10 Easy Pottery Ideas For Beginners

After you have learned some pottery basics such as throwing a cup or a plate, you are probably looking for some more fun projects.

The problem with pottery is that many projects often look very easy, but in reality they can be deceptively difficult.

Here are 10 easy pottery ideas that are great for anyone just getting into pottery.

1. Flower vases

If you are familiar with throwing small amounts of clay on a wheel, you can try throwing bigger objects such as vases.

Of course, the simplest vase you can throw is just an oversized cup. And that’s actually a great way to start. Controlling a large amount of clay can be difficult in and of itself.

But vases can come in almost an infinite amount of different shapes. Just a quick Google search will give you plenty of inspiration.

Choose any shape you like and give it a try!

simple pottery vases

2. Shell cup

If you don’t have access to a wheel, you can still do a lot of pottery projects by hand. And one of the easier handbuilding ideas is this cup made out of seashells.

You can prepare 3~4 slab of clay, shape them like shells, and then connect them together to form a cup.

If you use bigger shells, you could also easily turn this into a vase rather than a cup.

vase made out of ceramic shells

3. Egg plates

Every pottery beginner learns at some point how to throw a plate on a wheel.

But these egg plates really show how you can turn something generic and boring, add a little creativity, and turn it into something cute and fun.

It is also a good example of when making something by hand works out better than making it on the wheel.

If you made these plates on the wheel, you would end up with perfectly symmetrical eggs. But have you ever seen one of those in real life?

So making these plates by hand works a lot better.

funny plates that look like eggs

4. Leave plates

These ceramic leaves are a lot of fun to make in fall. As soon as the leaves start falling from the trees, you can go out to find a few pretty ones and use them as a template.

Not only can you use the leaves you found to indicate what the outline of your ceramic leaf should be, if you press the leaf firmly in the clay, you often get a nice imprint of the nerves as well.

The resulting leaf look super neat and can be used to hold your keys, jewelry, soaps, etc.

5. Ceramic baskets

Making ceramic baskets is a fun way to combine basic weaving techniques with pottery.

The easiest way to make them is by using a bowl or basket of the right size as the mold. After preparing the strips of clay, you can then place them in the mold one by one.

The most basic weaving pattern you can use is of course the plain weave. But if your clay strips are thin enough and you want an extra challenge, you could even try more advanced patterns.

6. Tea light holder

Candleholders might not be the first thing that come to mind when you are thinking of pottery, but they are actually a very popular item to make during short workshops.

You can basically make any hollow shape with your clay, and carve a few holes to let the light throw.

Don’t forget to make a big opening at the back or leave the top/bottom open, so you can actually place the tea light inside. I’ve seen many people that forgot to make an opening or that made one that was too small.

7. Animal shaped herb planters

Do you like to grow herbs and use them in your own cooking? Then how about making one of these cute animal shaped planters.

Simply start with a bowl, add four legs, and a neck with a head and you are done! You could easily make different heads to represent different animals.

Imaging having a row of these in your kitchen for your basil, mint, parsley, etc.

8. Happy planters

If you are looking for a cute pot to grow your plants in, you can try making one of these happy planters.

They might seem difficult at first, but that couldn’t be more wrong. They are simply a standard pot with four small cylindrical pieces of clay attached to the bottom.

You can either carve the facial expression before firing, or you can use some paint to add it afterwards.

If you are planning to make several of these, try giving each of them a different facial expression.

9. Human head flower pots

Another fun idea is to make flower pots that look like human faces.

You can start off by making a regular vase, either by using a wheel or by using handbuilding techniques. Then simply add some extra clay for the nose and lips, and add two holes for the eyes.

If you are planning on making several of these vases, try to make each vase look different by changing the facial features.

Once you finish the head section, you can either leave it as is or add a base. In the vases you see above, shoulders were added. And the vases shown below are supported by arm or hands.

hilarious vases

10. Animal figures

Animal figures are one of the cutest things you can make. You can either make one of your favorite animals or one of your own pets.

Of course, making figurines can be as hard or as difficult as you want it to be.

Take a look at the ones shown below, as an example. Initially they might seem pretty complex, but if you look closer you will see that they are basically a big clay ball with some details added to them.

Additionally, a lot of detail can be added by using some paint after firing the clay. So make sure to consider not only how to shape the clay, but also how to paint it afterwards.

animal figures ceramic

More pottery ideas!

You can never have too many new ideas. So if the 10 easy 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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