From pretty planters to sleek sculptures: 10 pottery ideas for beginners

Mar 22, 2023

Are you looking for a new hobby, a creative outlet, or simply want to get your hands dirty? Then look no further than the wonderful world of pottery making.

As a fledgling potter, it can be hard to know where to start, however. But with some guidance and practice, anyone can learn to sculpt beautiful and functional pieces of pottery. 

To help you on your journey, we've put together ten pottery ideas for beginners. Whether you're looking for a simple boredom buster for the whole family or a set of coasters to complement your morning mug of coffee, these ideas will inspire you to get stuck in and make something meaningful. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get Pott’d!

1. Pretty Planters

If, like us, you’re looking to house your succulent addiction, you’ve come to the right place. Sculpting a planter is a great way to learn the basics of the pinch technique, where the potter forms a clay body by squeezing it with their thumb and fingers. Top tip: use the end of your Pott’d paintbrush to make a drainage hole in the bottom of the pot and seal with a generous amount of glaze to make it extra water-resistant.

2. Brilliant Beads

Are you looking for a fun and easy project to enjoy with your kids? Then we have the perfect activity for you: creating clay beads. Not only are they a great beginner design, but they're also an awesome way to introduce your little ones to the joys of pottery making. Of course, the best part is the end result: handmade jewellery! Children love wearing their creations, but they’ll want to share their unique designs with their friends as thoughtful gifts.

3. Thanks a Bunch

Be-leaf it or not, sculpting a stunning ceramic rose is a breeze, needing absolutely no equipment and only a small amount of clay. Handcrafted roses make a beautiful addition to any piece of pottery, whether it be a vase, a mug, or a planter, and can even make a thoughtful wedding present or gift for a loved one.

4. Hi Honey!

Fit for a feast at Hundred Acre Wood, you can make your own bee-autiful honeypot using the coil technique: rolling clay into long, snake-like rolls and stacking them together to form a hive shape. For a glistening finish, paint the pot golden-yellow, then load up your brush with plenty of Pott’d gloss varnish. This is a beginner-friendly activity for a reason — any imperfections will just add to the charm of your petite pot.

5. Put a Ring On It

As this tutorial shows, it’s perfectly possible to make a jewellery dish and ring holder without having to throw clay on a pottery wheel. In fact, even novice potters can try their hands at this adorable cactus ring holder — yearning to be used to protect your treasured trinkets.

6. Invigorating Incense

If you're new to pottery, making an incense holder is a unique and simple project, and you’ll finish up with a great gift for the bohemian in your life. The idea is simple: all you need to do is sculpt a shallow tray the length of an incense stick (approx 15 cm) and add a little angled hole to balance the stick over it.

7. Sleek sculptures

Are you intrigued by modern art and looking to spruce up your coffee table? Check out this TikTok video from one of our skilled customers, demonstrating how to create a striking pottery sculpture by skillfully rolling and twisting the clay into an infinity loop shape. Who needs Anthropologie?

8. Checkmate

Creative? Tick. Interactive? Tick. Perfectly pocketable? Tick! This dainty noughts and crosses set has our hearts all aflutter, and we can’t wait to make our own. But why stop at tic tac toe? You could create your own checkers board, or, if you’re feeling adventurous and want to channel your inner Beth Harmon, even a chess set.

9. Lighten up

There's nothing like a nice bath, a glass of wine (or two) and a scented candle to unwind after a long day — and if you use candle holders you create yourself, all the better. With the pinch pot method, it could not be easier to create a tealight holder like this one that you might have spotted on our Instagram feed.

10. Cosy coasters

Finally, we come to what might just be the easiest item on our list: coasters. As they’re oh-so simple to make, the focus here should be on the creative design you come up with for the painted surface. For inspiration, think of your favourite mug and go from there.

So there you have it, ten beginner pottery ideas for you to try. Ready to get started? We've got you covered with our air-dry pottery kit that comes complete with eight high-quality acrylic paints, two bristle paint brushes, and a base coat and varnish for an ultra-glossy finish.

In the meantime, why not take a look at our Instagram and TikTok pages or download our complimentary bonus guide for further inspo?

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