DIY: Handmade Clay Pots

This post is contributed by Claire of Fellow Fellow. See more of her beautiful work here.

With Mother’s Day coming up in a couple weeks, these handmade clay pots are the perfect vessel to house a mini plant as a pretty and thoughtful gift.

Keep reading to see the full instructions, downloadable pdf,  and step by step images

Here are the instructions:

You will need:
– Knife
– Oven-bake clay
– Rolling pin
– Non-stick baking paper
– Ruler (optional)
– House template printed and cut out (optional). Click here to download the templates I used.
– Smoothing tool (or something with a long handle that can smooth the clay out)

Step 1.
Roll out your oven-bake clay on a piece of baking paper until it’s approximately approx. 1/8″ thick or a bit more.


Step 2.
If you are going to use a template, download it here, print it out onto cardboard and cut around it. Lay the pieces onto the clay and use the knife to carefully cut around the shapes.

Step3.
Once you have all the pieces cut out, take the base piece and press the two side pieces onto the ends. We want to make the pot watertight, so take a small piece of extra clay and roll it into a fairly thin snake shape. Place the ‘snake’ on the inside join (where the side meets the base). Using the smoothing tool, squash part of the ‘snake’ into the base of the pot and smooth it out. Then do the same to the top of the ‘snake’. I’ve tried to demonstrate in the photos above. Do the same to both sides.

Step 4.
Once both inside joins are sealed, carefully turn the pot over and smooth over the joins on the bottom of the pot.

Step 5.
Add each side of the house to the base structure (one at a time), and using the same ‘snake’ technique, seal all the joins. Keep in mind, it will depend on how thick your pieces are as to whether you will have some overhang (ie. the base structure is slightly narrower than the house pieces). I designed mine to be this way, however you can make adjustments as you go until it looks how you like it. Don’t forget to smooth out all the outside joins. As you’re smoothing out the joints, be sure to put one hand on the other side to where you’re working as support, so the clay isn’t warped/damaged from pushing on it.

Step 6.
Once you’re sure that all the joins and cracks have been sealed, bake your pot using the instructions on the packet. Keep an eye on it in the oven to make sure that it’s keeping its shape.

Step 7.
Once the pot is cooled, check that it’s sealed by filling it with water. Then go ahead and plant a cute little plant into your pot!

Comments

Wow!

This is so beautiful!

I love them all! I love suculents and white for home decor!

I must try!

Thanks!

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I promise that it will be 100% easier to not kill your succulents (or basically any plant that didn’t originate in a bog!) if you take a moment and put a drainage hole or three in these. Your mother will thank you.

Just to clarify, these do not have to be sealed once baked, right?

I’ve done a lot of work with polymer clay, and I’d like to offer some advice:

You can use any of the brands of polymer clay for this: Sculpey, Fimo, Premo, Katoclay. Just follow the baking instructions on the package. All of them will be water-resistant once baked. You do need to roll the clay a bit, until it feels leathery, to condition it.

One thing that might make things easier is to bake the individual pieces first. Once they are baked, then you would use the snakes to assemble and seal the seams. Bake the assembled piece for the amount of time on the package. You can bake the clay multiple times without hurting it, as long as you use the correct temperature.

I’m going to dig out some white clay and make these-they’re cute, yet elegant!

I

I can’t wait to make these! I’m always on the look out for great diy craft projects to do with my girls. Thanks so much!

(www.JSummersDesign.etsy.com)

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Cool idea. If you don’t want a drainage hole, you could put a layer of gravel on the bottom to at least keep the roots from sitting in any excess water.

Liz, I love these. Please also let us know how to make that super-cute scalloped pot.
thanks!

It’s super easy! I just cut a long rectangle out of the rolled-out clay, then scored a very faint line about 5mm in from one long edge with the knife and ruler (that will be a guide for how deep your scallops should be). Then I freehanded the scallops, cutting them out with the knife. I then found something round (a sharpener) and used it to cut around for the base. Then I wrapped the rectangle around the base (scallops to the top, obviously), overlapped the ends a bit, and smoothed out the joins (same as the house). Then baked it 🙂

Hope that helps!

I’d love to try this for my mantel piece… Claire, could you be more specific about the type of clay you used? Is it a polymer clay like Fimo?

We used succulents planted in antique pieces at my daughter’s wedding. These will be PERFECT second homes for those lovely little beauties. THANKS!

We used succulents planted in antique pieces at my daughter’s wedding. These will be PERFECT second homes for those lovely little beauties. THANKS!

Everything Claire creates is pure beauty and pure genius! Loving this to bits and this much closer to overcoming my fear of working with clay.

I have been thinking about these since I saw them. I love succulents and this is just a sweet, sweet way to display them. I also wanted to compliment you on your beautiful tutorial. Your pics are just perfect. Take care!

I’ve been itching to try a craft with clay, but haven’t been confident enough since I haven’t used it before. Your tutorial makes it look possible! I’ll definitely be giving this a whirl, soon. Thanks!

Do these get damp on the outside when you water the plants? I know that unglazed clay is still quite porous, so I was curious about this.

Such a cute idea! I might use these for favors at the Mother’s Day luncheon I’m hosting next weekend. Thanks for the idea!

Actually, a drainage hole would be better. You will drown succulents without one. Or any plant, actually.

So lovely! And a fun thing to do with kids too, I agree with Jillian

Oh my goodness how beautiful are these! Definitely giving it a try

This looks like a great activity to do with my kids. Will definitely be doing this with them in the near future. Now I just have to see where I can buy that oven-bake clay (not always an easy feat to find these things here in Italy!). Thanks!

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