FANTASTICAL CLAY ANIMALS – Inspired by Alebrijes

Students learn about Mexican alebrije folk art sculptures and use air dry clay and acrylic paint to create their own fantastical animal.

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FANTASTICAL CLAY ANIMALS – Inspired by Alebrijes


  • Crayola Paint Brushes - 5 Count
  • Crayola Acrylic Paint - 6 Count
  • Crayola Neon Washable Project Paint - 10 Count
  • Crayola Air Dry Clay - White - about .5 kg (1 lb) per student
  • Water Containers
  • Plastic Placemats - 1 per student
  • Plastic Bags - 1 per student
  • Paper Towels
  • Pencils
  • Paper Clips
  • Masking Tape


Step 1
  1. Make 2 small balls of clay about the size of a clementine orange.
Step 2
  1. Make 2 pinch pots using steps 1 – 4 in the lesson plan available on this website at
    How to Make a Clay Pinch Pot
Step 3
  1. Score the rims of the pots using a pin tool.
    - Make a pin tool by taping an open paperclip to the end of a pencil.
Step 4
  1. Brush slip onto the rims of both pots.
    - Make slip by mixing some clay with water until it is the thickness of a creamy milkshake.
Step 5
  1. Hold one pinch pot in each hand.
  2. Join the rims together with a slight twisting motion.
Step 6
  1. Use your thumbnail to scrape the clay from one pot to the other over the joint.
Step 7
  1. Smooth the surface with your fingers.
  2. If the clay seems a bit dry, try adding a tiny amount of slip on the tips of your fingers and work it into the surface.
Step 8
  1. Use score and slip technique to join pieces of clay to the spheroid.
  2. Carefully add details to make your animal fantastical.
  3. Allow the animal to dry for about 1 week.
  4. Place a plastic bag loosely over the animal to slow the drying down for the first 2 days.
    - This will help prevent the thinner pieces of clay from drying too quickly and breaking away from the rest of the animal.
Step 9
  1. Once the animal is completely dry, use acrylic and neon paints to paint it.
  2. Remember to cover the animal with lots of bright patterns.
  3. Use both ends of the brush to make different marks.
    - The neon paint may need several coats depending on the colour.
Step 10
  1. Try using the point of a pencil or cake decorating tool to make small dots.
Illustrated Crayon Character