At home pottery kits to make your own ceramics, inspired by The Great Pottery Throw Down

It's in your hands, from raw material to a mini masterpiece.

Woman makes clay sculptures at home at her desk

by Natalie Knowles |
Updated on

Get into ceramics, sans the mess, with the best at home pottery kit, and it may just get you fired up to create more. This is a creative hobby idea that is relatively inexpensive and produces great results. With air dry clay, you can create vases, mugs and sculptures with easy-to-follow tutorials and kits that come with tools, paints and brushes so you can finesse your creation.

The Great Pottery Throw Down has inspired us all to have a go at experimenting with clay. The tactile therapeutic benefit of working with this mailable material is for everyone to enjoy. Just like an adult colouring book, having a peaceful and mindful task to focus on can help to relieve stress. Also, working with clay improves hand-eye coordination, cultivates patience and provides a fulfilling outlet for self-expression and artistic exploration.

Best at home pottery kits at a glance:

Best pottery kit for beginners: Sculpd Pottery Kit, Air-Dry Clay Starter Kit for Beginners – Buy now on Amazon UK

Best starter pottery kit for paint and tools: noah Pottery Kit for Beginners – Buy now on Amazon UK
Best pottery kit for sharing with friends: Pott'd Home Air-Dry Clay Pottery Kit for Adults & Beginners – Buy now on Etsy

Whether you're squidging clay with your fingers, or carefully smoothing it with a lighter touch, you can be expressive emotionally and creatively. Enjoy pottery as a solitary activity, offering introspection, or as a bonding experience with loved ones. Recently, at home pottery kits have become a popular date night activity. That has to be down to Ghost and the Potter's wheel scene!

If an art shop or studio is your happy place, the versatility of clay will make you want to roll your sleeves up. Sketch your design first and use coloured pencils to work out a potential colour scheme. Make ornaments, jewellery, bowls, figurines, and decorative items. Use a plethora of sculpting tools to create intricate detailing and textures. After 24-48 hours of air drying you can then paint, varnish or glaze your artwork. You may want to combine more than one creative hobby and decorate your clay creations with block printing. Alternatively, use the paints and varnishes in the kit... or pay another visit to the art store for more (essential) supplies.

Best at home pottery kits

Best pottery kit for beginners

Sculpd Pottery Kit, Air-Dry Clay Starter Kit for BeginnersAmazon/Sculpd
Price: $39.99

Moulding dreams has to start somewhere, and the Sculpd Pottery Kit, Air-Dry Clay Starter Kit for Beginners is a great way to embark on your creative journey. In this set, there is clay and tools for two people to make between four and size small creations. Sculpd's air dry clay is a beautiful light stone colour and smoother than lower quality clays. It's an all-in-one kit, including easy to smooth clay
and varnish so you can waterproof your creations. In particular, Sculpd offers a lot of added value with the access to their online tutorials.

Customer review: "This kit has everything you need to create a pottery creation, and looks simply great. It's packed with tools, guides, some paint and varnish, along with of course a hefty chunk of clay. The air-dry and varnish finish gives an unbelievably professional result, indistinguishable from kiln-dried pieces. Overall this is a fantastic kit that should cater to crafters across the whole range of ages, skills and aims."

Pros

  • Amazon's Choice
  • Excellent starter set
  • Premium quality clay
  • Lots of sets to choose from

Cons

  • Some customers comment that they would have liked more colours of acrylic paint provided

Best starter pottery kit for paint and tools

noah Pottery Kit for BeginnersAmazon/noah
Price: £45

noah invites you to make 'messy memories' with this stylishly curated noah Pottery Kit for Beginners. It's the perfect date night activity, for a relaxing and fun experience. Make your own ceramics with simple-to-follow instructions in order to grasp the basic techniques. Mould your masterpiece and let it dry for 24 hours. Then, paint and varnish with the art materials that are provided in the box. It's a contemporary and fun all-in-one kit that's ideal for inviting friends around for a fun afternoon of crafting. Plus, Youtube tutorials from noah are available for more inspiration.

Customer review: "Came with so much more than I was expecting. The tools look great quality, and there's so much paint, I'm not going to have to worry about running out."

Pros

  • Eco-friendly
  • For beginners
  • Great gift idea
  • Good range of paint colours
  • Premium UK clay that's 100% natural

Cons

  • Customers felt the instructions and tutorials were not in depth enough

Best pottery kit for sharing with friends

Pott'd Home Air-Dry Clay Pottery Kit for Adults & BeginnersEtsy/Pott'd

You don't necessarily knead a potter's wheel in order to make your own bowl or vase. The soul of handmade pottery lies in the imperfections, so embrace every crack and dent for its uniqueness. Go for a rustic aesthetic and make a mug that has your fingerprints all over it. Pott'd Home Air-Dry Clay Pottery Kit for Adults & Beginners invites fun and exploration. Make a trinket bowl or a ring tray, ramekins or table decorations that have a personal touch. The clay dries over the course of 24-48 hours. Personally, we'd love to try out the glitter and metallic paints that come with some kits.

Customer review: "Great communication with this shop owner who answered my questions and promptly delivered a very professional package of pottery – in a lovely box – with all you would need to make something very special and have fun using your creativity."

Pros

  • Etsy's Pick
  • Great date night idea
  • Eco-friendly premium clay
  • Option for different types of paint

Cons

  • Paints cost extra

Best air dry clay

DAS White Air Hardening Modelling ClayAmazon/DAS
Price: $11.92

Perhaps you have all the tools and you're looking for the best air dry clay? Available in white or terracotta, this DAS Air Hardening Modelling Clay is synonymous with art shops and creatives.
It dries within 24 hours and can be painted when it's dry. Mould it into sculpture, jewellery, figures and so much more. In shaping the clay, you are shaping yourself or inspiring a loved one, and this is a quality raw material to start your creative process.

Customer review: "I was tempted to try air dry clay for making some crafts and it surprised me how easy it is to use as it was my first time. The clay started to dry, giving me time to finish my project, and it's quite easy to fix little flaws if you just add a little drop of water and smooth it out. It washes well off your hands too and it doesn't smell of clay at all."

Pros

  • Amazon's Choice
  • Value for money
  • Range of vibrant colours also available
  • For all ages

Cons

  • Expect a bit of a learning curve in order to become skilled

Best rustic home pottery kit

Make your own Deluxe Pottery KitEtsy

Make a decorative mug and necklace with this traditionally designed pottery class in-a-box. This delightful kit provides everything you need and it was put together by professional potter, Laura Hancock. It encourages you not to worry about heavy-handedness and just embrace working with the form. The clay doesn't need firing in a kiln, so you can crack on with your creations, knowing that they won't potentially be damaged in the drying process... unless your cat knocks them off the table.

Customer review: "Great item, everything you need to create a pottery masterpiece, my husband and I had a great time making this for our pottery anniversary date night."

Pros

  • Etsy Star Seller
  • Range of kits available
  • 5/5 in all customer reviews
  • Handmade from a small business

Cons

  • Be aware there's a small delivery charge

Best home pottery kit for contemporary style

'Potter And Paint' Air Drying Clay Pottery KitNot On The High Street

Handcrafted happiness awaits inside this 'Potter And Paint' Air Drying Clay Pottery Kit. Choose from terracotta, stone grey or both clays, in a kit that's been styled to embrace earthy hues plus contemporary curation. Let your creativity take shape with this pottery starter set or gift it to a loved one and start shaping beautiful moments.

Customer review: "Purchased as a gift and they were delighted."

Pros

  • Stylishly designed kit
  • Excellent range of tools and materials
  • Range of natural creative kits available from this shop
  • Gift wrap is available

Cons

  • Not many reviews

Best pottery kit for aspiring ceramicists

Pottery Starter KitNot On The High Street

This Pottery Starter Kit feels like it's been put together by an artist who understands the practical tools are needed working with clay. Hence, there's an apron, sponge and water spraying bottle amongst other top-notch tools. If you or a loved one feel like embarking on a new hobby, this kit encapsulates the aesthetic of an art studio too. Create, relax and indulge in the art of pottery with this starter kit.

Pros

  • Comprehensive range of tools for budding potters
  • Aimed at aspiring ceramicists
  • Premium materials

Cons

  • No customer reviews

Best pottery kit to share with children

Glinco Ultimate Air Dried Clay Pottery Kit for BeginnersAmazon/Glinco
Price: £32.49

Craft together and inspire moments of joy and creation with the Glinco Ultimate Air Dried Clay Pottery Kit. This starter pottery kit is great for beginners and with it's vibrant design would grab the attention of children too. It includes a great range of tools, brushes and paints that are versatile for use in other crafting. But, with clay in their hands, every child is an artist.

Customer review: "This air dry clay kit has everything that you need to get started in clay craft. The kit contains a whole 2kg of air dry clay, which is enough to make several items. A guide book is included but I would suggests covering your creations in clingfilm when not working on them, until you are finished and need to leave it to dry. The kit includes a range of tools, and a set of pots and brushes for finishing your items."

Pros

  • Amazon's Choice
  • Great starter set
  • Vibrant design makes it engaging for children too
  • Ideal for beginners

Cons

  • Instructions are a little basic

Best clay tool set for hobbyists

YZNlife Set of 30 Pottery ToolsAmazon/YZNlife
Price: $20.99

If you've discovered that pottery is your passion, and you want to take it further, investing in this YZNlife Set of 30 Pottery Tools will give you so much more scope for creating unique and detailed sculpture. The kit includes modelling tools, with pointed, rounded or flat nibs for adding details to clay. There are needle tools, for adding fine detail and piercing holes. Plus, so much more. If you're embarking on pottery evening classes or following intermediate online tutorials, this is a great bundle of pottery tools.

Customer review: "Great set for my pottery class. The carry case is handy for keeping everything together and the quality is good. I'm happy with the huge selection of tools as my original set, costing nearly the same amount was lacking."

Pros

  • Amazon's Choice
  • Superb range of tools
  • Some tools are double-sided
  • Compact storage case

Cons

  • Customers comment that the tools do not fit the case very well

Best home pottery wheel for beginners

Mini Pottery Wheel Ebay

To have your very own potter's wheel in the comfort of your own home has to be a dream come true. The great news is that this compact and affordable Mini Pottery Wheel makes it possible to turn small pots. It comes with a range of tools, so you can finesse, plus the number of revolutions is adjustable too. Here's to shaping beautiful moments on your very own potter's wheel.

Pros

  • Take the next step in pottery
  • Make perfectly round pots at home

Cons

  • Will require a level of skill and learning to master

FAQs: At home pottery kit

What do I need for making pottery at home?

When starting out in pottery, consider the availability of space and what tools and materials you will need. Be practical, have a stock of rags, a supply of water and wear an apron. Also, have instructional resources, online tutorials or classes to guide your learning journey. Sculpd's Youtube channel is a great place to start.

How do I use air dry clay?

To use air dry clay, first, knead it to soften and remove air bubbles. Sculpt your desired shape, adding details as needed. Let it air dry completely, typically for 24-48 hours depending on thickness. Once dry, you can paint or varnish as desired. Use our round-up of the best painting kits for adults for inspiration.

Do I need a kiln?

No, you do not need a kiln for air dry clay. Air dry clay dries naturally by exposure to air, eliminating the need for firing in a kiln. Once dried, it retains its shape without further curing processes.

So, I'm serious about pottery, what tools do I need?

If you're getting serious about becoming the next Grayson Perry, there are various pottery shaping tools that you knead to know about. Artists use these tools to manipulate clay into form. Here are some common tools and their uses:

A pottery wheel is a rotating platform used to shape clay. It allows for symmetrical shaping and is commonly used for making bowls, cups and vases.

Throwing ribs or wooden ribs are flat, curved tools used to shape and smooth clay on the wheel.

Loop tools comprise of a wire loop attached to a handle. Use them for trimming excess clay, creating texture and cutting clay.

Modelling tools come in various shapes and help sculpt or add details to clay. Pointed, rounded or flat, they allow for precise shaping. For example, needle tools are thin, pointed tools used for scoring clay, adding fine details and piercing holes.

Sponges smooth surfaces and add or remove moisture from clay during shaping.

A fettling knife is a sharp blade for cutting and trimming clay. It's useful for precise shaping and removing excess material.

A rolling pin is for rolling out clay to a consistent thickness for slab building. There is a complete guide to hand building slab ceramics on Obby, which is essential learning if you don't have a potter's wheel.

Texture mats and rollers create textured patterns on clay surfaces. Press directly onto clay or roll over it to imprint designs.

These tools are versatile and in combination achieve a wide range of shapes, textures and details in pottery. Happy throwing!

Natalie Knowles is a Homes & Garden Product Writer for Yours, specialising in home appliances. When she's not testing sparkling water makers, she flexes her creative flair as an artist.

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