Introduction: Sarlacc Valentine's Box

Our love will Endor!

You R2 good to me!

You've Lando'ed in my heart!

Yoda one for me!

You're the Obi-Wan for me

You've got the Droids I'm looking for

If any of the above would be highly appreciated by your Valentine on Valentine's Day, then you've found the right Instructable!

This year for Valentine's Day, I was at a loss for what to get my boyfriend for the big V-Day.  So, I went hunting for something he likes.  I ended up stumbling across these Star Wars box chocolates from Target.  But I thought those were totally lame.  I mean they were heart shaped boxes with a bedazzled Darth Vader on them...  They had plush Vader chocolates, and a little Vader tin, but everything was really overpriced and really cheaply made.  (I apologize in advance if you bought one of those for your Valentine or you received one. But I thought they were kind of lame. They had similar ones at Wal-Mart and I was not impressed with those either. ) Anyway, I had also already bought him a Star Wars Tervis Tumbler.  If anyone doesn't know what those are, they are these really awesome cups that keep hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold, and have an awesome warranty on them if they break.  They are kind of expensive, but they are a more awesome version of the kind anyone can find at Wal-Mart. So, I needed something to put that in, and that's when I came up with a Sarlacc Valentine's Box!

Step 1: Research, Research, Research!

Wikipedia and Youtube are your friends.

The problem with Google Images for "Sarlacc" is that you will come up with A LOT of fan art, and fan art isn't always accurate...

(Yes, I know the finished product was also not accurate, but I would rather recreate the original than recreate someone else's interpretation of the original.)

The Sarlacc first appeared in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.  While you are doing research, you can enjoy a movie night pre-Valentine's Day with your Star Wars Sweetie.

Wikipedia is a wealth of information on the Sarlacc.

I decided to go with the tentacle/beak version, cause that seems much more interesting, and the little mouth makes it kind of cute.

Step 2: Gather Your Supplies!

The supplies needed for this version:

Sculpey (I have the 4 pound original Sculpey box. I suggest buying it at Michael's after getting a coupon in the Sunday paper for 40% off one item.  It's a steal, that way.)
Paint (I used a tester-mess up paint from Home Depot.  They sell these little tester containers and they are only like $2-$3, but I found a sand colored one for $1 that was in the "Oops" paint discount section.)
Box (I found a photo file box, about the size of a shoebox, but it was thicker, and it was onsale at Michael's for $2.)
Foam Brushes (I got a pack of 9 at the Dollar Tree for $1.)
Wire (Bought some cheap wire at Home Depot for $2-$3)
Aluminum Foil (I bought a roll at the Dollar Tree for $1. Although if you start using it with Sculpey, you really need to keep it out of the kitchen and don't use it with food.)
Pastels+ Brush (I already had these, but I think I bought a huge multi-pack at Michael's for $5)
Large Piece of Tile (I bought a large tile at Home Depot for $2, and it makes a perfect surface for working with Sculpey)
Glass pie dish (I bought a really cheap glass pie dish that is my Sculpey baking dish and is strictly allocated to that.)
Potholder (Cause the glass dish is hot coming out of the oven.)
Oven (Have to have somewhere to bake the sculpey)
Wire Cutters/Needle Nose Pliers ( I found a cheap pair at Wal-Mart for $1-$2)

Valentine's Day gift to go inside box

The really big plus with this project is that I had several of these items from other projects I have been working on, so the expense was very minimal.

Step 3: The First Thing I Did Was Mess Up...

As you can see in this photo, I have made two "shell" pieces and a tongue, to be the middle of the sarlacc.  I was over-anxious when I was making it and didn't really take into consideration proportion.

Therefore when I made the first "ring" it was way too big.  So... That being said, let's skip ahead because I fixed that later.

Step 4: So Back to the Rings.

To me, a sarlacc looks kind of like a giant bulls-eye, made of rings. Rings with awesome teeth looking spine thingies!

To start with I took a ring of wire, cut the wire, and wrapped it around itself.

After that was done, I coated it in a thin coat of aluminum foil.

**NOTE** Be careful when cutting the wire.  After you cut the wire, the cut edge will be very pointy and will cut you/hurt you.  I liked to tuck it into itself as much as possible therefore it wasn't so pointy.  Be careful when wrapping the aluminum foil due to the wire can still poke out of the foil and give you a nasty cut.  I did not take a picture of the nasty cut, but you can imagine that it wasn't pretty.

Supplies suggestion: Band-Aids.

Step 5: Coat the Ring

Roll out the Sculpey into thin sculpey sheets and thinly coat the wire-foil ring in sculpey.

By using wire we are adding a much needed support element to a large clay piece.

By using the aluminum foil we are adding bulk, so we don't have to use as much sculpey and so we don't have to bake it as long.

TIP: Try not to overwork the sculpey at this phase, as it may crack and have the foil poke through.  You can also always patch it, because the end product sarlacc needs texture, so it doesn't have to be perfect.

Step 6: Made Another Boo-boo

So, I thought for the smallest ring that I would need to reinforce the "teeth" with wire in order to keep them rigid and pointy...

However that didn't seem to be the case.  The teeth were so small for the smallest ring that the sculpey had enough strength to stand up on its own.

Step 7: Giving It a Little Bite!

In order to make the teeth, I rolled long snakes of sculpey. Cut them into smaller pieces, pointed the tips and arranged them on the ring so they were basically evenly spaced.

Then, with my fingers, I gently smoothed the attached portions down so it looked like a solid piece.

Step 8: Make the Second Ring

To make the second ring, it was the same process as the first, except bigger, and thicker.  I kept comparing sizes with the first ring to make sure that it fit right.

Since the sarlacc is only going to be seen from the top on the box, it wasn't necessary to fully cover the whole ring.  On parts the bottom was left as pure aluminum foil. More on that later!

Step 9: Make the Third Ring.

The third ring is the same process as the first and second, except since it is so much larger it is important to make sure it is the right shape.

I measured the wire and had a fair idea of how much bulk to put on the wire of foil before I started with the sculpey.

Also, I thought about making the outer most ring into a heart shape because it was Valentine's Day, but then I thought that I liked the more traditional looking sarlacc better.

Step 10: Making Teeth

From what I learned by making the smallest ring, I figured that the sculpey would hold up all right on its own when I tried to put teeth on the bigger rings...


The bigger teeth went terribly limp when I tried to put them on and had a tendency to tear...  My solution?

Pre-baked teeth!

I rolled up lots of snakes, cut them, rolled the ends so they were pointy and baked them, making them hard.

After letting them cool, I attached them to the un-baked rings.

In order for them to blend in with the rest of the rings, I put a little sculpey on top of them and smoothed it out.

Step 11: Tentacles!!!!!!!

In order to make the tentacles, I knew I would need the wire structure underneath it to keep them from breaking.  I decided on three tentacles originally.  No idea why, just thought three would look nice on it.

I cut three pieces of wire relatively the same size, then I got three pieces of sculpey and rolled them into snakes.  Then, I rolled the wire into the snake.  Be careful not to over-roll this, as the wire tends to seperate in the middle of the tentacle.  Also, watch out for the scupley, which likes to grow off the ends of the wire.  I kept having to pinch pieces off so that it stayed with the wire.

Once the wire was tucked into the sculpey nicely, I made a twisty shape out of the wire.  Be very gentle with this as the sculpey doesn't like to cooperate too much when you do this.

Then the tentacles got backed and set aside.

NOTE: Be careful with the sharp ends on the cut wire on this one too.  I rolled a gash in my hand from rolling the wire into the snake rolls of sculpey.

**On the finished product you will notice there are four tentacles, not three.  That is because, I decided I like four better, and I wanted two shorter ones and two longer ones, instead of three longer ones, so I just cut one of them in half.  After it was baked I popped the sculpey in half and cut the wire and it was fine.

Step 12: Making the Beak and Tongue; Aka Fixing a Boo-boo

The original beak and tongue that I made were just too big for the first ring I made.

Therefore, I decided to make a new beak and tongue.  The beak and tongue are consisting of two pieces that I refer to as "shell" pieces.  They are slightly concave and make it look like a little mouth.

In order to make this beak and tongue, I took two pieces of foil that were the same size and started to fold them the same way.  This way, I could be sure to try and make the two beak/shell pieces as even as I could.  After folding it several times, I ended up with two rectangles pieces of foil.   I folded the two top corners down to make it look a little more round on the top, and folded the bottom up to get it to the size I wanted.  (Which was slightly smaller than the size that I originally had.)

I rolled out two equal size pieces of sculpey and started to coat the two pieces of foil as evenly as possibly.  Once completely covered it was easy for them to bend slightly with the foil spine that they had in them.  The tongue was made in the same way, but without bending at the end,

Step 13: Bake Me!

Assemble and bake!

A small circle of sculpey was used to place the beak on, then the rings were stacked on top of each other to form what you see in the picture.

Bake according to the directions on the sculpey packet. 

I like to bake mine a little longer, and I figured it wouldn't matter if this one got discolored since I was planning on painting it latter anyway.

Step 14: Add Tentacles; Bake Me Again!

After it comes out of the oven, it will be hot!

Since it is a larger piece and contains metal, it will take longer to cool then smaller pieces that you may have made before. So, please be careful.

After it has cooled, it is time to add the tentacles.  As mentioned previously, I decided to cut one of my tentacles in half because I liked the looks of it better.  Remember when positioning your tentacles that the finished product is going to go on a flat surface so you can't have tentacles going below the bottom of your sarlacc.

Naturally because of the way this was made, there are little crevices and holes that the tentacles naturally fit in.  I just added a little sculpey as glue and wedged them carefully into place. Adding more sculpey to help hold them in place.

Because the piece was bigger than the glass pie pan I usually use to bake my sculpey in, I had to flip the pan and use the bottom of it.

For the longer tentacles I made sure to anchor them in more than one place so they had more stability and would be less likely to bend, fall off, or break.

This is also a really good time to check and make sure that from the sides, you can't see any aluminum foil still sticking out.  Patch it now, before it bakes.

Bake again to set the scupley that was used as glue and any necessary patches.

Step 15: Touch-ups

After the tentacles came out of the oven, I still had one, that just didn't want to stay in place...

So I glued the sucker in place and I also put extra glue around the areas they were braced  to make sure they were stable.

Step 16: Paint!

While you are waiting for your sarlacc to bake, dry or cool, you can go ahead and paint your box!  I went outside to my porch, put down newspaper, and went to painting. 

I ended up not liking the perfectly painted lines, so with my sponge brush I stippled it and it make it look less like it had been painted.

Step 17: First Coat of Paint

The problem with painting something that is a light color, a light color, is that you can't really see where you missed...

My first coat of paint, I covered the majority of the sarlacc, but I missed lots of spots.

The teeth/spines are fragile to rough painting and I did break a couple in the process.

Step 18: Attach to Box; Second Coat of Paint

After the first coat dried, I glued the sarlacc to the top of the box, that had already dried.  I used Tacky Glue, and a bunch of it.

Next, I was onto the second coat.  By this time it was Valentine's Day eve and I was in a panic to get the sarlacc box done so I could present it to my boyfriend, without it being wet.

The second coat, I went at it with a flashlight to find the un-painted spots and a q-tip.  A q-tip, was a great way to get around the spines, and not break them!

Step 19: Third Coat of Paint

The third coat of paint is when I realized there was a problem.  Because of the funnel shaped nature of the sarlacc, the paint was beginning to pool around the beak!  It was taking a long time to dry.

So, we come to:

Sarlacc's first blowdry!

It helped.  He wasn't wet anymore!

Step 20: Adding a Little Color

So far the sarlacc just looks all one color, and in the movie, he has a little bit more color than just a sand color.  So I took my pastels, and mixed some browns, red, and blacks, and highlighted different areas of him to give him some depth.

The texture, and bumps of the sculpey/foil, give him character and provide excellent texture to accept the powder of the pastels that was brushed on him.

I brushed on a red tone onto his tongue, and textured the spines with a red/brown, then went over the whole thing with black and brown.

To finish him off, I blew off the excess pastels with the blow dryer.

Another finishing touch, that could have been added was a Star Wars figurine, like Boba Fett!

Step 21: Fill With Valentine's Day Goodies!

I filled the box with Valentine's Day goodies!!

I got him a Star Wars Tervis tumbler! Awesome cup, and a Star Wars power plate.

Then, I filled it to the brim with goodies like heart shaped cakes, Reese's, Baby Ruth bars, and more candy!

On top was a Valentine's Day card!

NOTE:: The white splotches on the inside of the box are from the unbaked sculpey that I kept in there when I was working on this project.  Next time I make something like this, I won't store the unbaked sculpey in there because it makes the box end up looking really dirty.

Step 22: Honey, There's a Sarlacc in My Bed!

I put it where he could find it, and as soon as he walked in the door he saw it!  From afar, he had no idea what it was, I think, but close up, he said, "You made me a sarlacc?"

I think, he thought that the box was his gift, he didn't know there was stuff in it too!

I told him to open it and he really liked his cup!  He texted me the other day and told me that he was using it to drink a slurpee out of and the slurpee was still nice and cold.  He is still working on the candy, and little cakes!

I thought this was a great and original idea on how to wrap a Valentine's Day gift for the Star Wars enthusiast, and it is part of the gift as well!

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