Transform Your Garden with Terrifying Tentacles

Lead Image
What You'll Need
Oven-bake polymer clay
Parchment paper
Spray paint
Electrical or masking tape
16-gauge wire
Metal baking sheet tray

This Halloween, try making your own decor instead of purchasing mass-produced items from the store. These DIY tentacles are the perfect way to spookify your garden or lawn. Made with just a few items, this project is an excellent way to showcase your personal style and taste during this Halloween holiday season. Homemade tentacles can be customized with any two colors that you like, making it easy to personalize your creations in order to match your existing Halloween lawn decor. Because each tentacle can be inserted into soil, these decorations take up little to no space. Plus, it's a great way to creep out the neighbors on a budget.

Step 1- Gather your Materials

The first step to any DIY project is to make sure you have all the necessary materials before you begin. Although this project shows white clay and purple spray paint, you can choose any colors you want for your terrifying tentacles.

Step 2 - Prepare the Clay

Roll a ball of clay measuring 1 1/2 inches wide. Soften the clay by kneading and rolling it with your hands and some elbow grease. This will warm up the clay and make it easier to mold into tentacles.

It may be tough to work with at first, especially if the clay has been sitting in a box for a long time. The trick is to just keep rolling the clay repeatedly to warm it up for molding.

For best results, make sure your hands are clean before handling the clay. Dust and other particles can easily transfer to the clay as you work with it.

Step 3 - Roll the Clay Out

Using the palm of your hands, roll the clay into a tapered tube shape. This should measure about five inches long and about 3/4 inch wide at the widest point. (Note: You can make larger tentacles if you're using them on your lawn, in your garden area or in larger potted plants.)

Thin out one end by rolling it a bit more than the other end. The clay should start taking on the same shape as a tentacle. If you mess up, don't worry - you can simply roll the clay back into a ball and start over. This is the great thing about polymer clay; it is extremely forgiving and can be molded again and again.

At this point, you'll also want to preheat your oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the required temperature for most oven-bake polymer clay. However, it's a good idea to double check the clay's packaging to make sure your Halloween lawn decor bakes properly. Some brands may require different temperatures. Certain ovens may also require a temperature adjustment to ensure accuracy.

Step 4 - Cut Wire

Using the cutting portion of the pliers, cut a 4-inch strand of wire. The cutting portion of the pliers is located right below the needle nose end. This piece of wire will help the tentacles stand up straight in dirt and soil.

Step 5 - Insert the Wire Into the Tentacle

Carefully pierce the wire into the thicker end of the tentacle. Do this slowly. If the wire pokes out through the side of a tentacle, simply remove the wire, smooth out the clay, and give it another shot.

Don't forget to watch your fingers during this step. If the wire pierces through the clay and out the other side, it may poke your hand unexpectedly.

Step 6 - Create More Tentacles and Bake

Repeat Steps 1-5 to create additional tentacles.

The total number of tentacles for your Halloween lawn decor is completely up to you.

This is, after all, a mythical creature of your making.

When you have finished making your creepy homemade tentacles, line the metal baking sheet tray with parchment paper. Place the tentacles on the parchment paper and bake according to the package's directions. Most brands of oven-bake clay will require a baking time of 15 minutes for every 1/4 inch.

Step 7 - Cool Down and Add Tape

Once you take the tentacles out of the oven, let them cool down completely before handling.

Once they have cooled, wrap a strip of tape around each tentacle. This will block off certain parts of each piece to create a striped pattern on your Halloween lawn decorations.

Step 8: Spray Paint

Head outside with your creations and apply a layer of spray paint to them. It's a good idea to protect your work space with cardboard, tarp, or scrap newspaper. Unless, of course, you'd like painted tentacle outlines on your driveway.

Let the tentacles dry completely before applying a layer of paint on the other side. To speed up this process, you can stick the wire of each tentacle into Styrofoam. This will make it easier to spray paint all sides of each piece.

As always, you should work outside when using spray paint. The fumes are harmful when inhaled in a closed room. Make sure your Halloween lawn decorations are placed in a well-ventilated, open space, too. Colors that work well for Halloween include purple, white, black, green, orange, and gold. Choose the colors that work best with your style and existing decor.

Step 9 - Remove the Tape

Once dry, remove the tape strips from each tentacle. This will expose a striped pattern. Your Halloween lawn decor is ready to add a creepy touch to your outdoor garden.

Step 10 - Insert Terrifying Tentacles Into Soil

Place the exposed wire into the soil of your potted plant. Arrange each tentacle as you like.

Again, you can make larger tentacles for garden areas or lawn decor as you wish.

Enjoy the spooky look of your Halloween creation!

Time: 45 minutes (prep) & 2 hours (drying time) || Cost: $13