One question we’re often asked is: “what should I paint on my pottery?” Naturally, the answer is “anything you like!” but sometimes, it’s hard to know where to begin.
To help you, we've compiled ten easy pottery painting ideas that even a complete beginner can try at home. We promise you that, with a little practice, you’ll find painting pottery to be just as soothing to the senses as sculpting it, and we can’t wait to see what you come up with!
1. Star signs
Whether you’re a loud and proud Leo, a curious Capricorn, or a highly sceptical Scorpio, zodiac art makes the perfect theme for artists of all stripes. Painting with zodiac art personalises your creations and makes them ideal as a birthday gift or stocking filler. For maximum impact, dot on the constellation points matching the astrological sign of choice, then connect the dots with a fine ceramic marker or a thin brush dipped in gold or silver acrylic paint.
2. Lavender haze
It’s officially the colour of the year. Whether it’s adorning the eyelids of A-Listers or influencing our interior design choices, ‘digital lavender’ is taking the world by storm. If you’re ready to bid adieu to millennial pink, why not upgrade your porcelain with a cool wash of lavender haze? We love this chequered trinket dish that’s just asking to be filled with some handmade ceramic jewellery.
Pottery with a travel theme isn't only for souvenir stores in tourist traps! Whether you’re a Parisan at heart, a devoted London lass, or someone whose heart beats for Barbados, pottery makes a wonderful tribute to a place you call home. Why not decorate a plate or coaster with a national flower, skyline or iconic landmark?
No matter your age, it's hard to resist using the lure of emojis, and let’s face it — we all secretly have a favourite. Emojis are the perfect shape and size to adorn a handmade coaster, making an excellent gift for a child or teen. Whether it’s the classic grin, expressive heart eyes, or cool-guy sunglasses, pick their most-used emoji and load up your brush with plenty of bright yellow paint.
5. Abstract animals
Single line tattoos are all the rage at the moment, favoured for their modern and minimalistic look. For a less permanent alternative, why not decorate your creation with an abstract line drawing of your favourite animal? It's best to use a fine ceramic marker rather than a brush for this, and to sketch out the design first lightly in pencil.
6. Summer fruits
Paint your five-a-day with these handmade fruit bowls — the perfect activity for a lazy summer afternoon. These bowls look wonderful as a full set of ‘fruits’, so could be well suited to a family craft session. Pick your favourite citrus fruit and remember to paint both the interior and outside for the fullest effect.
7. Flower power
Whether you're a seasoned botanical artist or just starting out, flora can be surprisingly simple to paint — especially with a little help. As this guide shows, you don’t need to be Van Gogh to master sunflowers, and layering flowers like gerbera daisies, tulips, and Japanese cherry blossoms around the curve of a vase or plate makes for a beautiful display.
8. Polka dots
Are you simply dotty about coffee? Why not take inspiration from the quintessential ‘Polka Dot’ collection by Emma Bridgewater and greet your morning flat white with a little extra cheer? Or is a monochrome design more your cup of tea? Pop black spots on a white layer of paint to create a sleek design that Cruella would kill to sip from.
9. Happy little trees
If your heart answers to the call of the wild, then you will love this dark forest design that’s ideal for painting beginners. Or for something more elaborate, take inspiration from the king of the “happy little trees” himself, Bob Ross, and decorate your ceramics with an atmospheric range of misty mountains.
10. On cloud nine
The sky's the limit when it comes to simple-yet-creative painting ideas. However, last on our list is a dreamy cloud-print that you may have spotted on our Instagram recently. We love this cheerful cloud-print tray that was created by one of our talented customers.
So there you have it, ten creative ideas for painting pottery at home! Ready to get started? Our air-dry pottery kit has everything you need, including eight premium acrylic paints, two bristle paint brushes, plus a base coat and varnish for a glossy finish.
For more inspo, be sure to check out our Instagram and TikTok, or you can download our free bonus guide here. Happy painting!