Simple Handmade Projects:
Cheap Pottery Gift Ideas

Looking for some cheap pottery gift ideas? Here are two great handmade projects that are perfect even for people on your list who are hard to buy for.

cheap pottery gift ideas coaster peeling extra clay

Although this website is dedicated to wheel throwing, no pottery site would be complete without at least touching on hand built pottery.

Here are two of my favorite projects.

They're quick, easy projects, and they make great Christmas pottery gifts.


This is my all time favorite cheap pottery project. To make these you'll need a rolling pin, two large paint stirring sticks or rulers, and a five inch round bowl.
cheap pottery gift ideas rolling clay for a coaster First, roll out a slab of clay wider than the rim of the five inch bowl. Use the paint stirring sticks as guides on either side of the clay.

As you roll, the sticks will support the rolling pin creating a perfect, smooth surface on the clay.

I find that one thick stick (the kind you stir a 5 gallon paint bucket with) on each side makes the perfect thickness of clay for a coaster.

Tip: Lay a piece of canvas or newspaper down under the clay to prevent it from sticking to the table.
cheap pottery gift ideas imprinting leaf in clay Next, find an interesting leaf or flower and place it in the center of the clay.

Roll the leaf gently into the surface of the clay. Carefully remove the leaf.

It should leave a shallow imprint in the clay. Cool, huh?

You can use all kinds of leaves, textured cloth, lace or stamps to imprint a design.

You can even carve a design into the surface using a clay needle or wooden clay knife.
cheap pottery gift ideas coaster cutting Then, place the bowl upside down on the clay with the leaf pattern centered underneath it.

Use a clay needle to cut around the edges of the bowl. Remove the bowl and pull away the excess clay.

There's your coaster.

Let it dry enough to handle. Smooth any sharp edges.

Sign the bottom and repeat until you have a set of four coasters.

Tip: It's very important to dry the top and bottom of the coaster evenly. Otherwise it will curl and buckle.

The best way to do this is to sandwich your coasters between two sheets of drywall (you can get small 2x2 sheets at home improvement stores).

You can also dry them on a wire baking rack, but I haven't had the same excellent results with this method.

Fire normally.

I recommend finishing them with a stain. Simple red iron oxide on a buff colored clay is my favorite. Paint it on. Then, sponge it off so it remains only in the pattern.

Finally, add a cork or felt backing so your coaster won't scratch any surfaces (also available at home improvement and craft stores).

No Worry Stones

I call these No Worry Stones because they take your worries away.

Carry one in your pocket and when you feel it there you'll remember all the great things in your life that you have to be thankful for.

The more you think about what's great in your life the more your worries slip away.

They're super easy to make.

Roll a ball of clay the size of a ping pong ball in your hands. Flatten it between your palms.

Then, press your thumb gently into one side to make a shallow thumb imprint.

Let it dry and fire normally.

Glaze the top side with the thumb imprint on it. Leave the bottom free of glaze. It's easier to fire, and it creates a nice textural contrast in your hand.

Easy, right. No worries!

I hope you enjoy these fun, cheap pottery projects.

Happy Potting!

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