9 Easy Clay Pinch Pot Ideas For Beginners - Crafty Art Ideas (2024)

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ByErin NutterUpdated on

This list of easy ceramic projects has something for everyone. From simple flower clay pinch pots to complex double-pot fish. Here are 9 creative pinch pot ideas you can make with kids.

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Perfect Beginner Clay Projects

Pinch pots are the perfect beginner clay build for children and adults alike. It is a great way to understand how to form clay for the first time. Pinch pot crafts are awesome because you don’t have to attach clay together. They can even be built with air dry clay.

An easy way to teach different hand-building techniques is to use a combination of pinch pot techniques with other clay-building ideas. Other techniques include slab building, combining double pinch pots or adding a coil of clay to create new ideas. Have fun exploring a pinch pot method and create all sorts of DIY gifts.

Pinch pots (sometimes known as thumb pots) are also one of the primary clay building techniques used when making ceramic projects. There are so many easy ceramic projects that kids (and adults) can do using this simple technique. And as a bonus, you really only need a small piece of clay to make a fun pot shape.

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Common Obstacles With Pinch Pottery

  • The walls of the pot are uneven
  • The rim of the pot can get too thin
  • They don’t push their thumb far enough down
  • They over touch their clay with hot hands
  • Air bubbles can form
  • Kids add too much making it hard to hold the desired shape

Remind children to pinch all the way to the bottom of the clay and not only the top. A common problem is that children will pinch the top clay wall and not the bottom. The goal should be to make the walls as even as possible.

If you can feel the base is too thick, you can help thin out the base by pulling clay up the side walls. We always like to check as children are building their clay projects to make sure they don’t have too heavy of a base.

How thick should clay walls be in a pinch pot?

This will slightly depend on the clay project being built out of the pinch pot. However, if this is a stand-alone clay pinch pot then you want the walls to be an equal 1 cm or 1/2 inch. This will work for bowl pinch pots or even sculptural parts (like when we flipped ours over to be a clay turtle).

How do you make clay pots at home?

Use air-dry clay or even salt dough. You can use the same methods as traditional clay, but won’t have to put this air-dry clay in the kiln. Instead of using clay glaze, you can paint your clay pot with acrylic paint or even watercolor paint. Adding a sealer like Mod Podge will give it that same shiny feel.

There are so many different ways to practice a pinch pot technique and you don’t have to go to a ceramics class.

How much clay should you use for pinch pot projects?

This will depend on who is making the pinch pot. It is best to start with a small clay ball that will fit in your hand when making a pinch pot. This is the easiest way for children to create their own clay pot.

We have found a small amount of clay to be better than too much clay (especially if their first project).

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Ceramic pinch pots are a great lesson plan for kids as a stand-alone project or as a structural base for new builds (like one of these clay animals ideas).

Here are 8 clay art lesson plans that have been very successful with our students over the years.

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As with any clay or art project, encourage your kids to add their own creative ideas, textures and colors to these clay builds.

Clay Pinch Project Ideas

  • Clay flower: Limited skill level is needed for this small pinch pot. Even if they make a few mistakes with their pinch pots, they still end up with a cute clay flower art project. Follow the step-by-step instructions to create a fun clay keepsake.
  • Ceramic pinch pot turtle: We think this is a great clay art project for kids in 2nd grade and older if done with a large class since you will have to attach some turtle body details.
  • Pinch pot animals (like this elephant): Kids can design a pinch pot animal based on their own ideas. This clay project encourages students to think like artists and plan their final shape accordingly.
  • Pinch pot owl project: 2nd graders and older easily understand that they need to make owl details like eyes, wings and beaks to finish their little owl cup.
  • Clay fish: This project is made from two pinch pots to create a hollow body. These look awesome finished with clay glaze or even just painted.
  • Pinch pot bowl for kids: Just use a pinching method to create a basic pinch pot or even add a little coil to make a foot ring.
  • Pinch pot monster: Turn a pinch pot on its side and add all sorts of scary or funny monster details.
  • Pinch pot base of coil pot: Pinch pots are a great base for coil pots and will increase the speed at which kids are able to build a small vase or cup.
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Other Easy Pinch Pot Projects

  • Pinch pot mug
  • Pinch pot with basket handle
  • Simple pinch pot
  • Pinch pot bird baths
  • Pinch pot shaped dishes
  • Pinch pot Christmas tree dish
  • Pinch pot pumpkins or jack-o-lanterns
  • Pinch pot self-portrait or human
  • Pinch pot ornaments
  • DIY mini pinch pot planters

Clay Pinch Pot Ideas

Kids love ceramic art lessons. Pinch pots are one of the basic clay building techniques and are easy for any beginner. Here are 8 different pinch pot ideas to try with your students today.

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Pinch Pot Ceramic Flower

This easy pinch pot idea is perfect for beginners and young children. Kids will love creating their own clay flower pinch pot cup. This clay project can be a perfect Mother's Day gift. Have the children use clay glaze and really see their faces light up when you show them their finished art project.

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Pinch Pot Bowl With Coil Foot

Children can build just a simple pinch pot bowl or attach a coil to the base of the pot. This is a perfect beginner clay project to try today.

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Pinch Pot Turtle

This clay turtle art project is a simple clay build for children. Create a fun sea turtle or regular turtle using a pinch pot technique and then just flip it over. Kids can create a regular tortoise or sea turtle.

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Clay Owl Pinch Pot

This simple clay owl build can be done in about 30 minutes. 2nd-grade students and above will love adding their own unique details to this easy ceramic owl project. This project works really well as the first lesson on how to attach clay together. If they don't do it well, they will always remember when their owl eyeball fell off. Don't worry though, you can always hot glue the eye or wing back on at the end.

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Clay Fish For Kids

This more advanced pinch pot project is great for kids to complete after they have done a ceramic project like the owl listed above. The body is created by attaching two pinch pots together to form a hollow shape. We have had great success with 3rd-grade students and older. Have students create 3 sketches and use their imagination to think about what they can add to this double pinch pot project.

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Pinch Pot Monsters

This fun ceramic monster project is great for kids ages 7 and up. Children will love sharing their creativity by making their own pinch pot monsters. Each child will be able to add their own monster details to showcase their personality. This non-cookie cutter project will yield all sorts of awesome and unique clay projects from your students.

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Coil Pot with Pinch Pot Base

This classic ceramic lesson is perfect for kids of all ages. Start with a simple pinch pot and then add coils to finish the vase or design. Teach children how to build a simple “snail” coil to add a little more interest to their ceramic pieces.

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Pinch Pot Clay Elephant Art Lesson For Kids

We love using an elephant as inspiration, but any animal could work for these pinch pot animals. Encourage kids to research animals, sketch and decide how they could build off a pinch pot base to create a unique clay project.

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How To Make Pinch Pots With Air Dry Clay

You can even make pinch pots at home with air dry clay. The littlest ones will enjoy learning this simple ceramic technique. Add your own little drawings in these fun keepsakes.

Follow us on Pinterest for more free art and craft ideas!

More Ceramic Ideas

If you are looking for more easy clay projects check out our easy clay slab cat build young kids love.

We hope these clay pinch pot ideas inspire you and your young artists.

9 Easy Clay Pinch Pot Ideas For Beginners - Crafty Art Ideas (2024)
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