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How 2 Make Cool Paper Mache Octopus Tentacles

Splendid Paper Mache Octopus tentacles

octopus tentacles art
Using recyclables around the house and a little paper mache we will make unique octopus tentacles to use as art or perhaps decorative hooks around the house.
Bring the beauty of the ocean inside to decorate any way you like. Eventually I will attach hooks to hang these tentacles on the wall.
I feel confident you will have tentacles of your very own after watching our YouTube share and please like the video before you leave.  
Quick List
Cardboard box
Recycled Newspaper
Paper Mache Paste
Paper Egg Carton (cups)
Plastic bags
Masking Tape
Paints and Paint Brushes
Glue Gun (optional)
H20 and Rags
Music (optional)

1 Creating Your Octopus tentacle Armature
octopus tentacles armature

Cut out circles for the base of your octopus tentacles from recycled cardboard. Make the circle base as large as you like and as many as you like. The larger the tentacle the more reinforcements you should add.

Slide your base into a plastic bag and begin stuffing with recyclable newspaper until it is compact and full. Use masking tape to shape and form into a perfect tentacle.

For the octopus cups we used a cardboard egg carton. Cut out the individual pieces, trim and glue onto the tentacle in a cool fashion. Placing 2 cups side by side as you go.

Covering your armatures with plastic bags helps prevent the cardboard from warping.

2 Paper Mache and Paper Clay
paper mache tentacles

Cover the octopus tentacles armature with 3 layers of newspaper soaked in paper mache paste. Work out the air bubbles and lay flat onto your armature.
Keep working the paper over the octopus cups as well until the cups are covered with 3 to 4 layers, they need to be strong enough to support paper clay if that is the option you choose.
Once you have covered your tentacle armatures they must completely dried before adding more wet paper mache or paper clay, which ever you wish to use.
Now cover your octopus tentacles with more paper mache paste and newspaper or use homemade paper clay. Both recipes are on the channel; feel free to check them out.
Clay or More Paper Mache
Paper Mache: Cover with 8 to 9 more layers of paper mache strips and let it completely dry before moving on to paint. If your octopus tentacles are not strong enough add more strips and let those completely dry. After each session of paper mache your armature must completely dry before moving to your next step. Quick Link to Paper Mache Paste Recipe: http://goo.gl/BH5lgM
Paper Clay: Cover the entire octopus tentacles with 1/4 inch layer of paper clay and let that completely dry before painting. Paper Clay Recipe: http://goo.gl/xoTFbJ

Question: Can I skip the paper mache and put paper clay directly onto my armature?
Answer: Yes, if your armature can support the weight of the paper clay without the support of the paper mache strips and paste.

paper clay tentacles

If you need once the octopus tentacles have dried you can lightly sand with sandpaper and wipe off before painting.

3. Paint Your Giant Octopus tentacles
painting the octopus tentacles

The paper clay absorbs the paint like no other medium we use, so we recommend that you always paint a primer coat of white flat house paint onto your paper clay sculptures in this case your paper clay octopus tentacles. It usually takes 3 to 4 coats of primer which will also give you a smoother surface for painting.
Once the primer coating has dried we use Daler Rowney acrylics picked up from Wal-Mart in 750 ml bottles for under $12.00 each. We buy the primer colors and mix colors as we need.
painting tentacles

There are wonderful collections of per mixed colors that you will love looking through at craft stores anywhere to use on all your paper sculptures.
Paint anyway you're like and let your acrylics completely dry.
You must seal your paper mache pieces with varnish for protection. Varnish comes in a spray can or paint can in gloss or stain, spray or brush on 3 to 4 coats and let it dry.
On my most prized sculptures I always brush the spray on, in my opinion it always looks more professional.
We so enjoyed sharing one approach to creating paper clay octopus tentacles, that are super cool.
I hope you have been inspired to create your own Octopus tentacles and we would love to see photos, you can leave your suggestions and comments below.
Thank you for stopping by the studio, you're welcome anytime. Have a great weekend.
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