have the lovely Kim See who designed the hair and makeup for that show here to talk to us a little bit about herself and a little bit about her blood.


NAME: Kim See

DOB: 7/8/92

HOMETOWN: Georgetown, Colorado

EDUCATION: Art Education

DAY JOB: Art Teacher/Barista


COLOR: Purple or gray.

MUSICAL: Phantom of the Opera

PLAY: I don’t actually have one… Shakespeare is always a good bet.

BEVERAGE: Coffee or wine. Depends on the time of day.

SCENT: Rain or freshly brewed coffee. Even better when it’s combined.


DOGS or CATS? Cats, though I’m not a “petist.” I’ll pet all pets equally.

HEELS or FLATS? Flats, probably. I love me a hot heel, but I don’t wear them enough.

SUNRISE or SUNSET? Sunset. I love to see the day finish.

COKE or PEPSI? Pepsi, especially with cherry added to it.

BOXERS or BRIEFS? Boxers. They’re like a much more comfortable version of shorts!


Finding a good blood recipe was a bit of a challenge, since there were two people with very serious food allergies and one dietary restriction involved in the production. I wanted to make sure that I created something safe to have on stage for everyone. This was also my first time designing blood on this level, and I am a firm believer in blood being realistic for the stage and movies. Really, there’s nothing worse than when you’re watching a show and the blood is just not realistic looking. Broadsword going through a guy’s chest and you get a little spurt of watery blood? Lame. Punch in the face and a delicate little stream of blood comes out the nose? Awful. Maybe that’s just me?

Anyways, back to the blood.

I reached out to Jessie Tully first to help me with ideas. She told me how to make blood bags using the fold over sandwich baggies by filling them appropriately (not too full otherwise they don’t tie close or too small because then they won’t pop). She also gave me some basic blood recipes to try out, which included dish soap, food dye, peanut butter though not necessary included all together. Since Brenna (Brenna Jackson portrayed Emma in Blacklisters, 2017) is extremely allergic to peanut butter, that was out of the question. I also asked Devon Mahon, since he’s also worked on some blood before. He suggested similar things, including subbing Strawberry jam. That was out since Zachary is allergic to those little guys. So I did some googling and found a washable recipe from Pinterest. From there, it was really just a matter of mixing a few things together and testing to see how much red food dye and chocolate sauce would work and wash out of clothes. Then the fun part came of testing out blood on stage. Since I pulled ingredients from all over, I came up with my own little concoction that worked for the needs of the show.

My advice to anyone needing to do some killer blood for a live show is first and foremost find out allergies or diet constrictions (vegan/vegetarian/diabetic) and go from there. Ask other people who’ve done this kind of gig. Do some research. Make test batches. Pro tip, use scrap fabric or costumes that can be destroyed for your test runs. Nothing is going to be perfect right away, and you’ll probably need more blood than you expect. Oh also, it’s nice to give your stage manager a heads up so the cleanup process can be managed effectively. Good luck and bloody travels.

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