Introduction: Purposeful Prickly Porcupine Toothpick Holder

A fun air dry clay craft project which is functional too! A perfect addition to any party table.

Materials needed:

Plus Air Dry Clay in Terra cotta

Clean work-space with paper or cotton sheeting

Small cup of water


Mini Popsicle stick (dollar store)

Mini cupcake paper

Black permanent marker

Clear acrylic sealer

Step 1: Make a Pinch Pot

To make this porcupine, begin by pulling off a piece of clay the size of a large walnut.

Begin making a pinch pot by sticking your thumb into the ball of clay.
Pinch the clay with your fingers on the outside of the pot and pinch and turn. Try to keep the mouth of the pot no more than 1 ½” wide. The pinched pot should be at least 1” deep so the toothpicks will stand up. Press the sides of the pot toward each other to create an oval shape for the body. Moisten your finger and smooth out any cracks that may appear.

Step 2: Make the Porcupine Face

Pinch off a piece of clay the size of a grape to make the head. Roll this into a ball and then pull out the clay slightly to make a snout. It might look like a gumdrop.

Moisten this piece and the pot and press firmly together to attach the head of your porcupine. Using a mini Popsicle, gently blend the neck into the body.

Step 3: Make Little Ears

Roll out two small balls to make the ears.
Press slightly and pinch into teardrops. Moisten these two pieces and put on the head.

Press a pencil into the eye-holes and then with a toothpick draw the mouth onto the porcupine by drawing a sideways “Y”.

Step 4: Make the Tail and Feet

With a small piece of clay the size of a marble, make a coil for the tail. Moisten both pieces and push it firmly on the body.

Pinch off a ball of clay the size of a grape. Cut the ball into 4 equal parts for the feet. Press these balls into small oval disc.

Moisten the feet and the bottom of the porcupine and press feet firmly on. You could use the mini Popsicle stick to blend these in.

Step 5: The Finishing Touches

Take your toothpick and draw on the quills of your porcupine. Let your artwork dry completely. Take a black permanent marker and draw the eyes, nose and more quills. Let dry. Lightly spray the clear acrylic sealer and let dry. More coats can be added for a shinier finish. Line your toothpick holder with a mini cupcake paper so that you can dispose of the paper after each use.

Design and photography by Karen Lowrey