How To Make Clay Ganesha At Home

Learn How to make Clay Ganesha at home with supplies you can easily buy at the craft store. This is an eco friendly option that takes up just an hour of your time.

Growing up in Bangalore, I remember vividly, how the streets would be lined with colorful Clay Ganeshas awaiting the festival. Living in Minnesota now, I miss that fervor, but in my own way have started traditions with my kids for celebrating this festival. We also try our best to do Diwali Crafts at home.

Ganesha is Hindu Deity and he is worshipped widely around the world. He is usually identified as the Elephant Headed God and is believed to be the remover of all obstacles.

ALSO READ: How to Make a Clay Diya at Home


Hello Friends! Each and every year around August I start my Clay Ganesha making at home and it is my favorite time of the year. I love that my kids can get involved in this as we celebrate Ganesha Chathurti at home. Below are my tips for making an eco friendly ganesh idols in usa

Next week, we celebrate Ganesha Chaturthi (Ganesha Festival) where we worship an idol of Ganesha for 5 to 10 days and then immerse it in water. My husband and I both grew up celebrating Ganesha Festival grandly each and every year. And in the US I make a Clay Ganesha for this festival.

Which Clay is used for Making Ganesha in USA? How much Clay will you need?

Since we want our Ganesha idol to dry easily without firing it in a kiln, I find that basic Air Dry Clay itself works wonderfully.

I would recommend using this Air dry clay by Crayola Terracotta or Air dry clay by Crayola White. You will also find this Clay Tool Set useful.


eco friendly ganesh idols in uSA

Here are some close-up images of my Clay Ganesh making at home. I used basic air dry clay and started with a sketch in mind and just went from there.

Update: This year (2020) I used a different clay. The DAS Air-Hardening Modeling Clay 2.2lbs in the Terracotta color. It also comes in a white color if you would prefer that. I needed about half the packet only, so about 1lb of clay for a small Ganesha.

I just tightly folded and wrapped up the rest of the clay using plastic wrap and tape. If you store it in a cool place (like the basement) the clay will easily last a year and will be usable for next years festival too.  

how to make clay ganesha at home Step by step

How to make Clay Ganesha at home step by step photo tutorial.

  1. Make the stomach: Roll and smoothen a ball of clay to make the Ganesha’s stomach. Place this onto the center paper towel or paper place.
  2. Make the legs: Roll and lengthen two logs of clay to be the same size. Curve them to make the sitting leg shape, and then press lightly to flatten toes. Lift the stomach and place between the legs (applying a little water where the two clay pieces meet) press to adhere.
  3. Make Jewelry: Roll a thin thread of clay, and place onto the stomach to form the auspicious thread. Add and make a necklace and add onto the center. Using a toothpick make designs on the leg and necklace (optional)
  4. Make the head: Roll out another ball of clay about the same size as the stomach. Roll between your palms and then slowly elongate just one end to make a the trunk. Gently curve the trunk into shape and if desired create a V shape at the end. Add designs and eyes. Affix to body with a small toothpick/ water/ or glue.
how to make clay ganesha at home Step by step
  1. Make arms: Roll two small logs of clay, and bend to make arms. Tuck and adhere to sides of body.
  2. Make palms: Add more clay if needed and make palms + bracelets onto either hand.
  3. Make ears: Press and flatten clay to make a flat surface. Using a toothpick draw a curved shape for the ears and then add designs onto it. Carefully adhere ears to both sides of the head. Finish off with a delicate crown on top of the head. Add a tiny mouse to side of the lef.
  4. Let dry: Let the Clay Ganesha air dry overnight or more if needed.
how to make clay ganesha at home Step by step

5 Tips on How To Make Clay Ganesha At Home

Keep these tips in mind while making your eco friendly ganesh idols in usa

how to make clay ganesha at home
  1. Place your ball of clay under a damp towel to keep it moist longer. Air Dry Clay will dry quickly. If you find that you are working slower take just a small ball of clay out of the box/bag each time. Place that ball of clay under a damp towel to keep it moist longer.
  2. Always pull out a small ball of fresh clay to make smaller details like the jewelry. If you use clay that has sat on the table and been exposed to the air for even 5 or 10 minutes, you will not be able to create finely-detailed jewelry. Even if you do manage to knead the clay and create a thin rope of jewelry- it will most likely develop cracks while drying. 
  3. Use liquid glue or small toothpicks to create structure. Since I am a slow and meticulous sculptor, I have a few hacks that I use to ensure that Ganesha holds together nicely. I cut a toothpick into bits and insert that as support between joints- Like where the hands join the body, etc. You can also add a tiny teenie drop of glue if you are not certain. 
  4. Place your idol on a paper plate to dry. Allow enough time for your Ganesha to dry. It can take anywhere from 12hrs to 3 days depending on the size you choose to make. To speed up the drying I like to place my Ganesha on a paper plate instead of any other surface. The paper will absorb some of the moisture from the bottom of the idol as it dries.
  5. Paint or seal the Clay Ganesh only after it is completely dry. If you plan to paint your Clay Ganesh, you want to use craft paints and paint the idol only after it has completely dried. Many times I just let the clay dry and enjoy the natural terracotta look.

How long does Clay Ganesh Making at home take?

This Clay Ganesh Sculpture took me about 2 hours from start to finish because I added so many tiny details and decorations. On an average, it should take about an hour.

Clay ganesh making at home

This year, my kids sat at the table with me and were very curious about how the idol was being made. They helped me with the smaller pieces and made the “laddoos” and tusks for the idol themselves. The idol needs to dry thoroughly, and I would say it needs 4 to 5 days at least. If it dries completely in time for the festival, I might paint the idol. If not, I like it just the way it is too.

I was really ambitious and wanted to try and make a 4 armed Ganesha. If you a beginner, maybe stick to an easier two armed Clay Ganesh instead 🙂

More Clay Ganesha Idols:

Below are my favorite Musical Clay Ganesha idols. After forming the idols in clay, I let them dry for a few days and then decorated them using paint. I hope these Clay Ganesha Idols inspire you today and if you have any questions leave a comment below and I can answer more there!

I hope you enjoyed today’s eco friendly ganesh idols in usa post. Happy Ganesha Habba!

how to make clay ganesha at home

More Ganesha Tutorials:


Thank you for being here today and spending some creative time with my friends! I’m so thankful for your kind words and support.

If you recreate this tutorial and share it on social media don’t forget to tag me! @smithakatti #smithakatti

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  1. I recently traveled to India and feel in love with Ganesha. I wish I would have stayed longer for the festival. I wish I had your talent. This is amazing! I wish I could commission you to make me one.

    • I am so thrilled to learn that you have recently fallen in love with all things Ganesha. India can do that to you. What all cities did you get to visit?

      • We didn’t have much time so we visited the Golden Triangle of course… Delhi, Arga and Jaipur

        I realize now that I might have over used the word “wish” in my original comment.

  2. I am truly awed by your talents! Truly inspiring. Would definitely love to see your artworks on Ganesha! What you said is true. sometimes we get too comfortable in our present zones and need to be brave and step out to new challenges. Wish you best and Happy Ganesh chaturthi to you and your family.

  3. Wonderful post! I am also practicing making ganesha from air dry clay these days. Can you tell me how much time it took for the idol to dissolve completely in water??

    • Thank you! I made this Ganesha a few years ago and we drop the ganesha off at our temple for visarjan so I don’t really know how long it takes to dissolve. Sorry.

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