Skip to Content

Join The KinderArt Club, for Premium Art Lesson Plans.

Clay Pinch Pot Animals

Clay Pinch Pot Animals
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Written by: Andrea Mulder-Slater


Children will learn how to create pinch pot animals using air-dry clay.

What You Need:

  • Clay (we used Crayola Air-Dry Clay)
  • Clay Tools and Gadgets (toothpicks, wooden craft sticks, rulers, screws, nuts, bolts, firm toothbrushes)
  • Newspaper or scrap canvas pieces to cover your work surface.
  • Containers and sponges
  • Water
  • Paint (we used Crayola Washable Metallic Paint)
  • Mod Podge (optional)

What You Do:

A pinch pot is a simple way to make hand-made pottery. Pinch pots have been created since ancient times.

Start with a palm-sized piece of clay. Using the palms of your hands, roll the clay into a ball.

Making a pinch pot out of clay.

Place the ball of clay in your hand, or on a flat surface. Gently poke your thumb into the center.

Clay pinch pot.

Rotate (either in your hand or on a flat surface) while pinching the clay gently between your thumb and fingers. You may need to wet your fingers slightly to smooth out any cracks.

Clay pinch pot.

Pinch and turn, pinch and turn… But, don’t pinch too much because you don’t want the edges of your pot to become too thin.

You should end up with something that looks like the beginning of a little dish. This will be the animal’s body.

Clay pinch pot.

Once the pinch pot is complete, you will need to attach some other pieces of clay to it using the “score and slip” method. (For example: A small round ball for a head, four small balls for feet and a cone shape or a ball for a tail).

Flip the pot upside down and make sure the clay is scratched where it will be joined (with a toothpick or firm toothbrush). Also, add some water (just a small amount) before another piece is added.

Scoring the clay.

Here is a lop eared rabbit pinch pot animal.

Clay pinch pot animal.

Details have been added with wood screws.

Clay pinch pot animal.

Once the clay has dried (about 4 to 5 days), the animals can be painted.

Liquid tempera (or poster) and acrylic paints are both great choices. But stay away from watercolors when using air-dry clay. Reason being, the water will soften the clay (because it hasn’t been fired in a kiln).

If using liquid tempera or poster paints with air-dry clay, avoid using water (because your clay will turn to mush) and instead, make use of a painting mat to wipe excess paint off of brushes.

For air-dry clay, I love using Crayola Metallic Paints. They are washable and have a really nice sheen, making the finished pieces look as though they have been glazed and fired in a kiln. I also really love the Crayola glitter paints. But, any paint will do (except watercolors!).

You can also add a coat of Mod Podge to the painted pieces, once they are dry. In addition to making the clay projects look shiny, Mod Podge also seals the work.

Clay pinch pot animal.

Clay pinch pot animal. Clay pinch pot animal. Clay pinch pot animal.

Written By: Andrea Mulder-Slater


If you like this project, you will LOVE the multitude of lessons available in The KinderArt Club – our affordable online art lesson membership portal for teachers, parents, homeschoolers, art studio owners, librarians and anyone else who teach art to children ages 5 to 11yrs.

Click here to join today!

    Join Our Club

    You are currently on the site which features lots of free art activity ideas for kids (I hope you are enjoying them!) HOWEVER, if you are looking for more detailed art lesson plans, drawing lessons, printables, sketchbook starters (and more) provided monthly, you will LOVE The KinderArt Club - a membership portal designed for parents, homeschoolers, classroom art teachers and studio instructors.

    Inside the club you will find hundreds of printable PDF art lessons designed to work in small or large group settings, with a range of ages (from 5 to 12 years).

    Get creative teaching kids at home, instructing students in a classroom, leading workshops in a studio, or sharing online, as you explore artists, art periods, science, nature, history, cultures and themes, with creativity and flexibility in mind.

    Join us today at: