Ever found yourself itching to create something beautifully unique, entirely by your own hands? I found myself in quite the same boat not too long ago. My fondness for pottery and a curious ear for novel sounds nudged me towards the discovery of clay ocarinas.

These handcrafted ceramic musical instruments are more than just carriers of soulful tunes; they’re a testament to human creativity and artistry. In this blog post, I’m thrilled to share a detailed step-by-step guide that will help you shape your very own ocarina from scratch.

So come on, let’s dive into this exciting DIY adventure together!

Key Takeaways

  • Making an ocarina using clay is a fun and creative DIY project.
  • You will need clay, a mold or template, a rolling pin, sculpting tools, and sandpaper to make your own ocarina.
  • Step-by-step instructions include preparing the clay, shaping the body of the ocarina, creating the mouthpiece and adding holes, refining and smoothing the surface, letting the clay dry and harden, and finishing touches such as sanding/polishing or painting/glazing.
  • Once you’ve finished crafting your ocarina, don’t forget to explore different playing techniques and experiment with different sounds.

Materials and Tools Needed

A potter creates ceramic sculptures with various faces, hair styles, and outfits.

To make an ocarina using clay, you will need the following materials and tools: clay, a mold or template, a rolling pin, sculpting tools, and sandpaper.


A hand holding <a href=air-dry clay surrounded by sculpting tools and various artworks.” title=”A hand holding air-dry clay surrounded by sculpting tools and various artworks.” class=”awimage” />

You’ll need clay to start making your ocarina. It’s a cool material that you can shape with your hands. Make sure it is the right kind for sculpting and is safe to use. I suggest using air-dry clay if you’re just starting out.

This type of clay is easy to handle and doesn’t need a kiln to harden, so it’s great for beginners! You could also go for ceramic or pottery clay if you have more skills in crafting with this type of stuff.

Now, take the clay and pound it until it’s about the size of an orange ball, no larger than that!

Mold or Template

Making an ocarina using clay requires a mold or template to help shape the body of the instrument. This is important because it ensures that the ocarina has the correct size and shape for proper sound production.

A mold or template acts as a guide, allowing you to create consistent and symmetrical ocarinas. You can either make your own mold by sculpting it out of clay or find pre-made templates online.

When using a mold, you simply press the clay onto it and use your hands to shape it according to the mold’s contours. This way, you can easily create multiple ocarinas with consistent dimensions.

Rolling Pin

To shape the clay for your ocarina, you’ll need a rolling pin. It’s a handy tool that helps flatten the clay to an even thickness. Start by placing a small piece of clay on your work surface and gently roll it out with the rolling pin.

You want the clay to be about 1/4 inch thick for easy handling and shaping. Make sure you apply even pressure as you roll, so the clay is smooth and consistent in thickness. The rolling pin makes it easier to work with the clay and ensures that your ocarina will have a uniform shape.

Sculpting Tools

A set of sculpting tools neatly arranged on a workbench.

To create your own ocarina out of clay, you’ll need a few sculpting tools. These tools will help you shape and refine the clay to get the desired form for your instrument. Some essential sculpting tools include a wooden modeling tool, a wire loop tool, and a needle tool.

The wooden modeling tool is great for smoothing surfaces and creating curves, while the wire loop tool can be used to carve out holes or details. The needle tool is handy for making precise lines or adding texture to your ocarina.

Make sure to have these tools on hand before you start crafting your clay ocarina!


A person sanding an ocarina on a worktable surrounded by tools.

When it comes to making an ocarina out of clay, sandpaper is a handy tool to have. Sandpaper helps in refining and smoothing the surface of the instrument, giving it a polished look.

After shaping and adding the holes to your clay ocarina, you can use sandpaper to gently rub away any rough edges or imperfections. Start with a coarse grit sandpaper and gradually move on to a finer grit for a smoother finish.

Remember, be patient and take your time when sanding to avoid damaging the clay. Sanding with care will give your handmade ocarina that professional touch before moving on to the next steps of painting or glazing and adding decorative elements.

Step-by-Step Guide to Making an Ocarina

A pair of hands shaping clay into an ocarina on a pottery wheel.

To start, prepare the clay by kneading it until it is soft and pliable. Then, shape the body of the ocarina by rolling out a pound-sized ball of clay into a smooth oval shape using a rolling pin.

Preparing the Clay

First, I get a pound of clay and shape it into a small ball. Then, using my hands and a rolling pin, I flatten the clay into a round disc about the size of an orange. Next, I place the disc on a cradle or bowl to keep it stable while I work.

To make sure the clay doesn’t stick to my hands or tools, I use some water mixed with slip (a liquid form of clay) as lubricant. This helps me mold and shape the clay more easily. Once the clay is soft and pliable, I’m ready to move on to shaping the body of the ocarina.

Shaping the Body of the Ocarina

To shape the body of the ocarina, start by taking a pound of clay and rolling it into a ball about the size of an orange. Then, use your hands to flatten the ball slightly and make it into a bowl shape.

Next, create a small cradle in the center of the bowl where you will place your thumbs while playing. Use your fingers to smooth out any unevenness and make sure everything is symmetrical.

Don’t forget to create a small hole at the bottom for sound to escape from. Keep referring back to pictures or templates if needed as you shape your ocarina.

Creating the Mouthpiece

To create the mouthpiece of your clay ocarina, take a small piece of clay and roll it into a cylinder shape. Press one end of the cylinder onto the body of the ocarina to attach it securely.

Use your fingers or sculpting tools to shape the mouthpiece so that it feels comfortable on your lips. Make sure there is a small opening for you to blow air into. Smooth out any rough edges with sandpaper or water, and let it dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Remember, the mouthpiece is an important part of creating a beautiful sound with your homemade ocarina!

Adding the Holes

A person making holes in a clay ocarina with a small tool.

To add the holes to your clay ocarina, you will need a small tool or straw. Carefully press the tool into the body of the ocarina where you want each hole to be. Make sure they are evenly spaced and not too close together.

These holes will determine the different pitches that your ocarina can make when played. Once you have added all the holes, gently smooth any rough edges with your fingers or a damp cloth.

This step is essential for creating a well-functioning instrument and ensuring that each note sounds clear and crisp. Take your time with this step to get it just right before moving on to refining and smoothing the surface of your ocarina.

– Adding Decorative Elements

After adding all of the necessary holes, it’s time to make your ocarina look even more beautiful by adding decorative elements! You can use small sculpting tools or other clay modeling accessories to create patterns, designs, or symbols on the surface of your ocarina.

Let your creativity shine! Keep in mind that these decorations should not interfere with playing or affect how sound travels through the instrument. So be mindful of where you place them so as not to block any soundholes or alter their shape in any way.

Once you’re satisfied with how it looks, set it aside and let it dry completely before moving on to sanding and polishing for a smooth finish.

Refining and Smoothing the Surface

A potter delicately smoothes the surface of an ocarina on a pottery wheel.

Once you have shaped the body of your ocarina and added the holes, it’s time to refine and smooth the surface. This step is important for giving your ocarina a polished look and ensuring a comfortable playing experience.

To do this, you can use sandpaper to gently sand down any rough edges or imperfections on the clay surface. Start with a coarse grit sandpaper to remove larger bumps or uneven areas, then gradually move to finer grits for a smoother finish.

Be careful not to apply too much pressure or sand too aggressively, as this could damage the shape of your ocarina. Once you’re satisfied with the smoothness of the surface, wipe away any dust with a damp cloth or sponge.

Letting the Clay Dry and Harden

Once you have finished shaping your clay ocarina and adding all the necessary holes, it’s important to let the clay dry and harden. This process is crucial for ensuring that your ocarina becomes strong and durable.

Allowing the clay to air dry naturally is recommended, as this helps prevent cracking or warping during the drying process. Find a safe spot where you can place your ocarina to dry undisturbed for at least 24-48 hours.

Keep in mind that larger ocarinas may require more time to fully dry. Once your ocarina feels firm to the touch and no longer feels cool or damp, it should be ready to move on to the next step of finishing touches and decoration.

Finishing Touches and Decoration

After letting the clay dry and harden, it’s time to add those final touches that will make your ocarina truly unique. Start by sanding the surface of the clay to smooth out any rough spots or imperfections.

Then, you can choose to paint or glaze your ocarina in any color or design you desire. Don’t forget to add decorative elements like carvings or patterns for an extra special touch.

Sanding and Polishing

A craftsman sands a clay ocarina on a workbench.

Once the clay ocarina has dried and hardened, it’s time to sand and polish it. This step is essential for giving your instrument a smooth and professional finish. Start by using fine-grit sandpaper to gently rub the surface of the ocarina.

This will help remove any rough edges or imperfections. Be sure to sand evenly all around the instrument to achieve a consistent texture. After sanding, wipe away any dust with a clean cloth or sponge.

Then, you can apply a coat of polish or glaze to enhance its appearance and protect the clay. This final touch will give your handcrafted ocarina a beautiful shine that’s ready for playing.

Here are some tips:

1) Use fine-grit sandpaper for smoother results.

2) Sand evenly all around the ocarina.

Painting or Glazing

A photograph of hands holding a colorful ocarina surrounded by art supplies.

Now it’s time to add some color and shine to your ocarina! After the clay has dried and hardened, you can paint or glaze it. This will not only make your ocarina look beautiful but also protect it from moisture.

You can use acrylic paints in various colors to create a design that reflects your style and personality. Apply thin layers of paint using a small brush, allowing each layer to dry before adding another one.

If you prefer a glossy finish, you can choose to glaze your ocarina instead. Glazing involves applying a special ceramic coating that will give your instrument an elegant shine. Simply dip or brush on the glaze following the manufacturer’s instructions, then let it dry completely.

Adding Decorative Elements

A potter creating ceramic art with decorative tools in a studio.

Once you’ve finished shaping and refining your ocarina, it’s time to add some decorative elements to make it truly unique. You can start by sanding the surface with sandpaper to make it smooth and prepare it for painting or glazing.

Choose colors that reflect your style or match the theme of your ocarina.

If you want to take it a step further, you can also add decorative designs using sculpting tools or stamps. Create intricate patterns, symbols, or even personalize it with your initials.

Be creative and have fun with this part!

Lastly, once you’re satisfied with the decorations, let the paint or glaze dry completely before proceeding to the next steps. This will ensure that everything stays intact and won’t smudge or chip off easily.

Curing and Firing the Ocarina

To finish the process of making an ocarina, it needs to be cured and fired. Here are the steps for curing and firing:.

– Place the finished clay ocarina in a cool, dry place.

– Let it air dry for about 24 to 48 hours until it is completely dry.

– Once dry, carefully move the ocarina to a kiln or oven that can reach high temperatures.

– Preheat the kiln or oven according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

– Place the ocarina inside and fire it at a low temperature (around 1500°F) for several hours.

– Gradually increase the temperature over time to ensure even heating.

– Keep an eye on the ocarina during firing to avoid any cracks or breakages.

– After reaching peak temperature (typically around 2000°F), let it sit in cooling down slowly.

Remember, patience is key when curing and firing your handmade ocarina!

Conclusion and Tips for Playing the Ocarina

In conclusion, making an ocarina using clay can be a fun and rewarding DIY project. With just a few simple materials and steps, you can create your very own ceramic musical instrument.

Once you’ve finished crafting your ocarina, don’t forget to explore different playing techniques and experiment with different sounds. Let your creativity soar as you make beautiful music with your handmade ocarina!


1. What is an ocarina in clay art projects?

An ocarina is a handmade clay flute and part of the DIY musical instrument section in many clay art projects.

2. Can I make an Ocarina with basic pottery techniques?

Yes, you can create your own ocarina using basic clay pottery techniques as part of a step-by-step guide on sculpting musical instruments.

3. What are steps to follow while crafting with clay for an ocarina?

A step-by-step guide involves molding process for the ‘belly’ or main body, creating sound hole and applying other detailed pottery techniques all specific to your DIY Ocarina tutorial.

4. Is there any special supply needed for making an Ocarina?

No extra supplies beyond what you use when crafting with clay are needed during Ocarina making, except maybe some patience!

5. How does one learn how to make an Ocarina using Clay?

You can learn how to make an Ocarina by following a Step-by-Step Guide on Clay Instrument Making which could be found online very easily.