Ceremonial Animal Cup

The Moche (1st Century – 8th Century) made pottery cups for rituals and ceremonies depicting animals, birds and figures. The pots often had a circular handle with a spout at the top for pouring. Make your own creative design based on this style of ancient Peruvian pottery.

Ceremonial Animal Cup

Skill Level

Beginner. Adult supervision needed

Time to Make

1 hour + drying time for glue and paint

Adult Supervision Needed


How to Make

  1. Use a large cardboard plate to make the main pot shape. Cut off a piece card 5-6cm from the edge as a straight base.
  2. To make the pot handle, cut out a circle from the middle of another plate, use either a large or small plate, depending on your design. Cut out an ‘O’ shaped-ring from the middle of the circle, the easiest way is to cut in from the edge.
    Cut out a straight spout for the pot and an animal or bird head shape. The markings on the plates are useful as a guide for cutting out circles, or you could draw around a lid or cup.
  3. Arrange the cut outs together with the white sides facing up to check the size and shapes of the pieces. Glue the top of the pot over the ring handle with the spout on top. Glue the animal head and other features in place. Leave to dry. Trim off the corners.
  4. Mix a light brown base colour from brown, white and yellow or orange. Use a piece of sponge to cover the cardboard shape with paint. Leave to dry.
  5. Lightly draw some guidelines for the animal in pencil then fill in the design with darker brown paint or mix up some earth colours. Paint with a brush, sponge or fingerprints.
Ceremonial Animal Cup Ceremonial Animal Cup Ceremonial Animal Cup

Top Tip

Place a lid, saucer or small tile underneath the plate when you paint it to support the middle.

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