Introduction: My Octopus Instructor'able

So as many have been doing - I've been spending a little more time that usual with Netflix. Recently, I found myself watching "My Octopus Teacher". I was amazed at this emotional and beautiful documentary. I was astonished at the intelligence, curiosity and hardships of this incredible creature. I just felt I had to create something to keep these thoughts close at hand. So I started building my own octopus out of some materials I found around the house.


Here is what I used:

Tank float

PVC pipe 1 - 2" diameter

wooden block: 2x4

8 wooden toy snakes

ThermoMorph plastic

spray paint

great stuff foam



Step 1: Tank Float and PVC Pipe

The first step I took was to cut a 2-3" section of PVC pipe. Then I simply glued the PVC to the tank float. I glued the PVC to the end of the float where the metal rod would normally be inserted.

Step 2: Create Mounting Block for the 8 Arms

The second step I took was to shape my block of wood. I rounded one end and then drilled 8 holes around the perimeter. These holes will be used as insertion points for the 8 snakes to create flexible octopus arms. The snakes head should be inserted into the holes. NOTE : do NOT glue the snakes into the block yet. If you do - it's ok it might just be a little more difficult to mount the wood block to the float and PVC assembly.

Step 3: Float+PVC+Wood Block

Next, I simply mounted the wood block to the float and PVC pipe assembly with drywall screws. Then I added some great stuff foam to fill in the gaps.

Step 4: Gluing Arms and Adding Suction Cups

Normally an octopus would have hundreds of suction cups on each arm. I tried to simulate this by sanding and shaping divots on the end of each arm. At this point I also glued the snakes in the wood block.

Step 5: ThermoMophing

Now this is the fun part. If you have never used ThermoMorph, it is a great product. It starts as small plastic beads and has a very low melting temperature. When the beads start to melt they will stick together and can be molded very much like clay. The beads also change from white to clear when ready to mold. However, when ThermoMorph cools it becomes a very solid plastic. It can also be reheated and remolded over and over again.

So in this step, I heated my ThermoMorph in an old pot of just below boiling water. Once the beads melted, I removed it from the water and started molding the body of the octopus. As the ThermoMorph started to cool, I used a heat gun to keep it warm and moldable.

Step 6: Painting

Once I molded the body, it was time to paint. I used spray paint and tried a number of different colors until I landed on a bronze/silver color. Use a lot of layers and you can get some pretty cool effects.

Step 7: Displaying

Once the paint dried, I found an old large piece of coral I once used in an aquarium. It seemed to be the perfect mounting option for the octopus. Hope you've enjoyed this instructable and feel free to ask any questions!

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