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How to Make Clay Bowls

Easy and simple how to make clay bowls using air-dry clay. Make this heart shaped bowl to give as a gift, use as a holiday decoration, or home decor.

Display of an easy DIY heart shaped bowl

This how to make clay bowls project is my second air-dry clay craft and I am hooked. There is something therapeutic about working with clay.

After making this heart garland DIY I knew I wanted to make another heart clay project. I thought a bowl would be a good idea and so cute, not just any bowl, but a vintage linen-textured heart-shaped bowl. My heart shaped cookie cutters are getting a workout this year!

So off to the work table I went to find the easiest, foolproof way for an easy DIY clay bowl to share with you. Let's get started making a vintage air-dry clay bowl.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you make a purchase using the links below. All opinions are all my own.

How to Make Clay Bowls

To begin, your first step is to gather all your supplies, and then we will dive into the steps on making these small bowls.

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Now let's talk about how to make a simple clay bowl and then we will work on each step together.

How Do You Make a Simple Clay Bowl?

Probably the easiest way to make a simple clay bowl is with air-dry clay, also known as modeling clay, and that is the technique we are going to try today. This type of clay is easy to work with and the best part is you don't need any fancy equipment and your hands will do most of the work. Now here are the steps on making a beautiful clay bowl with air dry clay.

DIY Clay Bowls

The first thing you will need to do is warm up the clay in your hands. The amount of clay should be about the size of a small orange and start rolling it around in your hand in a circular motion.

DIY clay bowls

Next lay the ball of clay on the table or other nice flat surface and use the palm of your hand to pat it out. Keep pressing into the clay until it is around a quarter of an inch thick. You can lift it from the paper and turn it over while you press it out.

Pressing air dry clay on a table

Now take your rolling pin and roll out the clay from the center. Keep rolling and turning the clay until you have it rolled out about 1/8″ thin, but no less.

How to make a clay bowl by rolling out air dry clay

Turn the dowel in different directions to keep the round shape of the clay and keep rolling from the center until it is big enough for a cookie-cutter.

Rolling out clay to make a heart shape

Once the clay is rolled out enough for the cookie cutter to fit into it, then you are ready to cut the heart shape. Simply sit the cookie cutter on the clay and press down. Then wiggle it right and left to help make the cut even.

Cookie cutter heart used to cut air dry clay

Next, remove the excess clay from around the edges of the cookie cutter. You can also remove the cookie cutter first and then remove the excess but this time I removed the excess first. Put the leftover clay aside to use another time.

How to make an air dry clay bowl with cookie cutter

Follow by removing the cookie cutter from around the heart. Pull straight up gently and carefully so you keep the shape of the heart.

DIY cookie cutter clay bowl

Now you should be able to pull the modeling clay heart from the paper. Use your finger to pat or smooth any loose edges. If it is rougher than you like you can dampen your finger and smooth it out even more.

DIY air dry clay heart

If you are happy with your clay heart now sit it back on the table and grab the loose weave fabric. Set the fabric on the clay making sure to cover the surface of the clay completely.

How Do I Add Texture to Clay

How to make texture on air dry clay

Now run the dowel over the fabric making sure to press into the clay but not so much you lose the shape of the heart. When you are finished pull the fabric up from one end to reveal the pattern on the clay. It's the small things like this step that are a wonderful way to make your heart shaped bowl unique.

Adding texture with fabric on air dry clay heart

If your clay heart is ready, then it is time to start shaping it into a bowl. Sit your bowl upside down on the table and dust it lightly with flour. You do not need very much, just a little so the clay heart will not stick to the glass bowl. Now turn the heart upside down and center it on a bowl that is larger than the clay heart.

How to Make a Bowl Shape out of Modeling Clay

Modeling clay heart placed over a bowl

Next start working the clay around the edges. I did this gently and took my time. This will make a shallow bowl, do not stretch the clay simply mold it down a little at a time, turning the bowl as you go.

Molding clay around a bowl

Once the clay is down over the bowl you will let it sit for 2 to 3 days.

After the heart shape clay bowl is dry, remove it carefully from the bowl and turn it over. Dust it off with a dry cloth or clean dry artist paintbrush and you are ready to paint it.

Dust the pot with a dry rag

Next, simply add any paint you desire to the inside and outside of the bowl. I am using some wall paint I had laying around the house by Sherwin Williams called Repose Gray. But you can use chalk paint, acrylic paint, milk paint, or pretty much any kind of paint.

Paint the heart tray with neutral colored paint

Now you can go one step further and add a design inside the bowl or another good idea is to brush on some Rub ‘n Buff like I did on the heart garland but I wanted a simple bowl that would show off the beautiful textured pattern. The fun part is all the different ways you can decorate your heart-shaped bowl. The end results are as unique as you are.


What did you think of this simple, how to make clay bowls, project? It is truly very easy and does not take a lot of time. I want to encourage you to give it a try.

Here are a few fun ideas for decorating with your air-dry clay heart-shaped bowl. These little bowls are the perfect size to use in a bathroom as a jewelry bowl.

Decorate your bathroom with a heart shaped bowl.

It would look adorable on an end table with candy inside of it or even a place to drop loose change. Another great idea is that it would make a charming handmade gift for Valentine's day. This is definitely one of my favorite DIY projects, so versatile!

Add candy to a small bowl

Whether for decorative purposes or a handmade gift, I am so glad you are going to give this DIY project a try. If you're looking for more great gift ideas for Valentine's day, try my best Valentine gift guide.

And if you want more Valentine decoration ideas, try my best Valentine day decorations for the home post. It is full of ideas and DIYs.

Good luck and please share in the comments if you do make it. I would love to hear how it went and the wonderful ways you used the bowl.

Happy Decorating!

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