How to Make Pots With Clay or Dough

Updated February 21, 2017

Modelling clay and homemade dough are materials you can use to mould a variety of decorative and useful objects. Shaping clay or dough into the desired design often requires a mould. Pre-formed plastic moulds are available at most craft stores, but you can also use common household objects to help shape your designs. Among the simplest and most versatile projects you can make with clay or dough are pots. Paint or embellish homemade pots with acrylics, beads, buttons and glass cabochons to create planters and decorative containers.

Select a bowl with outside dimensions equal to the desired dimensions of the pot you'd like to make. Cover your work surface with waxed paper for protection. Place the bowl upside down on the work surface.

Cover the outside of the bowl with cling film. Coat the cling film with a release agent. Non-stick cooking spray, cooking oil and petroleum jelly are examples of common household products that you can use as a release agent for clay or dough projects.

Spread a 1-inch-thick to 3-inch-thick layer of clay or dough onto the coated cling film. The desired thickness of the pot is subjective based on the intended uses. To make flower pots, a 1-inch to 2-inch thickness will suffice. Keep the thickness uniform over the entire bowl.

Insert a 1/2-inch-diameter dowel in the top of the clay mound, which will be the bottom of the clay pot if you are making a flower pot. Make several drainage holes in what will be the base of the pot. Omit this step if your pot does not need drainage.

Press flat-backed cabochons into the soft clay or dough to decorate the pot. You can also use a stylus to mark indentation designs in the material, or select some other type of embellishment to enhance the pot. If the clay you are using requires baking, make sure to use glass or metal objects as embellishments. Plastic objects may melt in the oven.

Dry the clay according to the manufacturer's instructions or recipe's directions. Polymer clay requires baking in a 275-degree Fahrenheit oven, but most modelling and homemade clay and dough recipes call for air drying or sun baking the clay.

Remove the dried clay pot from the mould. Remove the cling film from inside the pot.

Things You'll Need

  • Deep bowl
  • Waxed paper
  • Cling film
  • Release agent
  • Clay or dough
  • 1/2-inch-diameter dowel
  • Flat-backed cabochons
  • Clay glaze
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About the Author

Katherine Kally is a freelance writer specializing in eco-friendly home-improvement projects, practical craft ideas and cost-effective decorating solutions. Kally's work has been featured on sites across the Web. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of South Carolina and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.