Ursula Costume — Tentacle DIY

Because it’s been two weeks since Halloween, I thought I would finally get around to posting about my tentacles. I didn’t make it with a pattern, so I was pretty fortunate with the finished product. Surprisingly, winging it worked.  Let me show you all the methods you should not use while crafting anything —

Step 1: How Not to Cut Fabric


If you are right-handed, cutting left-handed to get a picture is usually ill-advised. I managed, since I can pass as ambidextrous on most occasions.  You can also see the chalk mark where I estimated length.  Be a little more precise than me.

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Once I was done cutting 26 inches of black tentacle triangles (8, because octopus), I used them as a pattern for the purple undersides. I made sure to overlap them a bit to make the purple triangles more narrow to match Ursula.


Step 2: How Not to Sew Things

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When I had all of my cloth triangles cut, I sewed the elastic onto the black triangles in varying patterns (middle, sides, diagonal) to vary the curling of the tentacles.  I also used varied tension on the elastic when I sewed to achieve the same goal of tentacle differentiation.  They needed personality, after all.  The second picture above shows that I sew sitting on the floor and operate the pedal with my thigh.  It has taken years of practice to slack of this hard, but I’ve perfected the art.  I really work better this way, because I can spread everything out around me and have it easily within reach.  This is generally not advised, as your butt falls asleep quickly this way.

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Once I finished sewing on the elastic, I sewed the purple and black pieces together. The second picture above is an example of an inside out tentacle.

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When you turn your tentacles right-side out, they should look like the above pictures. Note that I had to pull some seams because sometimes my elastic ended up on the wrong side.  I’m kind of oblivious sometimes. The second picture is a pile of deflated tentacles.

Step 3: How Not to Stuff Tentacles

DSC_0271 DSC_0276My tentacles ended up pretty lumpy.  I tried to smooth them out, but I think it added more character with lumps.

Step 4: How Not to Assemble a Tentacle Skirt

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I used one of the thin pieces of elastic to sew all of the tentacles into a skirt. First I basted (sewing lingo for loosely stitch) them onto the elastic, then I ran it through the machine, simultaneously folding extra fabric under to keep it from looking too crappy. I tried it on and started cackling so hard that the mass of tentacles continued to slip off.  Knowing that I couldn’t maintain my cool in a bar with gravitationally challenged appendages, I brainstormed a new solution.  The second picture shows that glorious brainchild.  Luggage strap! It fit perfectly after that, and was delightfully adjustable.

Step 5: How Not to Have a Finished Product

Woo!  Here are some more finished product pictures:

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Post Scriptum: How Not to Craft

DSC_0278My apartment took a while to clean afterward…

Have you ever made your own Halloween costume? How did it go?  Link pictures!

9 thoughts on “Ursula Costume — Tentacle DIY

  1. Thanks for this post. I followed it easily and it turned out awesome. Just thought I would add my variation I did. Once done what you did. I then thinly sliced a pink pool noodle then glue gunned the slices to the purple side randomly. They looked like the suctions on the tenticals.
    I then sewed fish line to the end of each of the tentacles and then at different hights sewed the other end of the fishing line to toward the top of the tentacle. Making the tentacle curl up randomly.
    Looks awesome.
    Thank you

  2. Pingback: Fem Halloween-outfits du kanske redan har hemma | FeTT Magazine

  3. YAAAAS! I loved your costume, it was perfect. And I like saying the word, “tentacles.” It is satisfying. My Halloween costume was lame, so I’m not linking a pic. All I did was put on a black dress and do a half sugar skull, which I didn’t even complete because I had no energy to do so that day. My point is, you are not a slacker as you mentioned above ^_^

    • Jenny, you are seriously the best. EVER. I only managed to say “tentacles” 12 times in this post. I absolutely *loved* that sugar skull post. It was so pretty! And your Jack Skellington was pretty sweet, too.

      Thanks for stroking my ego!

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