Introduction: Upcycled Tentacle

About: Nothing special, I am afraid

I realy love halloween - But let‘s face it: ghosts, vampires and cheesecloth are way too overrepresented. So I decided to go for something else and since we‘ve had a lot of cardboard left, we came up with a tentacle that comes through the wall. Trying to grab everything with its slimy suckers.


Lots of packing tape
Cardboard pipes (i used 3 pipes from foil rolls- but gift wrapper rolls should be fine too. Just make sure it is strong and long enough. Kitchen towel rolls won‘t fit. Even pvc pipes are fine since I was planning a zero waste / upcycling project I used what was available at Home)
Cardboard from boxes
Neswpaper and Kitchen towels for paper mache
Acrylic paint - since i Wanted a red tentacle I choose red, Brown, Black and white
School glue and wheatpaste
Liquid laminate or anything alike for a glossy finish
Sponge for Painting

Step 1: Tentacles Dont Have Bones- But Ours Does Have

Start by cutting the pipes.

Since I wanted a winding, moving and quite organic look, i decided to go for quite a gewesen joints. So i cut 6 pieces i a Ratio of

Use lots of pacing tape to fix the joints. Create a zigzag line. I choose ankles larger than 90 degrees. Dont worry about aethetics this spine will be Hidden under Lots of paper mache later.

Step 2: We Need More Volume

Up next, Cut 6 circles from cardboard with a flatened side - so they look like a flat Tire. Cut diffenert sizes going smaller. These circles will Define the girth of your object. My tenacte is about 1 meter in length so i startet with 30 cm diameter for the base and went smaller step by step.
Cut a hole in the lower third of the circles (close to the flattened side). This is where the pipe Will Go through.
Adjust the cardboard so that the flat side will define the ‚downside‘ of the tentacle where the suckers are.
Fix them them with a Bit of tape.
Then roll a Party hat like cone from newspaper. And put it on top of your last and smallest cardboard disk- this is the tip of your tentacle.

Step 3: Wrapped in Plastic

Now comes the fun Part. Cover the Entire thing with packing tape. Simply Start at the base, Go straight to the next cardboard Disc. Stick the tape to it. add another stripe of tape next to it, slightly overlapping - Go around the first two discs. Then continue with the next section and so on. Once you‘re done add another layer of tape this time going around the perimeter.
I used almost 3 rolls of tape...

Step 4: Make It Smooth

To aviod sharp edges, add some extra cardboard. I‘ve cut half a circle out of cardboard and added it to a too flat part of the tentacle. The again I covered it with tape.

Up next comes paper mache

Step 5: Let’s Get Sticky

Prepare your paper mache ... so tear newspaper into pieces, lots of newspaper. And have some glue, either plain wheat paste or a pva glue water mix.
Give your tentacle at least 3 layers of newspaper paper mache. Let dry well.
Then add two more layers of paper kitchen towels. They will give the tentacle an skin like structure.

When the kitchen towel layers are about to dry go and add the suckers.
I‘ve made the suckers from another cardboard pipe which I cut into rings. To create a natural look use diffenernt pipes with different diameters.
I just put the rings on the half dried paper mache and put another layer of tissue paper mache to the sides creating a smooth surface.

Step 6: Give Some Colours

When the paper mache is dry it is time for painting.
I chose red brown and black paint which I spread with a sponge over the upper parts of the tentacle. Simply get messy - do some layers, mixing the paint.
For the suckers and the down side I choose white paint and some red for a flesh like slight pink color. Highlights and suckers are a bit darker.

After the paint is dry I covered the entire thing with a thick coat of liquid laminate. Go for any top coat - liquid laminate will give your piece a wet and slimy look. Just make a thick coat and let it dry well

Step 7: Mount It to the Wall

I‘ve planned to crate some cracked wall pieces so it looks like the tentacle comes right through the wall but Well. Maybe later. Now it is your turn!

Halloween Contest 2019

Participated in the
Halloween Contest 2019