How to Build a Pottery Kiln – DIY Guide

If you want to fire your pottery, building your kiln at home is beneficial. A little DIY kiln is easy to make and is cost-saving as well. Moreover, if you know how to build a pottery kiln correctly, you can do it easily. There are many methods to start with; however, we will describe a few of them here.

how to make pottery kiln

Different Types of Homemade Kilns

 Let’s have a look at different methods to build a pottery kiln. So, you can go for one that suits you better from these methods.

1. Pit Firing

Pit Firing

It is one of the easiest & simplest methods to fire your pottery at home. For that, you need to make a kiln in your backyard. All you require is a spade & lots of burnable material. Firstly, you have to dig a pit in the ground. Also, you can dig this hole as big as the quantity of your pottery that you need to fire. 

Make sure to dig the pit as deep as it should save the fire from the blowing wind. However, there should be enough airflow also. If not, the fire won’t grasp enough temperatures.

2. Oil Drum Kiln

oil drum kiln

You can make another DIY kiln for pottery using an oil drum. It is an easy and low-cost method to enjoy your pottery art. So, to learn how to make a kiln at home, you need the following things:

  • An old oil drum, including its lid
  • Refractory Cement
  • Pottery fiber blanket
  • A kiln shelf
  • A burner
  • A gas bottle

To make an oil drum kiln, cut a hole in the drum’s lid. This hole should be as comprehensive as quickly fixing the burner into it. Next, cut the fiber blanket and fix it inside the drum. Furthermore, make sure to line the lid & the bottom.

Now, install the shelf and set the burner in the drum lid. In the beginning, you will face some difficulty in getting your desired temperatures. However, don’t worry; you will get skilled with time. 

3. Brick Kiln

Brick Kiln

The next option to make your DIY kiln at home is a brick kiln. You need to use bricks in this method and make a great kiln in your backyard. Moreover, you can make different types of kilns with bricks.  

You can build your own kiln in a cylindrical or square shape. However, we suggest going for a square brick kiln since it is easier to make if you’re a beginner. Besides, make sure to use fire bricks to handle the high temperatures. Occasionally, the typical building bricks crack with heat.

Once you are done making your pottery art on your pottery wheel then, to make the base of your brick kiln, place two layers of bricks on the ground. You can build the size of your kiln according to the quantity of your pottery. So, after building the base, start raising the walls of your bricks. You can put a shelf as well in the middle of your kiln. 

Furthermore, make some gaps on the top layer of bricks for the ventilation.

4. Mud or Clay Kiln

Mud or Clay Kiln

To build a kiln with mud or clay is an ancient method, and you can make it easily at home. Moreover, you can dig up the clay from your nearby ground and use it for your kiln.   

Firstly, to make a clay kiln, you need to build a mud chamber such as a thick-walled drum. However, make sure to make a hole at the lower part of this cylinder to feed the wood in it.

Also, it would help if you put a shelf on which the fire will burn at the base of your kiln. Make sure to make some holes on the shelf to let the fire & heat pass through. You can make the shelf with a metal grid.

If you are a beginner to pottery then you should check our guide on the best pottery wheels for beginners.

5. Trash Can Kiln

trash can kiln

One of the most popular types of DIY kiln for pottery is a trash can kiln. So, if you want to make this type of kiln, use a steel trash can. Firstly, make a square hole of a 4 x 4 inch at the base of your can. The flame will go from this hole. Similarly, make another 4 x 4-inch hole in the cover of your can.

Next, cover your can with ceramic fiber that can bear high temperatures. Also, fix the ceramic fiber inside the trash with the help of ceramic buttons. To fire your kiln, place a weed burner into the burner port located at the base of the can. Now, attach the burner to a chamber of gas. 


We hope you will find the article helpful and now you know how to build a pottery kiln very well. Here, we described a few methods, and all of them are easy to make at home. So, you can select out of them according to your preferences. Honestly, you don’t need any great skill to make your kiln.

These methods will offer you different and excellent results while firing your clay. So, go ahead and make your kiln and save your expenses. If you enjoyed the article, don’t forget to share it with your friends.

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