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DIY Clay Gnome

These cute DIY clay gnomes are so easy to make using air dry clay or foam clay. All you need is clay and a few clay tools to easily make these small figurines.

We made these handmade Valentines Day gnomes using colors of red, pink and white clay. However, you could make these DIY gnomes any time of the year by choosing other colors of clay.

Two little clay gnomes on a piece of paper.

While we made miniature clay gnomes, you can use this same tutorial to make large gnomes. Just use larger pieces of clay.

Be sure to see our cute toilet paper tube gnome couple for Valentines Day, too!

Diy clay gnomes with the text diy clay gnomes.

How to Make Clay Gnomes


  • Air dry clay or foam clay (we suggest getting a multi-color pack so that you have colors to choose from)
  • Clay tools (this 14-pack is very inexpensive!)
A package of pink and red paint and a pair of scissors to make a Clay Gnome.


Step 1

You will need 4 different colored clays for this craft:

  • Nose
  • Hat
  • Dress or shirt
  • Hair or beard 
  • Hearts and buttons (can be any of the shades above or different ones)

Take pieces of clay large enough for each part then roll them into smooth ball shapes.

Clay Gnome Step 1 A group of colorful eggs.

Step 2

Using the color you chose for the dress or shirt, roll it into a cylinder like shape.

Clay Gnome Step 2 A small red bead on a white surface.

Step 3

Use a round object or clay tool to make a small hole in one end of the cylinder-like clay shape. This will be bottom side of the gnome.

While making the hole, also make sure that end of the cylinder shape is flattened. This will be the side where the gnome stands on.

Clay Gnome Step 3 A pink plastic spoon next to a red plastic spoon.

Step 4

Next, it’s time to make the hair.

For the boy gnome, shape a piece of thin clay into the shape of a beard. Using a clay tool, add vertical lines in the clay to complete the beard

For the girl gnome, take a small amount of clay and roll it into a very thin rope.

Clay Gnome Step 4 A black stick on a white surface.

Step 5

Divide the thin clay rope into 3 equal parts. Join them together at one end by pinching the ends together.

Clay Gnome Step 5 A pair of black twigs on a white surface.

Step 6

Make a braided pattern with the 3 parts of clay, being very gentle and careful. Repeat the process to make a second braid.

Clay Gnome Step 6 A black and red braid on a white surface.

Step 7

Clay Gnome Step 7 A red and black braided egg next to a red ball.

Take a small amount of clay (we used the same color that we made the dress out of) and make very thin rectangle pieces. Attach the thin clay pieces as ribbons at the open ends of the braids.

Step 8

Take a very small piece of clay used for the nose and roll into a small ball.

Clay Gnome Step 8 A red egg, a black egg, and a white egg.

Attach the clay nose near the top end of the clay body.

Clay Gnome Step 9 A red egg and braids.

Step 9

For the boy gnome, press the beard onto the body around the nose.

For the girl gnome, press the 2 clay braids on both sides of the nose, overlapping the braids on top of the head.

Clay Gnome Step 10 A red and grey plasticine figure.

Step 10

Take a piece of the clay that will be used for the hat.

Clay Gnome Step 11 A pink ball on a white surface.

Roll into a ball. Then make a pointy edge on the top end of the hat clay.

Clay Gnome Step 12 A pink object on a white surface.

Step 11

Push the wide side of the clay hat inwards using the tip of your thumb.

Clay Gnome Step 13 A pink object on a white surface.

Step 12

Attach the clay hat on the top side of the clay gnome body pattern. Cover the top parts of the nose and braids (or beard) by pressing down and molding the clay hat.

Clay Gnome Step 14 A small figurine with a pink hat on a white surface.

Step 13

Make a small clay heart with a complimentary color of clay. Attach to the middle of the hat.

For the girl gnome, roll very tiny pieces of clay into small balls and press onto the front of the dress in a vertical pattern.

Clay Gnome Step 16 A small figurine of a clay gnome wearing a pink hat.
Clay Gnome Step 15 A small figurine of a gnome with a heart on it.

Be sure to Pin This tutorial to save for later and to share with others!

Diy gnomes using clay.

If you like DIY gnome crafts you will want to see these ideas next:

Patti L

Monday 15th of January 2024

I love these! Great instructions and I think I am going to make a few of these to put on my coworkers desks and work stations for Valentine's Day. Can I use white air dry clay and paint it when it is dry? Or tint the white clay with acrylic paint?


Tuesday 16th of January 2024

You could paint the clay after it is dried, but it might absorb a lot of paint. I haven't tried that, but thinking that might be the case. I'd suggest trying to tint it first. Let us know how it worked if you try it!


Monday 15th of January 2024

These are really cute!


Monday 15th of January 2024

Thank you, Lynn!!!


Monday 15th of January 2024

I love this idea! Darling gnomes that don't require expensive setup supplies and machines.


Monday 15th of January 2024

Right? No sewing is a plus, too! So easy to make with clay!


Monday 15th of January 2024

Love these! Especially the braids


Monday 15th of January 2024

Thanks Barbara!