We've been custom costume, mask and prop makers for over 25 years. This blog is a peek behind the Tentacle curtain, written mostly by Bev.
Come and join us on Instagram to see our latest custom work and photos!
19th May 2023
Finished! Custom 'New Age Jimmy' DJ mask, based on a satirical character designed by John F. Malta. Scroll down to see the original design.
8th May 2023
Oh boy, it's been so many months since I wrote on this blog! Lots of interesting work has been created, but we've just been kinda eat, sleep, work, repeat.
We made some really fun costumes for the Nicolas Cage film Renfield, and it's out now in movie theatres! It a really big, colourful film, that deserves to be seen at the cinema, like a Hammer House of Horror or a Fright Night. So far I've just seen the Renfield Trailer and it's really crazy, smart and hilarious!
28th October 2022
It's that time of year again...we can finally show the new season's Masked Singer costumes made by Tentacle Studio! This season airs on RTL4 Nederland on 4th November. We also made some suprising new costumes for The Masked Singer New Year Special, but you won't be seeing those until December!
16th September 2022
This year's Halloween rush has started early, and shows no signs of stopping. Both our webshop and our Etsy shop have been even busier than usual. No time to upload photos, got to keep packing and posting!
26th April 2022
Handmade fake flowers backpacks for Europe's Biggest Spring Flower Festival: Bollenstreek Bloemencorso 2022.
Way back in Autumn 2019, we began designing a set of giant fake flower backpacks for the 75th Year Celebrations of the Bollenstreek Bloemencorso - Europe's Biggest Spring Flower Festival. We'd just finalized the designs and started making the flowers in early 2020, when the Pandemic hit. Suddenly the idea of holding a giant festival that typically has half a millon visitors was a definite no no. As the year rolled on, hopes rose that perhaps it could go ahead in 2021... but... nope.
Finally, this year, later than expected, we got confirmation that it WOULD definately be going ahead, so the challenge then was to get ourselves going. Double quick, we needed to re-capture all the enthusiasm we'd had for this project, two long years ago. Oh, but it was a struggle to get going! And giant fake flowers take an extraordinaryily long time to make - much longer than we remembered! And the two of us had to make over 2000 giant flowers, very fast...
While the flower sheds in Bollenstreek were swarming with volunteers, working late into the night, frantically shaping masses of real flowers around wire frames, we were in our studio, busily tweaking and twisting hundreds of fake petals into shape. We finished just on time, sustained by the Bloemencourso secretary's delicious cake!
Photos by Richard Smit, Tentacle Studio, and the picture of the sea-themed flower float by WvVelzen.
25th Feb 2022
Argh, I've been shockingly lax about writing on the blog this year!
After all that time stuck indoors last year, we've been keener than ever to go get our hands dirty, rather than be tip-tapping away on the keyboard. Our customers have been springing into action too, and needing lots of custom masks, costumes and what-nots to enhance their performances. We've noticed they're wanting bolder colours, more bling- they're coming back with a bigger bang! We're happy to oblige.
Happy, New, 2022!
Here's wishing love and laughter to you, and all our extended family of clients, collaborators and everyone who we've worked with in the past year. Sometimes the hardest thing in these difficult days is to keep moving forward, keep doing what you do, even while the future seems uncertain.
And yet, despite lockdowns, cancellations and postal delays, our clients have reacted to the setbacks with a suprising determination. Finding new ways to make things happen, commissioning crazy new things from us. Just when we expected a down turn in orders, our work has been more in demand than ever, for clients who dare to dream bigger, to plan for the longer term. It's a pleasure to work with such positivity. Even when it seems like this damn COVID will go on forever, the drive and optimism of our clients gives us so much hope for the future.
Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.
5 December 2021
This custom portrait commission to celebrate the cult film 'Coming to America 2" is now debuting in New York with our happy client! Weird that the hardest part of the whole job was making the lion look 'majestic'. First it looked too cuddly, then it went off the boil completely, and didn't look like a lion at all! Then it looked too angry. And I was starting to feel the same... It took a lot of tweaking, but we finally acheived 'majestic', and we're very pleased with how it all came together. The lion's sparkling blue eyes add to his intensity.
1 November 2021
The Masked Singer (NL) Season 3: After months of hard work we can finally show all the six costumes we designed and created for the new TV season. (Dutch costume names in brackets).
Giraffe costume and mask (Giraf kostuum en masker)
Scarecrow costume and mask (Vogelvershrikker kostuum en masker)
Shark costume and mask (Haai kostuum en masker)
Pig costume and mask (Biggetje kostuum en masker)
Viking costume and mask (Viking kostuum en masker)
Crocodile costume and mask (Krokodil kostuum en masker)
23th October 2021
The Masked Singer (NL) Season 3: The Viking. This is the first of the 6 custom costumes we designed and made for the new season of this popular TV show. And yes, we know that real Vikings didn't have horned helmets, or chain mail... but this is a Viking from the land of fantasy TV, so it's less bona-fide, more bling! We used an interesting mixture of ancient and modern techniques on this helmet, from metal beating with ball pane hammers, heat formed plastic, paper mache, leather detailing, embossing, and stud work. The custom leather gloves and belt were created for us by the very talented Keith at Stanley Forge Leather.
You can check out more of his work here: Stanley Forge Leather Instagram /// Stanley Forge Leather YouTube
30th August 2021
Feeling fresh: I love this image of the World Globe Head we created for a fabulous performer in New York.
Custom-made World Globe Head: private commission.
30th June 2021
Freddie Mercury custom big head with custom-made crown and sunglasses!
This commission was a lot of fun to create, and it was gratifying that absolutely every single person who walked into our workshop has smiled, pointed and said "Ooh, it's Freddie!" or "Ooh it's that Queen bloke!"
11th May 2021
I've just got confirmation: we're back for the 3rd Season with The Masked Singer, designing and creating many of the costumes. Hurrah! For the latest updates, follow TentacleStudio on Instagram.
11th March 2021
It feels so good to be back at work! We just finished this pair of cute flamingo headdresses for the Opera de Lausanne in Switzerland. Designer: Karolina Luisoni.
22th February 2021
A short rant...
This week it's been announced that long time helmet-wearing DJ's Daft Punk are quitting after 28 years, and I've been pondering the rising interest in custom DJ heads. We've made lots of sucessful DJ helmets/ mask/ heads over the years, for passionate, hard-working DJ's.
But last year, we got -literally- over a thousand, near-identical emails that just say "i want a cool DJ head how much". Sometimes they say 'awesome' instead of 'cool'. There's no other info. When we ask for a design, we often get a photo of DJ Marshmello or Deadmau5, sometimes with the instruction 'like this but different'. Aaargh! There's a whole bunch of DJ wannabee's out there who believe that asking for a DJ helmet makes you a DJ, and entitles you to a free design service. Like there's no need to stretch your imagination, create something unique, or put any work into making your vision happen, because you don't have a vision, beyond being rich and famous. Nope! Most of the time they can't even be bothered to sign their name on the email. And yeah, I am aware that I'm ranting like a crazy old git! But really, if you expect someone to take you seriously, at least sign your damned email...
DJ's Daft Punk, Marshmello and Deadmau5. All very nice custom DJ helmet masks. No, we didn't make them and hell no, we are NOT going to copy them!
So please, please, please, when you approach someone about getting something custom-made, whether or not it's a DJ head, remember we aren't mind readers. And we don't create cheap knock offs! If you take the time to be unique, design and describe what you want, we'll take the time to give you help, and a little more respect too ;)
20th February 2021
Despite the continuing lockdown, we are luckily still able to plan for the months ahead. Top of our 'To Do' list is of course to complete orders for existing clients: there are currently costumes and masks for opera, video shoots, DJ gigs, and a flower parade all in the works! Etsy customers are waking up too. In the last couple of months we've seen a steady rise in enquries as the world wakes up again.
1st January 2021
Here's to the start of the New Year 2021! Despite all the troubles and complications, we made it through this far. I'm not sure what the future will bring, but just getting to the end of 2020 with our sanity intact feels like an acheivement!
Edsilia Rombley: The Masked Singer Champange bottle costume: created by Tentacle Studio, New Year TV Special, Nederland.
Richard Groenendijk: The Masked Singer Oliebol costume: created by Tentacle Studio, New Year TV Special, Nederland. In case you are wondering, an oliebol is a deep fried dough ball with raisins: a traditional New Year snack in Nederland!
John vd Heuvel: The Masked Singer Clock costume: created by Tentacle Studio, New Year TV Special, Nederland. The Snowman next to him is beloved Dutch singer Frans Bauer.
2nd December 2020
Gold Russian kokosniki headdress. We created this glittering golden crown for the beautiful dancer in a new music video. I'll post a clip as soon as the video is released! Find more photos of the headdress in progress on our Instagram account.
14th November 2020
Below are spectacular costumes and masks we designed and created for Season 2 of The Masked Singer (NL) 2020. So much work, thousands of Swarovski crystals! We really enjoyed working on it. The viewing figures were even higher than for the finale of the first season, and figures climbed with every episode!
Llama costume and mask
Chess King costume and mask
Fox costume and mask
Yeti costume and mask
Panther/ Leopard costume and mask
Monkey costume and mask
Astronaut costume and helmet!
We also stock ready-to-ship costumes and masks, handmade by us.
Other blog posts:
Latest custom work & more Masked Singer
Work for Dior
Piggyback costume and the Ghost Tree
DJ 2 Hearts
Harrods and Horses