Whether natural or artificial polymer, clay is a highly versatile medium that’s fun and soothing to work with. There’s nothing quite like using a mug or a bowl made with your own two hands. But why stop there? Clay is, by definition, flexible. Learning how to make things with clay is easy, too. Here are 25 fun and easy things to make with clay.

25 Fun Clay Project Ideas

1. Spoons

ceramic spoons
Colorful ceramic spoons are an ideal project for beginners.

Swap your boring stainless steel spoons for handmade ceramic spoons with individuality. Spoons are really practical, and they’re one of the easiest things to make with clay, too. You will need access to a kiln in order to fire the spoons.

2. Pinch Pot Bowl

Pinch pot
Pinch pots are easy things to make with clay.

If you’re completely new to working with clay, pinch pots are a good project to start with because they’re simple and don’t require a potters’ wheel.

3. Wheel-Thrown Mug

ceramic mug
This mug was made by student Lee Maclennan for The Art of Ceramics: Creating a Modern Mug

A clay mug is a satisfying item to make because you can use it daily and remember the work that went into creating it. Mugs made from clay take time to complete—you’ll need access to a potters’ wheel, as well as to dry and fire them after the molding process. But if you have the tools and facilities available, they’re a good beginner project.

Work With Natural Clay

Pottery On The Wheel For Beginners – Throwing Clay, Beginning Ceramics

4. Hand-Coiled Mug

lumps of clay
Turn a lump of clay into a beautiful handmade mug.

This clay mug doesn’t need a potters’ wheel, so it’s a great project if you don’t have access to one or would like to try a different approach. It’s easy and suitable for complete beginners.

5. Teapot

Make a matching teapot and mug set.
Make a matching teapot and mug set.

Looking for other cool things to make with clay for your kitchen? This teapot is made on a pottery wheel and it helps to have some experience with clay, so start with the mugs and work your way up.

6. Plate

ceramic plate
Personalize meal times by designing and making your own dinnerware.

Plates are another item that can be made on a potters’ wheel. It can take a bit of practice to make them perfectly round, but “imperfections” add to the character and individuality of handmade items.

7. Cartoon Snake

modeling clay snake
If you’re looking for easy things to make with modeling clay, look no further than this snake.

Learning how to make things with polymer clay is slightly different from natural clay. This cartoon snake is a really easy project for beginners as it’s a very basic design and will help you learn about polymer clay’s properties and how to handle it.

8. Earrings

clay earrings
Stylish, sophisticated earrings can be made from polymer clay.

Jewelry aficionados are in luck: polymer clay can be used to make beautiful and individual accessories, like these funky earrings. Plus, they’re easy and affordable to make!

9. Beads

modeling clay beads
As far as easy things to make with modeling clay go, these beads are among the easiest.

Another way to make your own jewelry out of clay is to make beads that can be strung together. Experiment with polymer or natural clay and different shapes and sizes to create a look that’s totally yours.

10. Rings

ring with clay in it
These metal rings are decorated with a band of polymer clay.

Mixing polymer clay together can give a marbled look, which is an especially nice effect to use on items of jewelry. This ring is easy to make—you’ll just need rings to attach your polymer clay to.

11. Lettering

clay lettering
Clay lettering can be created in various fonts.

Learning how to make cool things with clay doesn’t have to stop at kitchen items or jewelry. To jazz up a sign, table setting, or work of art, create lettering made from polymer or traditional clay. 

12. Elephant Ring Holder

clay elephant
This elephant ring holder is cute and practical.

While you can make all kinds of animals from polymer clay, this elephant is handy as you can use its trunk to store your rings! It’s a good project for beginners and more experienced crafters alike as the level of detail can be adjusted to suit your ability.

13. Love Birds

ceramic birds
Ceramic love birds are simple but stylish ornaments.

These ceramic love birds can be straightforward to make, but adding details can make them a good project for more advanced potters who want to try something new. 

14. Owls

ceramic owl
Easy things to make with clay include these lovely owls.

If you’ve experimented with simpler animals like the love birds above, these polymer clay owls provide an opportunity to practice your detailing. Variations can add to the complexity level.

15. Air-Dry Clay Bird

painted bird made of clay
This sweet bird is made from air-dry clay and painted with acrylic paints. 

Air-dry clay is an ideal medium if you want to work with natural clay but don’t have access to a kiln. This cheery bird looks difficult but is actually very simple to make. Another benefit of air-dry clay is that it can be painted with acrylic paints and doesn’t need special glazes.

16. Elf

ceramic elf
This cute little elf allows you to practice polymer clay sculpting techniques.

Once you’ve practiced how to make things with polymer clay, you might want to get more creative. Artist and Skillshare instructor Amanda P uses cute little elves to teach her students the basic skills of polymer clay sculpting. 

17. Moths and Butterflies

clay butterflies
Polymer clay both and butterflies are painted in a wide array of colors.

These finely detailed moths and butterflies are made with polymer clay and painted with acrylic paint. They’re a bit fiddly to make and take some time because they’re made of several parts that need to be pre-baked and then assembled, but they’re not as difficult as they look and are perfectly suitable for beginners. They can be turned into brooches or pendants, if you like.

18. Mushroom Earrings

clay toadstools
Colorful clay toadstools can be turned into earrings.

Unleash your inner woodland fairy by making these polymer clay mushroom earrings that allow you to play around with the shapes and colors of the natural world. The mushrooms can be used for other purposes, too, like ornaments or garden decor. They’re not especially difficult to make, but the more advanced your polymer craft skills are, the more detailed and realistic your mushrooms will look.

19. Teeny Tiny Sandwiches

small food made out of clay
Check out those coins for scale! Student work by Lynn Chiu for DIY Clay Sculpting: Create Your Own Mini Sandwich (Easy!)

Doll accessories, keyrings, necklaces, or earrings—you could use these itsy bitsy sandwiches in all sorts of creative ways. They’re sculpted from polymer clay, and the colored details are added with chalk pastels. They look complicated, but the process of making them is quite simple.

20. Ceramic Caricature Mask

sculpted self portrait
Sculpt a portrait or even a self-portrait out of clay.

You can get really creative when hand-sculpting a mask from clay. You can aim to be as realistic or as stylized as you like, and as your technical and artistic skills allow.

21. Bamboo Forest

clay bamboo
Bamboo and other plants and leaves can be modelled from polymer clay.

Not all clay items need to be practical. Clay plants and flowers, like this mini bamboo forest, are sculptural and beautiful and are artistic in their own right.

22. Jar Lids

clay cookie jars
These cookie jar lids look good enough to eat, but we don’t recommend trying.

Your pantry is a practical part of your house, but if you’d like to spruce up the way it looks, have a go at making these easy cookie jar lids out of polymer clay. Of course, they may tempt you to snack more often than is good for you!

23. Fantasy Crystal

Add sparkles to polymer clay crystals.
Add sparkles to polymer clay crystals.

If you’re attracted to glitter and sparkles, try making a fantasy crystal. These polymer crystals are a breeze to make and give you the chance to practice blending clays to achieve the color you want.

24. Realistic Roses

clay rose
Learn how to make cool things with clay, including this beautiful rose.

The process of creating these realistic roses is simpler than it looks, but the project is best suited to crafters who have some experience working with polymer clay. The techniques used to create roses can be used for other types of flowers, too.

25. Coral Sculpture

clay sculpture
Learning how to make things with clay will mean you can create amazing sculptures like this.

If you want to get sculptural with your clay crafting, try making this finely detailed coral. While it’s not a difficult project, it does take a long time (two days or more), so it requires a good dose of patience and dedication.

Use molds to get the most out of your clay creations. Get started with these DIY ceramics.

Learn Cool Things to Make With Clay

Getting Started With Polymer Clay, Sculpting Tools & Equipment: Beginner Tutorial