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How to make the Bleeding Knife Halloween Illusion

Posted on 28th July 2013
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Blog header for Karnival Costumes blog on how to build your own Bleeding Knife Illusion
Clown Logo from Karnival Costumes your fancy dress specialistsWhen available these are a very popular item and when they are out of stick or unavailable for any length of time, we are often being asked how the illusion, where a trickle of blood appears as you draw the knife over an exposed part of the body can be made. Although the effect can be dramatic the blood is fake theatrical blood and no-one gets hurt!
Known as a Bleeding Knife, increasing theatre groups and other production companies are using these as props so we thought we’d share the trick of making one with you all so that you can scare your friends with this highly effective but cheap to assemble Halloween costume accessory. Just make sure that they can take the shock.
The Bleeding Knife in all its derivatives has been a long time the staple of stage magicians and fans of gorefests everywhere, the bleeding knife can be seen either as a great party trick or a scary illusion.
To create your own bleeding knife you’ll need to start with a blunt plastic costume accessory knife; a thin strip of foam, water resistant glue or double sided adhesive, and some theatrical blood fluid – this trick is not suitable with gel blood.
Ensure that any rough edges or seams on the edge of the blade are removed so that there is no risk of any injury when dragging it across the arm or exposed flesh. Lightly glue some thin sponge onto the reverse side of the knife, that is the side that will be away from the viewer’s line of sight, camera or audience. If you’re right handed, the natural tendency will be to pull the prop over the left arm and therefore the sponge should be on the left hand side of the blade. The sponge should be located just above the leading edge of the knife. When the glue on the sponge is dry it can be loaded with liquid, not gel, blood.
To work the illusion, lightly apply the knife at a shallow angle so that there is a slight pressure created on the sponge which should be just in contact with the flesh and this pressure will force some of the blood fluid from the foam creating the classic dripping blood effect. As with everything, some practice may be required to ensure the right angle and pressure and therefore the right amount of bleeding etc. Make sure that at the end of the movement either the side of the knife with the sponge on is well smeared with the fluid to disguise the actual sponge or that the knife is removed without the sponge being visible. 
Safety First
As with all illusions involving blood fluid and anything that looks like a sharp implement, great care should be taken when performing this illusion is not recommended for children under the age of 16 years.
At Karnival Costumes we have a great selection of suitable plastic knives and blood fluids which will be suitable for using for when assembling this prop for yourself.  We also have a great selection of Halloween costumes, accessories and theatrical blood products for your next themed party or gorefest. Why not join our newsletter for up to date information on the latest trends in costumes, news and notification of our special offers.
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