Native Pottery Replicas


Discover the beauty, and functionality, of ancient Native American pottery! These replicas are a wonderful way to learn more about a culture.


1. Pottery in any culture is an age-old practice that was originally practical and eventually became seen as an art form. Ancient Native American pieces are beautifully decorated ceramics that are not only functional but a pleasure to look at as well. Choose a style of pottery from one Native nation to replicate.

2. Based on the style of the pot, choose an armature such as a recycled container or crumpled aluminum foil. Cover this basic form with a thin Crayola® Model Magic® layer.

3. Add embellishments to your pot by creating ropes, leather cords, feathers, and beads, as appropriate to the culture and time period, and affixing them to your pot. For even edges, cut the compound with Crayola Scissors.

4. One way to make beads is to cut a long piece of fishing line. Make small Model Magic balls and wrap them around the fishing line about half-way down the length. Leave enough fishing line uncovered so you can use it to wrap around the lip of the pot later. Try making different shapes of beads and alternating colors to get different patterns. Another way to make beads is by wrapping the Model Magic compound around short pieces of plastic straws. You can then string your beads any way you like.

5. At the end of a string of beads on Native pottery, there are often large decorative feathers. Roll out Model Magic compound into feathers. Combine different colors for multicolor feathers. Then take a craft stick or other modeling tool to etch in the feather’s vein and the edges. Press the feather on the fishing line at the end of your beads. Cut off any fishing line that sticks out on the bottom. Wrap the extra fishing line around the lip of the pot and tie a knot.

6. You can hide the fishing line by covering the lip with cords or other decorative elements. Adorn your pot with a beautiful rope by braiding three long pieces of Model Magic compound and then wrapping the braid around the lip.

7. Add leather-like cords by rolling out long pieces of Model Magic compound and pressing them a little flat. Then twist and hang them on your pot. Model Magic® dries to the touch overnight and dries completely in 2 to 3 days.

Safety Guidelines

Adult supervision is required for any arts & crafts project. Observe children closely and intervene as necessary to prevent potential safety problems and ensure appropriate use of arts and crafts materials. Some craft items, particularly beads and buttons, are potential choking hazards for young children. Avoid use of such small parts with children younger than 3 years. Craft items such as scissors, push pins and chenille sticks may have sharp points or edges. Avoid use of materials with sharp points by children younger than 4 years. Read all manufacturers' safety warnings before using arts and craft supplies.

Crayola Modeling Materials including Crayola Model Magic®, and Model Magic Fusion™, Crayola Air-Dry Clay, and Crayola Dough—

  • Keep away from open flames. Do not use to make candleholders, hot plates, trivets, or other similar objects that will be used or placed near fire and other heat sources.
  • Do not put in an oven, microwave, or kiln.
  • Do not make into vessels/containers that will hold unpackaged food.
  • The use of modeling material to make items that look like food is discouraged for children younger than age 5 to avoid their confusion with real food.
  • Unless sealed with a water-resistant glaze, do not make projects exposed to or immersed in water, such as boats or outdoor bird feeders. They would disintegrate when exposed to moisture.
  • Crayola Dough—contains gluten (wheat flour) as an ingredient.
  • Crayola Air-Dry Clay, Crayola Model Magic and Model Magic Fusion are gluten-free. However, they are produced on the same machinery as Crayola Dough which does contain gluten. Although the machines are cleaned prior to the start of each production run, there is a slight possibility that trace amounts of gluten from Crayola Dough may be present in the other modeling compound products. For information regarding specific ingredients or allergic concerns, please call our Consumer Affairs department at 1-800-272-9652 weekdays between 9 AM and 4 PM Eastern Standard Time.

Modeling Tools—Use the least dangerous point or edge sufficient to do the job. For example, craft sticks, plastic knives and forks, and cookie cutters can cut or carve modeling materials.

Recycled Containers—Must be clean and safe. Do not use containers that contained bleach or other harmful chemicals (for example, household cleaners, dishwasher or laundry detergents). Do not use recycled metal cans that have sharp edges (for example, lids removed by household can openers).

Scissors—ATTENTION: The cutting edges of scissors are sharp and care should be taken whenever cutting or handling. Blunt-tip scissors should be used only by children 4 years and older. Pointed-tip scissors should be used only by children 6 years and older.

String-Like Materials—Includes string, raffia, lacing, yarn, ribbon, and other similar material. Children 3 years and younger should not be given any string-like material that is longer than 12 inches. Close adult supervision is essential whenever children use string-like material. When crafts are to be worn around the necks of children 8 years and younger, attach the ends of the “string-like material” with clear adhesive tape, which allows easy release of the bond if the craft becomes entangled or caught on equipment. For children older than 8 years, the ends of the “string-like material” may be tied and knotted.

Wood—By its nature, wood is rough and may contain splinters or sharp points


  • Visit a Native American Museum to learn more about ancient tribes and cultures. Read about other Native American customs. Discover local artifacts. Interview contemporary Native Americans. Which traditions do they keep?
  • Explore when students own ancestors immigrated to the United States. From where did they come? How? Why?
  • Create a map of the United States and label where indigenous peoples lived. Display with the pottery, using ribbons to connect pots to their matching geographic areas.
  • Research different indigenous nations in South, Central, and North America. Note their similarities and differences.
  • Assessment: How accurate and detailed are the replica pots? Can children describe characteristics of the native nation from which the tradition developed? Can students locate where these indigenous people lived and can be found today?

Related Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

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crayola supplies
  • Model Magic®
  • Pointed Tip Scissors
household supplies
  • aluminum foil
  • craft sticks
  • modeling tools
  • fishing line
  • thread (optional)
  • plastic drinking straws
  • recycled plastic containers



  • Grades 4 to 6
  • Grades 7 to 12


  • Social Studies
  • Visual Arts


  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Multiple Sessions


  • Students learn about ancient Native American traditions and practices.

  • Students select one type of Native American pottery to duplicate in a hand-made replica.


Research Canada Standards
Research UK Standards
Research U.S. Standards