11 Easy & Fun Coil Pottery Ideas For Beginners

Coil pottery is a fun way to experience pottery for the first time. And since you don’t need a wheel, you can easily do it at home.

But since coil pottery is so unique, you might not really know what kind of projects to work on or where to start.

Here you can find 10 coil pottery ideas that you can try out with no prior experience!

1. Plates

Like any other type of pottery, making plates if one of the first things you will learn and considered to be a fundamental skill.

Making a plate using coil pottery techniques can be as easy or difficult as you want it to be.

For the most simple plate, you simply make one long coil and roll it upon itself. Make sure that the coil has the same thickness throughout for the best result.

For more decorative plates, you can also combine several coils twirling in different directions. This way you can create many intricate patterns that you won’t be able to make with a pottery wheel.

Make sure that all the individual pieces are stuck to each other, or your plate might fall apart as soon as you pick it up.

Here is another great example that uses swirling coils with individual sphere to fill the spaces in between.

2. Flower pots

Another simple project is to make flower pots. You’ll first have to make a circular slab of clay using a rolling pin that will form the base.

Then make several coils that are all the same length and thickness. The length should be as long as the circumference of the base.

The tricky part is to then stack the coils on top of each other without everything collapsing in on itself.

Of course, the same technique can be used to make flower pots in different shapes as well.

3. Mugs and cups

Now that you have practiced stacking your coils vertically, you can also try making cups or mugs.

These are normally a lot smaller than flower pots, so you have to use thinner coils. The thin coils are more fragile, so be careful not to accidentally tear them apart.

Just stacking coils will give you a cup, or you can add a handle to turn it into a mug as well.

Of course, you want a cup/mug without any holes in it. So if you are afraid that liquids might escape, you can use a finger to smoothen out the coils.

ceramic mug made with coils

4. Decorative vases

If the flower pots mentioned above are too boring, why not make something more eye catching?

These decorative vases use similar patterns as the plates. By simply adding in a few swirls while stacking the coils, you can turn a boring pot into a beautiful vase.

This is projects is a little more difficult than the other ideas so far, so I recommend you start with one of the projects mentioned above first.

If your vase keeps collapsing, you can also use an old vase you don’t use anymore and use it as a scaffold to wrap the coils around.

5. Fruit bowl

If you like to keep your kitchen well stocked, you could give this pottery project a try. You can think of this fruit bowl as a plate with raised edges.

The easiest way to achieve this effect is to use a big bowl that you already have. Cover the bowl in some plastic, and you can start adding the clay coils and swirls inside the bowl.

Of course, your fruit bowl will have the same shape as the bowl you used as a mold, so choose wisely!

Once you finished your design and the clay has dried, you can carefully remove the mold before firing the clay.

6. Coiled pitcher

If you have made small cups and mugs before, you can take it to the next level and try making an entire pitcher.

Many of the techniques you will use are the same. The major difference of course is the lip of the pitcher.

You could even add some cute decorations as well. In the example below, the pitcher is painted in a yellow color to resemble a beehive and two small porcelain bees are added.

7. Wall hanging

Who said all your pottery projects need to be functional? Why not combine some small coils with some rope and make some interesting wall hangings.

If you have other DIY items at home such as beads or colored yarn, you can easily incorporate those as well for more elaborate designs.

Of course, regardless of the type of clay you are using, ceramics are always going to be quite heavy. So make sure you don’t make pieces that are too large, or your whole wall hanging might come crashing down.

8. Pencil holder snake

This pencil holder that looks like a snake is another fun coil pottery projects you can try.

Its entire body is made from a single big coil stacked on itself. Use a little bit of extra clay to give it two small eyes, use a knife to carve out the smiling mouth, and leave the end of the coil at the bottom sticking out to resemble a tail.

If you don’t have any green glaze, you can simply paint it with any color you like after firing the clay.

9. Coaster

If you are looking for a project that is just as simple as a coiled plate, you can give these coasters a try. You can use the same simple techniques as before.

By leaving plenty of space between coils or swirls, you can create gaps with air which can help cool down what ever you place on your coasters.

So you can make your coasters both beautiful and functional!

10. Coil animals

If you want to incorporate all the different techniques you have learned so far into a single project, you can try your hands on one of these coil animals.

The main body is made by stacking coils, while the head is handmade.

By changing the shape of the head and tail, you can make different animals.

Are these simple to make? No…

Do they look super cute? Yes!!

11. Woven coil pots

Weaving your clay coils isn’t a technique you see very often, but it’s a fun approach to combine weaving with pottery.

You can use this technique for all kinds of projects, but in the example below it was used to create flower pots.

More pottery ideas!

You can never have too many new ideas. So if the 10 coil pottery ideas above weren’t exactly what you were looking for, you can also check out some of our other pottery ideas such as:

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