I have this little problem where I get a little TOO crazy with ideas when my kids birthdays roll around. Ok….and when Halloween rolls around. I can’t help it – darn Pinterest! My son and I went NUTS over this awesome octopus sea monster arm tutorial and although it looked easy not only do we not have a hardware store near us but I didn’t want to spend a lot of money or time building our own octopus tentacle (it is “JUST” a birthday party after all). I needed something QUICK and easy we could do in under a half hour with the kids. (Like this octopus wall decal set I’ve been dying to buy!) So creativity blasted me in the face when I was trying to figure out what to do with my small tomato cages that were getting old and beat up – turn them into octopus tentacles for my son’s pirate birthday party!!!
Guys – you CAN’T GO WRONG! This is SO easy!! Maybe not as big and fancy as their awesome tutorial but definitely kid friendly and you can whip this thing out in about 15 minutes plus drying time.
DIY Octopus Arm Materials:
Small tomato cages (1 per tentacle)
Duct tape (plan on 1 roll per tentacle)
Small paper or plastic bowls
2 colors of Spray Paint (we used a purple and yellow Rustoleum)
DIY Octopus Arm Directions:
I started my first octopus arm by simply wrapping duct tape around the tomato cage as shown above. It won’t look pretty but keep wrapping! Press the tape together when possible but don’t worry about what it looks like. It will be pretty hideous. At the end of the tomato cage (where you would shove it into the ground) grab that together and just bend to form the end of the tentacle so that the entire thing isn’t straight.
Once you wrap the duct tape around the tomato cage start wrapping your duct tape long ways from top to bottom so that you’re going perpendicular to your original tape.
Just keep wrapping! You want to totally encase the tomato cage in duct tape.
When your cage is good and wrapped cut the duct tape roll off. I didn’t need an entire roll of duct tape, maybe about 3/4 of it, but tape till you feel finished. I know – it kind of resembles a tall tin man’s hat – stay with me! The magic is coming!
Next you’ll need to check the size of your bowls which will be your octopus tentacle suction cups. We live out in the country so I do NOT have a lot of options for sizes in town of bowls. I had to buy whatever size they had and since they were too large for my little octopus arm I had to cut the top trim off of the bowl as shown above. I would have preferred to have smaller bowls but I had to work with what I could find. There’s no right or wrong here so you can make it look like you want.
Next came my kids favorite part – spray painting! We chose to use the purple as our “main” tentacle color and the yellow as the under side of the tentacle accent. Spray the bowls inside and out purple. It doesn’t have to be completely covered – the more spotty it looks the more natural.
Once the purple has dried give a quick swipe of yellow spray paint over it so that you can see a blending of both colors. My 6 year old did all of our “suction cups” so I promise you can do this!
Next we spray painted the octopus arm! Start by spray painting a “strip” of yellow spray paint which will be the underside of the tentacle. We made ours about 1/4 of the tentacle. The light spray the falls on the side of the tentacle will allow it to naturally blend in when you spray the rest of it purple.
Again it’s no perfect stellar octopus arm but it’s pretty freaking cool for a 15 minute quick project! GREAT for school plays, props, pirate parties, Halloween decor, etc. You can make a whole slew of these guys. If you want to extend the length and have more time to play with it twist up some brown paper bags or other materials and duct tape around them at the bottom (small end) of the tomato cage. Then it will look more like a longer twisted tentacle reaching out for you. Mine are pretty short because that’s all I had time for but I’d love to buy a big stack of cheap tomato cages at a garage sale and wrap 4 or 5 all together to make a long octopus arm!
These are kind of mini sized octopus tentacles but they turned out great! I’d love to make full sized ones someday though! These are peering out of my garden (ahem, weeds!) for the party this weekend! If we have time to make more we’re going to mount them to the side of the kid’s clubhouse! Kraken away!
If you’re having a pirate party don’t forget these!