Miniature Plant Pots (with Oven Bake Polymer Clay)
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: I have discovered a new form of meditation - making teeny clay pots! I feel like I've been seeing a lot of pottery on my social media lately, and it gave me an itch to try it myself - plus, I needed somewhere to put all of my (finally) blooming succulent cuttings. And once I got started, I couldn't stop - there is something so therapeutic and calming about the squishy texture and repetitive, mindless motions of making the pots!
Anyway, they are super easy to make at home, and you can get really creative with them. In this post, I'll just show you how I made little plant pots, but once you get the hang of it, you can make a lot of different stuff (like beads for necklaces, bracelet cuffs, little dishes, etc).
Things you will need
- Polymer clay (I used Sculpey white clay)
- Baking sheet and aluminum foil
- (Optional) Pen/pencil
- (Optional) Things to imprint on your clay (e.g., a leaf, a carved spoon handle)
- (Optional) Nail polish, paint, Sculpey glaze
1. Roll a little ball of clay, about 1" to 2" in diameter.
2. Press your thumb into the center of the ball, creating a deep pit, and smush the clay around your thumb so that it becomes more of an oval oblong shape.
3. Using your palm as a surface of resistance, start pressing your thumb down (towards the bottom of the pot) and outward (against your other palm), rotating the pot each time to ensure it turns out even. Keep going until you've reached the size pot you want! Mine are usually about 1/8" to 1/4" in thickness.
As you go along, try to apply more pressure at the tip of your thumb (at the bottom of the pot) to keep the opening of the pot from becoming too wide.
If your clay is a little too soft and doesn't hold form well while you're shaping it, throw the ball of clay in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to give it more resilience.
Sometimes, I end up redoing my pot several times because it got too wide or too thin or whatever, but that just adds to the therapeutic benefits! Plus, it doesn't take that long and you definitely get better with practice!
4. Do some extra decorating and finishing - see below for inspiration!
5. Follow the instructions on your polymer clay package and bake your creations! (Mine was 275°F for 15 minutes per 1/4" of thickness)
6. You can finish your pots by painting them with nail polish, acrylic paint, and/or Sculpey glaze for some extra sheen!
For extra inspiration:
My friends and I did a few things to make our pots not all look the same. A few ideas:
- Use a pen or pencil to poke holes along the top so that you can hang them with string later
- Use a pen or pencil to etch patterns in the clay
- Use the edge of a utensil or glasses to make larger indents
- Add little legs to the bottom of your pot
- Add little handles to the sides of your pot
- Press something with a pretty texture (e.g., a leaf, ornate utensil handle) to create a pattern
We also found a few Etsy sellers who have done such adorable little things (but likely with real pottery clay and a kiln):
Aren't they adorable? I've been making TONS of them and am going to use them as little thank you, housewarming, and "just because" gifts!