How to Make (Valentines) Tentacles




I recently needed to make a tentacle for a different project, I was rather pleased with the results and ultimately came up with several different ways to use the basic tentacle that I'd made. So this is a quick instructable demonstrating how to make the basic tentacle unit and then illustrating some of the things that you can do with them.

This instructable will also be my entry into the valentines contest. My wife is also pretty geeky so I'm sure she'll love the tentacle heart, but shh! Don't tell her before valentines!

As with most of my project nowadays if you can see it you can buy it, this is due to the fact that I'm currently unemployed and I have a lot of time on my hands, but also because selling little things like this, even with these minimal margins, allows me to save up for workshop improvements. So if you're not creative or you haven't got time to make your own then buy one from me and contribute towards my laser cutter/ leak free shed roof fund.

More information and paypal links about the tentacles can be found here (
The Octopus and the other monsters under my laptop can be viewed and purchased here (

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: The Basic Tentacle

Tools you will need:
A smooth board to roll clay on.
A smooth piece of plastic to use like a rolling pin (clear plastic allows you to see the tentacle as you roll it).
A scalpel or other sharp knife to cut the clay.
A paintbrush, used to create the shape of the suckers.
2 colours of clay, one for the tentacles and one for the suckers

Start with a block of clay, I used sculpey which comes in 12 handy blocks straight out the packet), so I just cut one of those blocks off.
Kneed the clay until it become malleable,
Sandwich the ball of clay under the plastic sheet, keeping one edge of the sheet against the cutting matt, slowly start to roll the clay into a cone shape.

Taking a much smaller piece of clay for the suckers, roll that clay into a thinner cone, this will become the suckers.
Cut this cone of clay into equal width pieces, because each piece has an equal width but slowly increasing diameter the volume gets larger.
I like to arrange my suckers at this stage into rows that will go onto the tentacle, each tentacle has 2 rows of suckers so if I'm making 2 tentacles I would arrange 4 rows. This ensures that the first row of suckers on the last tentacle are smaller than the second row on the first tentacle (if that make sense).
Roll each of these suckers into a small ball shape trying to make them as round as possible.
Press the point of the paintbrush into the smallest ball, it should stick to the paintbrush, then press the ball against the tentacle, it should leave the brush and stick to the tentacle. (further internet research advises doing this stage on some baking paper which helps with the stickyness)

Arrange the suckers in 2 lines along the tentacle, once complete you can bake it according the instructions on the packet.

Step 2: Making the Valentines Goodness

As you saw from the previous step I made two tentacles, one red and hopefully a little more girly and a standard green one, presumably male.

Stand the 2 tentacles upright on the table and press the bases together, I also made sure the bottom 2 suckers were also pressed together. This is the main join for the two tentacles, so ensure they are attached firmly.

Gently bend the tentacle into a heart shape, be careful to do this slowly because the clay can tear rather than bend.

Fold the ends of the tentacle right over and press the tips together, making sure there is enough left over to wrap round each other.

Finally wrap the ends of the tentacles around each other and bake to harden.

Instructables user Clonebear made the blue and red tentacles shown in the images. He added a rather fetching puddle underneath which was made by marbling some of the blue tentacle clay with the white sucker clay to provide a neat little water effect.

Step 3: Valentines Tentacle 2

inspired by a comment from KahlZun I thought that tentacles holding flowers was a good idea.

The flowers were made by taking a 1cm ball of clay and spliiting it into 7 equal sections. Each of these sections were then rolled into a ball and flattened between the fingers.

Gently flatten a small section of the disk so as the make the circle slightly wider on one side (a bit like a guitar pick)

Roll the first disk into a over upon itself so it forms a little spiral and becomes the central bud for the rose.

Wrap the other disks around the central bud continuing on the spiral shape and making the top edge of each petal slightly longer and thinner than the previous.

Once finished the flower is finished it will have formed a stem that you can wrap the end of the tentacle around. Add the flower to a standard tentacle shape and bake as usual. (photos to follow once the wife isnt looking)

Step 4: Fridge Magnet Tentacles

To make the fridge magnet variation you will obviously need a magnet.
You will also need some release agent to remove the magnet prior to baking. I used some KY Jelly, just remember to pull a really big grin at the cashier who sells it to you to see who will blush first.

Start the tentacle cone as usual, but this time when the wide end starts to form press the lubricated magnet into it.

Finish the tentacle as usual and form it into the desired shape.

To remove the magnet take the stack of magnets and place it against the base, they'll stick and you can pull it out, leaving a hole the right size. Once baked you can glue the magnet back in to the hole.

Make four and arrange them on your fridge in interesting patterns.

Step 5: Tentacle Box

The tentacle box has 4 of the standard tentacles attached to it.

They are pressed onto the edge of the box so that form a lip on the end of the tentacle, this helps relocate them once they have been baked and stops them being pulled off so easily.

The other trick with the tentacle box is to leave the tentacles exposed to the air in the desired position overnight, this way they harden slightly and won't loose their desired shapes when baked.

Step 6: Monster Under My Laptop

Finally for this instructable is the octopus under my laptop,

These tentacles were made with 1 and a half blocks of sculpey and the rest of the pack went into making the head. The head was shaped over a ping pong ball but became distorted when I realised I couldn't bake the ball and had to remove it. I think it worked well.

This is one of a series of monsters that I created to fit in the gap created under my laptop by it's fan pad. The others are all viewable on my own site (

Valentine's Day Contest

First Prize in the
Valentine's Day Contest

Be the First to Share


    • Book Character Costume Challenge

      Book Character Costume Challenge
    • Made with Math Contest

      Made with Math Contest
    • Cardboard Speed Challenge

      Cardboard Speed Challenge

    60 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    This is so awesome xD Must try this for the next occasion :3


    8 years ago on Step 3

    Awww, sea monsters also have a heart ♥
    Thank you for sharing, it's a very original and easy to make idea (and you can do so many other things with it!!)

    First of all, I absolutely love these things! They're so freaking cute, and I'm definitely going to make some of these. Although, I was sort of confused as to how you did the box tentacles. Did you attach them with some sort of glue or are they just sorta chillin' there. Also, where would you get a box like that? I love these things, and I'd love to make something like this! Thanks!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    This is great! I adore cephalopods, and this will definitely have to be the next thing I do once commissions are completed. I only have plain sculpy at the moment, though, so I suppose I'll have to paint it afterwards.

    Little Owl

    9 years ago on Introduction

    Would it be alright to use Earthenware/Ceramic clay instead of Polymer? I'm in a Clay Art class, and that is all we have. :)


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I don't really know what to make of this, and if I did, I wouldn't post it. (This is the part where you say "Eeeeewwwwwwwwww"...)


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I love it!!!  This was my morning craft today :)  Thanks for the great instructable!


    9 years ago on Introduction

     remember the sticky rubber octopuses that you;d throw against the wall and it would slowly crawl down? i once at at a chinese buffet that served those. but they tasted better.

    My girlfriend and I have a running joke going about Cthulhu, so this would be perfect.
    I like your addition of Purple Tentacle. XP That was my childhood, right there.

    me and my son made 2 tentacular hearts, one for the missus and one for our daughter. we put a little flat base on them to make them a bit more stable. great valentine presents. they loved them. ta.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I absolutely had to make these. My girlfriend loved them, wouldn't stop gushing about them all day, so thank you for the inspiration! These are from just before I baked them. Novice error, though I shoulda known better: I didn't support the back green tentacle well enough, and ended up with the whole thing sagging a little.. Had to super glue the central rose back in. So, anyone else, learn from my mistake- always add something to support those tentacles when you make it really big!


    9 years ago on Introduction

     This is great!
    Brings back memories of the Lucasarts classic Day of the Tentacle :D


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I just had to happen ;-): With just a little help, my 10 year old daughter made the tentacle hart for her boyfriend.
    She used glow-in-the-dark polymer clay for the "suckers". Of course you will get our vote.


    9 years ago on Step 3

    Thank you both!  Because of the two of you, my wife got this at breakfast this Valentines Day.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you so much for this Instructable!!! I made them for my girlfriend and she loved them!! Here are some pictures... (I decided to make them all magnets)


    9 years ago on Step 3

    The idea originally came from this T-shirt: