"From the Deep" Journal Cover




Introduction: "From the Deep" Journal Cover

About: Mom, wife, traveler, baker, jewelry maker...and so much more!

In this instructable I'd like to show you how I made my horror-style journal cover. For now, the journal is not available on Etsy, however, you can get it here (the page is in Czech) or contacting me via PM on the facebook page of Creative Mom CZ.

This instructable is more detailed in the sculpting part, however, at the end I will also explain how I painted the monster.

Want more of my horror stuff? Check out my Human Heart Cake and Brain Cake!


- polymer clay

- acrylic paint

- spray varnish

- small round brushes

- journal: mine is 15 x 12 x 3 cm, handbound in faux leather, with recycled paper, a braided bookmark and two laces to tie

- tools for working with the clay: I used some professional stainless steel modelling tools and hobby clay decorating tools but anything works, you can use tools you find in your kitchen

- rolling pin

- knife

- ruler

- mat for working, such as silicone mat

- epoxy glue

Step 1: Base and Teeth

First, I rolled out the polymer clay, measured and cut the base just a little less than the size of my journal.

Then I started making the teeth. I formed a small ball from a piece of clay and rolled it with my fingers on the mat to make it longer and pointy at one end. Then I shaped it a little with my fingers, because I didn't want the teet to be straight.

I placed it in the center of the base and with a flat tool I blended a little of the bottom of the tooth into the base.

Then I made a thin rope and wrapped it wround the bottom of the tooth. I flattened it with a steel tool and blended the rope into the base and the tooth as much as possible.

I made several teeth of different size and shape and placed them into an irregular circle. I attached each of them following the same steps.

Step 2: Gums

For the gums, I made a rope from the clay, flattened it with my fingers and wrapped it around the teeth. I used a modelling tool to press the gums a little between the teeth.

Then I made small creases in the gums to make them more fit an ugly creature and the last step was to use a flat tool to detach the top of the gums from the teeth (where the arrow points in the last photo).

Step 3: Tentacles

I formed the tentacles by rolling out ropes from the clay (making them thinner towards one end) and flattening them a little.

Then I made small balls and placed them where the tentacle suckers would be. I pressed them a little into the tentacle with my finger and used a tool with a straight end to pinch a hole in the center of each sucker.

I shaped the tentacles differently - some are rather straight, some are twisted.

I placed them around the teeth. In the fourth picture ou see a tentacle without suckers, that was just to check if the tentacle was the correct length.

I placed 8 tentacles around the teeth and blended their ends around the teeth in the base where it was possible.

I used a pointy dentist tool to scratch the tentacles to give them more texture.

Step 4: Warts and Finishing Touch

I made small indents around the whole base to create texture.

You can see small shapes around the sea monster, I don't really know what they are but I felt like the whole scenery needed some more details. I call them warts. For each wart I made a ball, placed it on the base and then pressed it with a tool with a ball at the end. This way the hole in the wart was created.

I pressed some of the warts' edges with my fingers to give them an irregular shape.

Step 5: Baking and Painting

I placed the base with the monster in a flat tray on a baking sheet and baked it for 30 minutes on 130 °C.

Normally, I wouldn't start painting the base because you almost always drop color when painting the other parts, however, I wasn't quite sure what color my monster should be, so I wanted the base - water to have at least the basic color to help me decide about the monster. So first, I painted the base dark blue.

The tentacles were next - I made a rather liquid solution of light pink, light blue and grey. First I covered the tentacles fast in the pink color, then I blended in some blue and the grey just towards the thick ends of the tentacle. By this time the tentacles looked like cute pink-blue marbles which is definitely not the finished effect you want in a disgusting blood-thirsty sea monster. So I let the paint dry properly, then made a super watery solution of red and coated all the tentacles with it. So that all tre previous colors were still visible but the tentacles got a disgusting bloody look. Then I painted the suckers with the same thin solution of dark purple, just to give it a little different shade.

I coated the warts first in red, then black and then purple, making each layer of paint more liquid than the previous one.

While the first layer of colors on the tentacles was drying, I started with the teeth. An ugly sea monster just cannot have white teeth so I coated them with light ochre. Then I added a darker shade of ochre towards the bottom of the teeth. At the end, when all the paint was dry I took a completely dry brush and make strokes of brown paint from the bottom of the teetk fading towards the tip.

I painted the gums bloody red.

And to finish the base I coated it with watery solution of different shades of dark green and black to gave it a more deep sea effect.

Step 6: Attaching

Attached the base to the journal with epoxy glue. I would have prefered to work directly on the journal to make sure the base copied the cover exactly but the cover was moving a lot and didn't allow me to make the tiny details properly.

Well, this is how the sea monster was "born", hope you enjoyed the process!

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    2 years ago

    It'll take me a long time before I'm skilled enough to make this, but I love it! I'm a big fan of H.P. Lovecraft, and this is an amazing cover. This is really cool!


    2 years ago

    Absolutely fantastic, I especially like the colors and your paint job. I’m into stop motion animation and I’ve wanted to make a film with an octopus and your creation has given me some great ideas. Thanks for sharing your creation of the octopus of the deep. You’ll be getting my vote for sure.

    Creative Mom CZ
    Creative Mom CZ

    Reply 2 years ago

    Thank you so much! If you want to share a link to your video once it's done, I'll be happy to view it!


    2 years ago

    I love the look, absolutely adorable and slightly frightening!

    Creative Mom CZ
    Creative Mom CZ

    Reply 2 years ago

    Thanks! That's what I was going for:D