I recently needed to make a tentacle for a different project, I was rather pleased with the results and ultimately came up with several different ways to use the basic tentacle that I'd made. So this is a quick instructable demonstrating how to make the basic tentacle unit and then illustrating some of the things that you can do with them.

This instructable will also be my entry into the valentines contest. My wife is also pretty geeky so I'm sure she'll love the tentacle heart, but shh! Don't tell her before valentines!

As with most of my project nowadays if you can see it you can buy it, this is due to the fact that I'm currently unemployed and I have a lot of time on my hands, but also because selling little things like this, even with these minimal margins, allows me to save up for workshop improvements. So if you're not creative or you haven't got time to make your own then buy one from me and contribute towards my laser cutter/ leak free shed roof fund.

More information and paypal links about the tentacles can be found here (https://sites.google.com/site/msraynsford/tentacles)
The Octopus and the other monsters under my laptop can be viewed and purchased here (https://sites.google.com/site/monsterundermylaptop/)

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Sabsta2 years ago
This is so awesome xD Must try this for the next occasion :3
Piripanda4 years ago
Awww, sea monsters also have a heart ♥
Thank you for sharing, it's a very original and easy to make idea (and you can do so many other things with it!!)
Very effective and simple, thank you for sharing it.
First of all, I absolutely love these things! They're so freaking cute, and I'm definitely going to make some of these. Although, I was sort of confused as to how you did the box tentacles. Did you attach them with some sort of glue or are they just sorta chillin' there. Also, where would you get a box like that? I love these things, and I'd love to make something like this! Thanks!
This is great! I adore cephalopods, and this will definitely have to be the next thing I do once commissions are completed. I only have plain sculpy at the moment, though, so I suppose I'll have to paint it afterwards.
Little Owl4 years ago
Would it be alright to use Earthenware/Ceramic clay instead of Polymer? I'm in a Clay Art class, and that is all we have. :)
arpoky5 years ago
I don't really know what to make of this, and if I did, I wouldn't post it. (This is the part where you say "Eeeeewwwwwwwwww"...)
shebzilla5 years ago
I love it!!!  This was my morning craft today :)  Thanks for the great instructable!

thonosv5 years ago
It's a little creepy looking but really cool though :]
 cthulu anyone?
Great job on the contest win! :D
luvit5 years ago
 remember the sticky rubber octopuses that you;d throw against the wall and it would slowly crawl down? i once at at a chinese buffet that served those. but they tasted better.
My girlfriend and I have a running joke going about Cthulhu, so this would be perfect.
I like your addition of Purple Tentacle. XP That was my childhood, right there.
me and my son made 2 tentacular hearts, one for the missus and one for our daughter. we put a little flat base on them to make them a bit more stable. great valentine presents. they loved them. ta.
deofthedead5 years ago
I absolutely had to make these. My girlfriend loved them, wouldn't stop gushing about them all day, so thank you for the inspiration! These are from just before I baked them. Novice error, though I shoulda known better: I didn't support the back green tentacle well enough, and ended up with the whole thing sagging a little.. Had to super glue the central rose back in. So, anyone else, learn from my mistake- always add something to support those tentacles when you make it really big!

AwajiMan5 years ago
 This is great!
Brings back memories of the Lucasarts classic Day of the Tentacle :D
I just had to happen ;-): With just a little help, my 10 year old daughter made the tentacle hart for her boyfriend.
She used glow-in-the-dark polymer clay for the "suckers". Of course you will get our vote.
Thank you both!  Because of the two of you, my wife got this at breakfast this Valentines Day.
hughscott55 years ago
Thank you so much for this Instructable!!! I made them for my girlfriend and she loved them!! Here are some pictures... (I decided to make them all magnets)
KahlZun5 years ago
The idea originally came from this T-shirt:

KahlZun5 years ago
Oh wow..

Nice to know I'm inspiring!
Great idea! Great Ible!

I am curious though, why do you remove the magnet before baking?
I have baked magnets with polymer projects several times, without problem. See for instance http://www.instructables.com/id/Posable-Action-Figure-Building-System/

The baking temperature was to low to affect the magnets. They were of the neodymium type. It could be different for other types, but I guess the baking temperature of 110°C is to low for almost any type of magnets to affect them.
Of course you can not microwave them.

Baking with the magnets in place also removes the need to glue them back in. In most cases anyway. If I do need to glue the magnets, I use superglue.
The magnet has a higher thermal conductivity so will heat up faster than the clay. It may cause the surrounding polymer clay to cure faster, which can lead to unsightly blemishes on your model in the end.

Also, you may not notice the drop in strength of your magnets, but i assure you there is one, as you will realign the atomic structure with the heat.

After about a dozen magnets baked together with polymer clay, I never noticed any blemishes. I always use fimo brand polymer clay. It could be sculpey has more  problems with it, as I've read it is more sensitive to overbaking. But still I would be surprised. What could make difference is a difference in thermal transfer between hot air/magnet and hot air/polymer clay, but actually there is no reason to expect that, as in both cases we are talking about smooth surfaced solids. Actually, the thermal capacity probably the most important factor. And the thermal capacity of metals is generally high compared to polymers. And the high internal thermal conductivity means the surface of the magnet does not heat up much faster than the inside. Therefore the whole of the magnet will rather suck up a lot of heat, having the polymer clay bake a litter slower, rather than faster.

And in applications where I realy needed high strength (magnetic joints for a self standing action figure) I did indeed not notice any strenght loss. I guess at 110°C the neodymium magnets are not affected. Magnets in electric motors probably also reach that kind temperatures in for example a number of RC applications. It is well known that electric motors can lose their power when overheating (that is why they are often cooled), but good ones wo'nt yet at 110°C, at least not irreversably.

msraynsford (author)  masynmachien5 years ago
I baked some today, I saw no obvious reduction in magnetic strength, although it was a little bit akward to get them on and off the tray and ultimately they did not remain in the clay so they had to be glued in anyways.
Yes, that can be a problem. I put the pieces on a dinner plate and after baking I take the plate out of the oven, before taking of the pieces.

I use the plate upside down, to avoid any polymer clay stains on the side you eat on. Actually I never noticed any stains and any invisible traces are baked and therefore will not react to anything else. But as I would not like to accidently eat on any invisible PVC traces, I still do it that way.
msraynsford (author)  90mp115 years ago
Um, yeah, what they said.

Everybody knows magnets lose strength when they are heated, but I have no idea to what heat and what kind of magnets. Mostly I just didn't want to risk killing the magnets or burning the clay. It's not much more difficult doing it this way so this was the way I did it.
Sure, better safe than sorry.

And with my way of working you miss out on the blushing contest when buying the KY Jelly!

However, If you ever want to conceal the magnets by incorporating them completely in the clay (near the surface), it is good to know you can bake neodymium (and possibly other types) at 110°C without an obvious drop in strength.
KahlZun5 years ago
I'm gonna make one that holds a flower!

aka: tentacle love...
TishDaFish5 years ago
Instead of using a ping pong ball for the head of your creatures, you can use a styrofoam ball. The ball will shrink during baking, so it can be removed through a small hole, or if your okay with it rattling whenever you move it, it can just stay inside. Just don't leave the styrofoam and polymer clay together too long before baking, because the clay WILL melt the styrofoam.

But exellent ideas!
"I recently needed to make a tentacle for a different project..."  For some reason, I found that phrase hilarious...

Anyway, great instructable.  ;)
beackmaniax5 years ago
It's aweasome and easy to do ! five stars ! great job !
Ashmash325 years ago
If you left the tentacles out to form little hooks they can be used for jewlery! :D These are adorable btw!
Mehehehful5 years ago
I LOVE THIS! soooooo awesome and cute!!
leafrog5 years ago
I applaud and approve of your invention and use of the word "Tentacular". Bravo!

And way cool project, I'll be making some of these!
batimiriam5 years ago
oomg!! so freakin amazing!!! totally gonna try... :D thanks!
canida5 years ago
Awesome!  Please post the other tentacle project.
msraynsford (author)  canida5 years ago
The other tentacle project was the octopus under the laptop. These valentines tentacles were secondary to that project.
peterman9215 years ago
use a ball of aluminum foil inside the head or larger portions of your sculptures
to provide support and use less material.
msraynsford (author)  peterman9215 years ago
This is definitely good advice,
I plan to carve a shape the same size as the head and cover it with silicon paper, then the clay should release from the shape without too many issues.
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