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Unread 09-22-2011, 06:21 PM   #1
GlassCannon
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Tutorial: Edible Gummy Props and Fake Blood

To go with my Daenerys Targaryen costume from Game of Thrones for DragonCon this year, I made an edible anatomical heart out of jello (pics and details here, minor spoilers for Game of Thrones). I thought this might be useful to other cosplayers looking to make edible props.

For my costume, I needed a large edible heart, and fake blood that wouldn't be sticky. After reading up on making gummy bears and jello shots, and a bit of experimenting, this is the recipe I came up with:
1/4 cup black cherry jello
1/4 cup raspberry jello
1/4 cup unflavored gelatin
1 tsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp powdered red food coloring
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup cold liquid*

In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients until completely combined, making sure to break up any clumps that form. Add the boiling water and stir, again breaking up any clumps. Add cold liquid, stir, and poor into pre-greased jello mold. Refrigerate or surround mold with ice until solid, then gently remove from mold.
This recipe will make about 14oz of liquid. For my heart prop, I used a double recipe to fill two of these molds, and mixed up a third batch for the fake blood (from which I had a lot left over, enough for two or three more people to get bloody).

For the cold liquid, anything can be used -- water of course, but also juice for color or flavor, or alcohol if you so choose (and are of legal age to do so!). Alcohol tends to make the jello more opaque, which is a nice side benefit, depending on the look you're going for. Tonic water glows under a black light, which could also be a really cool effect. For my heart prop, I used vodka and Irish cream as the cold liquid.

Liquid food coloring can be substituted for the powdered food coloring, in which case you should add it after the boiling water, with the rest of the cold liquid. You don't need much food coloring either way, so I wouldn't worry about adjusting the proportions of wet to dry, either way.

Different props would call for different color combinations, but with jello and food coloring, there are very few colors that you couldn't achieve. For a realistic blood or organ look, I highly recommend red jello, red food coloring, and the cocoa powder to keep it from being too bright red, but for edible brains for a zombie costume you might want to go more towards a light purple, maybe with pudding mix instead of jello mix.

To get realistic looking blood drips, I smeared a handful of the finished recipe around my mouth and let it drip onto my chest, and took another handful in each hand and held my arms perpendicular to the ground to let it drip down my forearms, while leaning over a sink. It drips very realistically, but once it sets (about 20 minutes), the drips are completely solid and dry, won't smear, and won't transfer from you to any other surface, including doors, other people's costumes, etc.

Hope this tutorial is helpful to someone, and let me know if you have any questions!
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Upcoming costumes - Dragon*Con 2013:
Steampunk Tinkerbell (original concept) - 100%
River Song - Day of the Moon dress (Doctor Who) - 100%, adding props
Samantha Winchester - Winchester Sisters (Supernatural genderswap) - 100%, adding props
Abaddon - As Time Goes By dress (Supernatural) - 90%
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