Big Ceramic Store Blog

Stoneware Pilgrim Hat Napkin Holder

Just in time for Thanksgiving... Pilgrim hat napkin holder! They are really easy to make, take very little material, and can be dressed up or plain and simple.

All you need is some clay, a ruler, paper, pin tool, rolling pin, and a clay circle cutter or round template. Depending on how you want to finish it, underglaze, glaze, or acrylic paints are also needed.

Let's head to the studio and make one for your Thanksgiving dinner table. Ps... our next post will be decorative flatware holders that can be dressed up for any holiday!

The first thing you need to do is create a template for the hat body, which will be the sides on the napkin holder.

  • Draw a 6" x 6" square on a piece of poster board or cardboard


  • Measure in 3/4" from each side at the top and draw a line from the bottom corner to that mark


  • Cut out your shape

Once you've created a template, you need to roll a slab of clay roughly 1/4" thick, and large enough to cut 2 of these pieces. Once you cut them out, slightly round them. I find it helps them stand up easier and they have less tendency to "suck in" at the top during firing.

Next, make the band and a buckle.

Then, roll a second slab large enough to cut out a 9" circle for the hats brim (ultimately the base for your napkin holder.) I use a circle cutter however, you can just as easily use a needle tool and a circular template.

Once you have all your pieces cut, you can start to form the holder.

  • Lay the brim of the hat (the circular piece you cut out) over a hump mold, paper plate, etc... to shape it a little. This will also help prevent the edges warping during firing.
  • I do the underglazing at this point
  • Next, set the body pieces on the brim and make a mark around where they set the best
    • Note: they may need to be trimmed slightly for a good fit. I like to shave mine with a Mudtools Shredder


  • Score inside your marks, and the bottoms of the hat pieces


  • Apply slip or magic water and attach them. I also use a coil of clay on both the inside and outside to make sure it's secure


  • Finish underglazing if that's how you chose to decorate it
  • Set it aside to dry for a few days then fire it

Super cute and festive for Thanksgiving. I'm sure your guests will all comment on it, and don't forget, our next post will be decorative flatware holders that can be dressed up for any holiday!

If you'd like to share your ideas, projects, or submit a post for our blog, email us at! We look forward to hearing from you! Ps... you can send us your pictures at that address as well!


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