This past June I got married at Coney Island. With a beach themed wedding and my obsession with octopuses, I decided to have tentacles in my hair, bouquet, and my groom's boutonniere. This tutorial will teach you how to make the headpiece.
Step 1: Supplies
-Sculpey (I used a shimmery coral color for the tentacles and a shimmery off white for the suckers)
-pearls of various sizes
-hot glue gun and glue sticks
-birdcage veil (I bought one already made because I couldn't find a nice fabric to make my own)
- X-acto knife
*All of the above supplies can be purchased at a craft store such as Michael's or Pat Catan's*
- a conventional oven
You can really adorn your piece with anything. Beads, small trinkets, various size starfish, a pirate's chest, etc. Don't limit yourself, go crazy!
Step 2: Making the Tentacles
This is the most tedious and time consuming part. I made about ten tentacles and was ready to never look at another octopus again. But, it all depends on how extravagant you want your piece to be. Mine was pretty extreme and weighed a lot. I had to rig it to my head so it wouldn't droop down. If you don't want to worry about all that, then make a piece on a smaller scale; maybe do three or five tentacles instead.
Forming the tentacles:
-Start by cutting a piece of Sculpey off of the block. Depending on how large you want your tentacles will depend on how much to cut off.
-Roll it into a ball to get it nice and smooth.
-Roll between your hands with a back and forth motion to start making it look like a worm. Once it is a bit wormy, set it on the table (you can continue doing it in your hand, but I think at this point it's easier on the table). You'll want to roll your hand over one side of the worm shape so it starts to gradually get smaller at that end.
-Cut off a piece from the white sculpey that is about 1/4 of the size of the tentacle.
-Roll into a worm
-Cut small pieces along the worm like you were chopping up a piece of celery.
-Each little piece needs to be rolled into a ball.
*Remember, the tentacle gradually gets smaller so you will need balls that gradually get smaller as well.
-You will need A TON of sucker. It is easier to just cut them all at once so you can apply them all faster.
*In my pics, I only show a few suckers cut out, rolled up, and being added as an example.
Attaching the suckers:
-Lightly pick up a ball with the end of a circular shaped tool (For the small suckers at the end of the tentacle, I used the head of a sewing pin. For the larger ones, I used the blunt end of a pen), then press it softly onto the tentacle.
-Continue to press the suckers on two by two along about 4/5th the length of the tentacle. You want to leave some room at the end of the thicker side for joining the pieces together.
Sculpting the tentacles together:
There is really no wrong way to do this, so don't sweat it.
-Lay a few tentacles on the table and mold the last 1/5th of the tentacles together. Smooth it pretty flat so it can lay against your head later on (this will be the part that you glue the starfish on one side and the veil comb on the other).
-Play with each tentacle so they curl and cascade around each other like real tentacles.
-You can continue to strategically place the rest of your tentacles onto the unified piece.
*Keep in mind that if your tentacles stick out as much as mine, they have to look good at all angles. I baked mine laying on a flat surface, so I ended up making one main group of tentacles and a few single tentacles before baking. Then, after baking, gluing a few of the single tentacles to the back to give it a better all around shape.
After carefully placing the tentacles on a piece of wax paper on a baking sheet, put them in the oven at 375 degrees for 30 mins (I just followed the instructions on the Sculpey packet, so doubt check your instructions to be safe). Let Cool.
Step 3: Decorating Your Tentacles
Hot glue the starfish, shells, and pearls on now. It will take a lot of planning and rearranging to decide where you like each piece. This also takes a good sense of design to aesthetically distribute weight and shapes.
Don't forget to add a few pieces to the back and sides because it will be seen from all angles.
Finally you are ready to add the veil. This part is tricky because you have to decide ahead of time how you want the veil to sit on your head so you know what angle to glue the comb onto your piece.
*Note: for those with a heavy piece like mine, you will have to rig it to your head so it won't droop. I found 2 spots on the piece that would give me the best support. Then I tied one side of clear fishing wire to the tentacle at that spot and the other to a bobby pin. When I put this in my hair, I stretched the fishing wire taut and secured the pin. This sounds crazy, but it worked perfectly (I even rode a roller coaster with no issues) and it was completely hidden in my veil.
Step 4: The Wedding Day!
Just a few photos from the wedding day. Hope you enjoyed this tutorial!