The Art of Darkness

Desktop Tentacles

January 2nd, 2014 by Cobwebs

Finished TentaclesI recently found–and then promptly lost the link to–some stripey little Tim Burton-esque tentacles peeking out of a mossy flowerpot. They appeared to be pretty straightforward to make, so I took a crack at a DIY version.

They’re almost too simple to require a tutorial: All you need is some sort of modeling compound (I used some Model Magic that I had left over from another project, but polymer clay or something similar should work fine). Roll pieces into “snakes” the way you did in Kindergarten, but taper them along their length so that one end winds up pointy. Gently form them into tentacle-y poses; I wrapped a couple loosely around pencils and draped the third over a cardboard tube. Let dry.

When they’re nice and hard, hit ’em with spray paint–I used clothespins to hold them upright so I could get all sides evenly–and let dry thoroughly. I decided to leave mine a plain glossy black, but you could use a contrasting color (or two) to add stripes, polka-dots, or similar decoration. If you want to get fancy, spray them on just one side with a contrasting color, holding the spray can far enough away to mottle the edges.

You can stick them down into the soil in an existing flowerpot, or give them a pot of their own. To do that, use a little modeling compound to hold them in place; I used a tiny flowerpot to make the tentacles appear comically oversized. If you want to add live moss, fill the pot with potting soil and then carefully press the moss around the tentacles (be sure to water the moss occasionally). You can also top off the pot with pretty stones, fake moss (found in the floral section of craft stores), or even–again, if you’re feeling fancy–wax or resin to represent water.

The number and size of the tentacles is entirely up to you; mine are all similarly-sized, but a pot studded with lots of different sizes would make it look less like some dirt-dwelling monster and more like the shoots of a really peculiar plant.

They’re the perfect low-maintenance desk accessory, and small ones would make really unique wedding favors (especially if they were striped in your wedding colors). In my case, Shadowboy asked to adopt the tentacles as a pet and tried to feed them snacks.

Start to finish these take less than a day, and 90% of that is drying time. The actual active project time is closer to 15 minutes. Easy! Super-cheap! Both are things that I like in a project.

Posted in Doom It Yourself, Terror in the Aisle | 2 Comments »

2 Responses

  1. xJane Says:

    Snacks! I love it.

  2. Sisifo Says:

    Oh man. And once the model magic has dried you could slap some suction cups on one side before you paint… Do you think they’d be safe in an aquarium? That would look kind of awesome coming out of rocks or behind a sunken ship. Awesome, easy project.

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