Delicate Place Card Holders

Delicate Place Card Holders lesson plan

Porcelain clay has been used to create delicate, beautiful works of art for centuries. Create miniature gift sculptures such as these holders for name cards.

  • 1.

    Porcelain clay is a beautiful white clay whose use was first developed in China. Delicate tableware and sculptures and strong electrical insulators and laboratory equipment are made with clay. Porcelain has two natural parts: kaolin (a pure white clay that is a byproduct of feldspar) and petuntse (a kaolin found only in China). Research the long history of porcelain in China.

  • 2.

    To recreate the look and feel of porcelain, try easy-to-use Crayola® Air-Dry Clay. For example, you can make small sculptures, such as these place card holders for meals with guests. Do your sculpting on a clean, dry surface.

  • 3.

    For each holder, form flower petals with small ovals of clay. Press several petals of various sizes together to form each flower. Bunch several flowers into a small bouquet. Add leaves to the base. If the clay starts to dry as you work, just add a bit of water.

  • 4.

    On a small ball of clay, press a flat bottom. Press your flowers onto this base. Use a note card to make an angled indentation for a place card. Air-dry for at least 3 days.

  • 5.

    Cover your art area with newspaper. Paint your card holder with Crayola Watercolors and Watercolor Brushes. Use as many coats as you need to achieve a delicate, porcelain-like effect. Air-dry the paint between coats.

  • 6.

    Cut construction paper place cards with Crayola Scissors. Write each person’s name in fancy letters with Crayola Markers. What a beautiful way to celebrate a meal with your family or friends.


  • Children research the history of clay and the invention of porcelain in China.
  • Children compare and contrast the attributes of porcelain clay to Crayola Air-Dry Clay.
  • Children create unique, porcelain-like sculptures that make excellent gifts.


  • Research the geology of China and determine the factors that allow for both kaolin and petuntse. Find out about China’s export of porcelain.
  • Display vessels and other objects made with Chinese porcelain, both contemporary and historic. If possible, visit a museum to see examples. Watch a potter at work and follow the entire process for firing and decorating porcelain.
  • Explore various traditional china objects and the imagery used in those objects. Assemble a collage with these images.
  • Assessment: Observe whether children follow the steps and techniques described. Ask them to assess their own progress in making and decorating their place-card holders.