DIY Clay Tools

Tight budgets and larger class sizes don’t mean clay has to be eliminated from the curriculum. Help ease your budget by repurposing items already in your classroom. Old tools will get a second lease on life and precious budget dollars can be spent on other needed supplies. Create a few of the DIY clay tools located below to expand your ceramic curriculum and give every student in your class the tools for success.

Click on any of the images to enlarge.


Below are clay project ideas collected in Pinterest. Just click on the image to take a closer look.

Hillary Andrlik

Hillary has been teaching art in the Chicago area since 2002 and was named Illinois Elementary Art Educator of the Year in 2012 by the Illinois Art Education Association. She received her art education degree from Illinois State University and masters from National Louis University. She is the co-founder and co-author of The Teaching Palette, a blog authored by art educators for art educators, and the digital editor for Illinois Art Education Association. Hillary's teaching strategies and lessons have been featured in numerous media, including School Arts magazine, and she has made several presentations on art education and technology in front of the Illinois Art Education Association and the National Art Education Association. Follow her on Twitter @hilland


  • September 10, 2011

    Nancy Walkup

    Popsicle sticks and old toothbrushes are also helpful!

  • January 18, 2012


    Amazing post! I’ll be pinning all your photos. I just discovered your blog today via the mini Matisse blog and I will be back.

    Rina (new art blog

  • January 31, 2012


    Hello ladies

    My wire clay cutter broke in the middle of class today. I pulled up my Pinterest with your photos and made a clay cutter on the spot!

    Then I wrote it up on my blog ( today and linked back to this post.

    Thanks again


  • […] Fortunately, I had pinned some great DIY clay tool photos from The Teaching Palette. […]

  • Hillary Andrlik + Theresa McGee
    February 3, 2012

    Hillary Andrlik + Theresa McGee

    Thanks Rina,
    So glad that some of the DYI clay tools worked for you! The whole post was inspired by a former student teacher who got her first teaching position at a school that had no clay tools, but wanted her to teach ceramics. Yikes! So we went through all my homemade tools and built ones I had used in the past and photographed it all.

  • October 9, 2013


    quite helpful, thanks much for sharing

  • March 29, 2015


    You can also use a pin (like for sewing) to make a ball tool

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