Greek Urn Project

Ancient Greek Pots Project

After reading Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief and studying Greek Mythology, you have learned quite a bit about the fascinating stories told by the ancient Greeks.  Now is your chance to show off what you’ve learned by designing your very own Greek pot.

Ancient Greek Pots Tell A Story


Greek potters were constantly changing the shape of their famous vases and pots. In ancient Greece, it was not enough to create something that was beautiful. It also had to be comfortable. If the vase, pot, or pitcher had a handle, that handle had to be easy to hold and fit comfortably into the grip of your hand. The Greeks considered themselves scientists as well as artists. Everything had to be perfectly proportioned.

The designs on their pottery told a story. Some told stories of daily life. Others told stories of wars and heroes. All designs, whatever they were, had to represent something that people would find pleasing. Geometric designs had to be familiar, a design perhaps that could be found in a temple or a fabric. The colors were soothing and comfortable.

Most Greeks were cremated and buried in pots. Even though the pots were to be buried, they still had to be perfect. The ancient Greeks were perfectionists.

Archaeologists have discovered a great many ancient Greek pieces of pottery. Between household vases and funeral pots, archaeologists have been able to piece together a great deal of knowledge about daily life in ancient Greece.

For more information:



First, research myths and select one that you want to retell in pictures on your pot. 

Now that you’ve chosen a myth, use the template to complete a draft of your design. Remember to use two, so that you plan out all sides of your pot and to include a geometric design around your piece.

 --Now that your design is complete, it’s time to create your sculpture.-- 

You will need:

  • A 12” latex balloon
  • Newspaper, cut into strips
  • Paper Mache Glue
  • Paper or Styrofoam bowls
  • Cardboard or poster board cut into strips for handles
  • Duct tape or masking tape
  • Red/Orange acrylic paint
  • Black acrylic paint
  • Paint brushes (wide and thin)


How to Make Paper Mache Glue

To make this paste, you will need one part flour to two parts water. You can make as much paste as you need for the project. If you need more, it's rather quick to mix up another batch.

  • Pour the flour and water in a large bowl and stir it well. You want the mixture to be thin, with a consistency similar to pancake batter.
  • Keep mixing until there are very few lumps left.
  • Use a whisk or a hand-held blender to remove any remaining lumps. 
  • Add more water or flour as necessary until the mix is runny like a white glue, not thick like a paste. 

You can store this glue in a covered bowl or jar in the refrigerator for a few days.


  1. Inflate your balloon.
  2. Place a disposable bowl upside down and, using the duct tape, attach the balloon (tied end facing down) to the bowl. 
  3. Place a bowl atop the balloon and attach that using duct tape.
  4. Use two strips of cardboard/poster board to make the handles.
  5. Dip strips of newspaper into the glue solution and cover the entire surface of the pot.  Make sure to cover everything, overlapping the strips and creating thick layers.
  6. Allow the sculpture to dry overnight.
  7. Once the paper Mache has hardened, pop the balloon.
  8. Using the wider brush, paint the pot using the terracotta colored paint and covering every surface, then allow to dry overnight.