Ideas for Clay Models

Updated March 23, 2017

Modelling clay is easy to work with and can be the ideal way for beginning artists to begin practicing how to sculpt. Due to its ease of manipulation, beginners can use it to practice and reuse it when mistakes are made. With modelling clay, you can make a sculpture of anything you want, ranging from simple sculptures to sculptures with intricate details.

Sculpted Miniatures

Make a set of miniature sculpted movie monsters. Frankenstein, Dracula, the Mummy and the Werewolf would make a neat clay sculpting display for Halloween. Other miniatures you might want to carve include people, dolls, a leprechaun, fairies. dragons or your favourite animal. Cut the outline of your miniature from a block of clay and use a clay sculpting tool to refine the shape. Use a toothpick to add minute details and a clay texture tool to add hair, scales or fur.

Clay Dishes and Household Accessories

Modelling clay comes in a variety of colours and can be sculpted into decorative bowls, ashtrays, plates or even coasters. If you use a water-based high fire clay, you can dry your items and paint them with acrylic paint. Avoid oil-based clay because it doesn't dry. Finish your decorative items with a high-gloss spray that will make them shine and help protect them.

Chess Pieces and Chess Board

Sculpt your own custom chess set using coloured modelling clay. If you don't want to make the board from clay, sculpt the chess pieces. You can choose any theme you like and carve the pieces to match the theme. Use water-based clay and fire your finished pieces in a kiln. You can typically find a ceramic shop or pottery shop that will do the final fire for you. If you use polymer clay, bake it in the oven at 48.9 degrees C. Be sure to set the clay on a waxed paper lined tray. Baking time varies depending upon the size and density of your sculpture, so check it often.


Buy your clay in large blocks and use it to create a bust of your favourite celebrity or even of yourself, using a photograph as a model. It can be fun to see if you can recreate features to make your bust recognisable. A clay sculpting tool and texture tools are all you need. Form the clay into a rough shape of head and shoulders and then begin carving. Be sure to keep the clay damp with water to make the sculpting process smoother.


Create a diorama of your favourite scene. Ideas might include a jungle, an old West scene or a carnival. Build the clay onto a wooden platform for support and sculpt your scene on the wood, then add some of your favourite miniatures to the diorama to bring the scene to life.

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About the Author

Carl Hose is the author of the anthology "Dead Horizon" and the the zombie novella "Dead Rising." His work has appeared in "Cold Storage," "Butcher Knives and Body Counts," "Writer's Journal," and "Lighthouse Digest.". He is editor of the "Dark Light" anthology to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities.