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11 Easy Clay Pinch Pot Ideas For Creative Kids

Ceramic art projects are always a hit with kids! Even if you are not a professional ceramic artist or teacher, this post is for you! From simple flower clay pinch pots to complex double-pot sculptures, we love this list of creative pinch pot ideas you can make with kids.

examples of clay pinch pot projects for kids.

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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. Basic pinch pot crafts are awesome because you don’t have to attach clay together. They can even be built with air-dry clay.

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.

small clay piece cut with wire cutter for art class.

And as a bonus, you only need a small piece of clay to make a fun pot shape.

An easy way to teach different hand-building techniques is to use a combination of pinch pot techniques with other clay-building ideas.

Other clay techniques to consider adding to pinch pots:

  • slab building
  • combining double pinch pots
  • adding a coil of clay to create new ideas.
  • Have fun exploring a pinch pot method and create all sorts of DIY gifts.
hands making a clay pinch pot.

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
  • Kids over touch their clay with hot hands
  • Air bubbles can form
  • Kids add too much making it hard to hold the desired shape

TIP: 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. 

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

examples of pinch pot clay ideas for kids with a flower, fish, owl and elephant.

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

Clay Pinch Project Ideas

pinch pot flower idea for kids.
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.
A 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.
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hands in different stages of making clay pinch pot.
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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green glazed clay turtle pinch pot project for kids.
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.
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.
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glazed clay owl pinch pot on marble table.
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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orange and yellow glazed ceramic fish project for kids.
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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final pinch pot clay monster with eyebrows, horns, togue and big eyes before going in kiln.
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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bright colored glazed coil pots from kids in container.
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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clay elephant pinch pot art project in blue glaze.
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.
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
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clay pinch pots on table.
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.
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small clay pinch pot with tissue paper decoupaged on.
Decoupage Tissue Paper On Ceramic Pinch Pot Bowl
Another outside-the-box way to add color to your clay. Kids will love seeing the colors blend as they paint with bleeding tissue paper.
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two pinch pots made by kids painted with bright colors.
Fun Painted Cups
Kids can take their basic pinch pot cup and add decorative touches with paint. Add a fun clear coat to get that shimmer on air-dry clay projects.
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Other Easy Pinch Pot Projects

  • Pinch pot mug
  • Pinch pot with basket handle
  • 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


  • As with any clay or art project, encourage your kids to add their own creative ideas, textures and colors to these clay builds.
  • If you feel the base is too thick, you can help thin it out by pulling clay up the side walls.
  • We always like to check as children build their clay projects to ensure they don’t have too heavy of a base.
  • We have found a small amount of clay to be better than too much clay (especially if their first project).
orange clay fish pinch pot project, monster clay project, flower clay project and owl ceramic project on table.

FAQs About Pinch Pots

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).

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.

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.

Follow us on Pinterest, YouTube, or Flipboard for more free art and craft ideas!

More Ceramic Ideas

Making any clay sculpture is a fun experience for children and beginners. We hope these clay pinch pot ideas inspire you and your young artists. Have fun exploring the pinch pot method and creating all sorts of DIY gifts.

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