Clay Owls

I'm not gonna lie-- I saw these owls on a school's website and loved them, so I came up with my own method for making them. I did these with 1st graders this year & they turned out great.

Supplies: waxed paper (I order a huge roll and use it all year. It is a great work surface!), rolling pin (mine is from Bed, Bath, & Beyond), tapestry needles for cutting, school sized straws, texture plates, clay, water, seashell, glazes, kiln.

I use Amaco White Art Clay #25. It bique fires to a pure white and makes glazes look fabulous.

Texture plates.

I get these register tape receipt rolls from my parents, who own a business.
They make awesome eyes.

We use tapestry needles to cut our clay. I'm not sure where I learned this. Ohio State maybe?

Using the tapestry needle, cut around the oval pattern. Remove excess clay.

Place a texture plate on the bottom half of the clay and roll over top to transfer the design.

Peel back the texture plate to reveal the magic.

Fold the top half of the clay oval down to form the head.

Using your thumb and index finger, pinch an ear/horn on each top corner.

Cut out a triangle shape for the beak, score & slip it in to place.

Use the register roll and make the eyes. Be sure not to press too hard or the clay will stick!

To make the wings, cut out 2 capital D shapes from clay.

Using the needle, cut away 3 triangles from the straight edge.

Remove excess clay, smooth edges.

Score & slip the wings into place, under the head.

These are the beginning shapes to make for the feet. (the triangle on the right is the beak).

Notch out the claws.

Score & slip the feet into place.

You may have to smooth out the claws a little.

Now for the feathers. Use the back of a scalloped seashell.

Press the edge into the clay on the head and wings to make the feathery texture.

Almost done!

A teacher once gave me a surplus of drinking straws that she had cut in half for counting sticks. They work perfectly to make holes in clay. These are the same drinking straws the kids use in the cafeteria.

Twist the straw to make 2 holes at the top of the owl's head for hanging.


A Parliament of owls. (Yes, this is the correct term- I Googled it!)
I made 20 owls to be used as thank you's for our volunteers at the Arts Festival.
Allow to completely dry, bisque fire, and glaze.
Don't forget to add a pretty piece of yarn for hanging.

I LOVE these glazes- Amaco Crystaltex, Mayco Crystalites, and Sax Crystal Magic.

Here are some of the beautiful colors:

Some gorgeous creatures...


  1. 與其爭取不可能得到的東西,不如善自珍惜運用自己所擁有的........................................

  2. Oh wow! I totally love these! What a great find those register rolls turned out to be! A parliament of owls? Well there you go, I've discovered something new today! :) Thanks!

  3. These ARE really cute. Thanks for posting about the glazes. I'm always curious what other people are using.

  4. Thanks for this great instructable on how to make adorable owls! If you don't mind, I want to borrow this idea for beginning clay project for my 6th graders! It teaches the score/slip and slab beautifully and can be done in one class period! Wonderful!!

  5. Beautiful! I've been creating owls with my second grader for several years. With your technique I've learned a different way to create the feet. Thanks! We usually create a brand and wrap the claw around the branch, score and slip each piece and add it to the owls.

  6. Great project!
    The owls look amazing.
    Thanks for the step by step instructions.

  7. I am a second grade teacher and I have an owl themed classroom this year! This will be perfect. I hope the community college will let us use their kiln again this year!

  8. wonderful, waiting for my kiln to be repaired,I think the pyramids were built faster!


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