We love working with Air Drying Clay. Many people are uncertain what to make with it, but it is a great medium for beginners and children to try at home or in the classroom. It is tactile and great for fine motor skills. I realised that over the years we had created a Creative Pinch Pot Idea for all seasons!
So why not share them all in one place? There are some gaps.. but we plan to filled those soon!
How do you make a Pinch Pot?
FULL step by step instructions are provided in the projects linked below. But to summarise:
Pinch pots are the simplest of Pottery Projects for beginners. They are a great air drying clay project, as well as kiln project. There are usually only 3 simple stemps need to make a pinch pot:
- From a ball of clay
- Make a dip with the thumbs of your hands in the centre of the clay the size of a plum and start sharing your pot
- Smooth down any cracking on the surface of your pot and making sure the rim is even
Basic shape done. From here you can turn your pinch pot into all sorts of wonderful pinch pot creations – making designs for different seasons or adding a pinch pot handle or lid! A potters delight!
How do you make a pinch pot for a plant?
Air dry clay is not waterproof. You would need to either kiln fire your clay (different clay used) OR you can also buy a glaze for your pinch pot for that “professional finish”.
Some glazes, even all you to waterproof your pinch pot to make a water resistant vessel.
Though, I wouldn’t use an air dry clay pot for flowers, you may get away with putting succulent plant in it – as they are quite a dry plant and don’t need too much water.
If you want to make a pinch pot mug, I would recommend doing this with a pottery school that has a kiln and that can properly fire your pin pot and make it waterproof!
Why are pinch pots so good for beginners starting out with pottery?
There are two main problems beginners encount when working with clay and learning pottery –
- Trapping air (which can lead to a small explosion in a kiln, or weakness in air dry clay pot)
- Not connecting pottery “pieces” together properly (other clay pots are made by layering a coil of clay on top of each other, tehse coils need to properly connected and smoothed down)
The method used for pinch pots, means, that you rarely encounter either of these problems.
To make Pinch Pots you will need:
- Air Dry Clay
- Acrylic paints or gloss enamel paints
- Optional: glazes and varnishes
- Optional: damp sponge, wooden carving tool, plastic tray for storing project on whilst it dries
We like to buy clay in bulk – and usually get clay like this:
(affiliate links added for convenience)
- grey clay (US/ UK) (the best for buying in bulk)
- terracotta clay (US / UK) (great for earthy projects)
But this white clay is also popular
- white air drying clay (US/ UK) (a lovely clay for when you want that clean white finish without painting, however it is MUCH more expensive and therefor best for small projects such as ornaments)
If you have some harden air drying clay, this is how you can soften air drying clay to reuse. It only works for natural clay though and not polymer clays. Always store your clay in a plastic bag, to avoid it from drying out!
How to make Pinch Pots for all occassions
All our pinch pots are made with air drying clay for home crafting. This does however mean that they are not waterproof and not as durable as pinch pots made from kiln fired clay.
The crafts are suitable for either process.. and if you do have access to a kiln, do have a go at using it.
We have projects showcased here today, that are great for all seasons – from Valentines Gifts, to Mother’s Day, Autumn and Christmas. This makes it a great activity to add to any classroom lesson plan. Just pick and choose the project to seuit what you are working on!
Spring Pinch Pot ideas
Hop over (get it.. hehehe) to my friend’s blog Make It Your Own and check out these rather adorable hatching egg and Bunny Pinch Pot combo! Love it!
We also made some Easter Pinch Pots – and decided to turn ours into a little Chick Pinch Pot and Easter Egg Pinch Pots! I love the addition of the cute little pipecleaner legs to the chicken pinch pot, such a fun contrast of texture!
Late Summer & Autumn Pinch Pot Ideas
Our very pinch pot how to, has to be these Apple Pinch Pots that the kids and I made a few years ago when my youngest was but a little girl. I think the contrast of the white and red is simply lovely. And the pot shape is easy for the kids to manage. Use a knife to add the details to the apple leaf.
As we move along the seasons, you have to have some gorges Leaf Pinch Pots! Again, as with all our pinch pots, this is an easy shape to manage, and afterwards the kids can have fun exploring colours and mixing shades of green or red. You may also like these leaf print clay bowls! Another fantastic technique with great results!
Another little bowl, as the autumn theme continues. We have some cute Pumpkin Pinch Pots. I love these as they make great decor throughout Fall, can be adapted to suit Halloween or use as Thanksgiving decor too!
Winter Pinch Pot Projects
The basic shape of this Reindeer Pinch Pot, is once again easy. However, this is for slightly more confident children to make – as you need to be able to join the Reindeer Antlers and Nose neatly to the base shape. Love taking a small amount of clay and using it for a cute Rudolph’s nose. A little eco friendly glitter and you have some great Christmas sparkle.
Similarly – the baseshape of these Snowman Pinch Pots for Christmas or Winter is also easy – it is basically you basic how to make a pinch pot shape! You do hoever need to join the shapes well together. A great lesson in joining clay! Another fun way to use pipe cleaners and add some “wooden stick” arms to your snowman craft.
Evergreen clay bowls
These where one of the first of Pinch Pots that the kids an I madew. We experimented with shapes, add ones and animals. Here we have a Monster Pinch Pot, Heart pinch pot, turtle pinch pot and hedgehog pinch pot!
Clay Pinch Pots with faces, from Pink Stripey Socks for Handmade Charlotte!
See many more fabulous Air Dry Clay Projects for Kids here – including many more fabulous DIY Clay Bowls tutorials: