How to Make a Mug

How to Make a Mug image by Photo Courtesy of Shdt/

Making a mug requires no prior pottery skills. This is a great aspect of pottery in an age when a working knowledge of tech is required in virtually every activity. Follow the steps below to learn how to make a beautiful mug.


Step 1

Create a clay slab from which the three main pieces of the mug will be formed. This requires rolling the clay out into a flat, tablet-like shape.

Step 2

Press the wide-mouthed glass into the clay. Place the glass towards the edge of the slab. Leave enough room to make a long rectangle. Turn the glass into the clay until it reaches the cloth. Rotate the glass to cut the clay. Remove the circle with your fingers or a plastic knife.

Step 3

Cut out a long rectangle from the slab. Make the rectangle as long as you can with the existing slab. The height of the rectangle will determine the height of the mug. Use a ruler to make straight lines. Remove the rectangle shape from the slab.

Step 4

Score the perimeter of the clay circle using the plastic knife. Make cross hatch marks along the edges. This scoring will help the next piece of clay adhere better. Score the bottom edge of the rectangle as well.

Step 5

Stand the rectangle shape of clay on top of the circle to form the vertical sides of the mug. Attach the scored edge of the rectangle to the scored edges of the circle. Curve the rectangle of clay around the circle until the edges meet. Trim off any excess clay. Score the two edges of the rectangle before fusing them together by pinching them gently.

Step 6

Rub your fingers gently over the seam to make it disappear. Smooth out any bumps or appearances of the edges of the clay. Do the same to the part of the mug where the rectangle meets the circle. Use a combination of rubbing and pinching to smooth out the bottom of the mug.

Step 7

Roll out a small ball of clay to make a ball. Roll the ball between your palms to make a snake, or a long strip of clay. When the coil is the desired thickness, attach it to the edge of the mug where the seam is. Score the edges of the handle where it will be attached.

Tips and Warnings

The slab of clay should be even for proper drying. The ruler can be pressed into the clay to cut the rectangle out of the clay slab. Do not pour liquid into a non-kiln fired mug. Do not add extra water to the clay while hand-forming the mug. Do not make the handle too thin.

Things You'll Need

Ball of clay, Rolling pin, Plastic knife, Piece of cloth, A large-mouthed glass, Ruler

About this Author

Pam Gaulin has been writing professionally since 1990. Her work has appeared on websites such as ModernMom, TheFrisky, Zappos and Her previous positions include editor of "Web Site Source Book," project leader for a K-12 database, business writer for a newsletter publisher and Happenings editor for "The Valley Advocate." Gaulin holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Massachusetts.

Photo by: Photo Courtesy of Shdt/

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