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Down in the bottom of the deep blue sea, there are strange and wonderful things. Fish that glow in the dark or squirt bellyfuls of slime, one metre wide jellies and snaggle-toothed fearsome slithering things. This month we’ve crafted a mischievous deep sea creature of our own – an octopus – that is hands-down the easiest soft sculpture craft you could make.

finished sock octopus softie

What happens when you cross a sock with an octopus? A soctopus of course. And when you take a betentacled creature and make them a bedazzled and bespectacled creature – a steampunk soctopus! Not a creature from primordial depths out to destroy the world but an adorable sewing-free softie that’s perfect for craft time with kids.

• Socks (printed or patterned look best)
• A few handfuls of pillow stuffing
• Elastic bands or chenille stems
• Wiggle eyes or safety eyes
• Craft glue
• Spare heavyweight fabric such as felt, vinyl or contact paper
• Sequins, rhinestones or glitter
Optional: split pins, needle and thread, metallic cord or wire

stuffing into sock

stuffing in sock

tie off octopus head with elastic band

Step 1
Stuff a handful of pillow stuffing into the toe of your sock to make the octopus head. Tie the neck of your octopus shut with an elastic band.

cut octopus legs

Step 2
Make the octopus legs by cutting the bottom of your sock octopus in 2 centimetre-wide strips. You may like to trim off the ankle elastic first.

with eyes on

Step 3
Add your wiggle eyes using craft glue. You could also use stitch-on eyes or safety eyes for a more robust octopus.

make steampunk goggles

Step 4
Freehand cut a pair of steampunk goggles to fit your octopus using heavy fabric or vinyl/contact.

glue on goggles fro sequins

add sequins to goggles

Step 5
Add glue to your goggles and bedazzle them with sequins or something else sparkly. Allow to dry.

add steampunk accessories

Step 6
For extra steampunk accessories cut out some cogs or mechanical arms from your vinyl/felt/contact and cover them with a bit of sparkle, too.

octopus with goggles on

octopus with goggle and  steampunk accessories

Step 7
Use split pins or stickytape to secure your goggles onto the soctopus.
Use glue or split pins to attach your accessories.

finished sock octopus softie

octopus with friend

Step 8
If you like, add a little smile to your octopus using metallic wire, thread or a chenille stem.

And there you have it. A cute-as-cotton-socks steampunk octopus softie.


Annalice Creighton

Annalice is the public programs coordinator at the Australian National Maritime Museum.