Clay Mezuzah
Clay Mezuzah
Projects & Crafts
Categories Ritual Objects 


Several copies of the Mezuzah Step-by-Step handout  
  • Squares of parchment paper (at least 8” wide)
  • Oven-bake polymer clay, like Sculpey*
  • 1 dowel per 10 students, 3/8” diameter, cut into 2.5-3” lengths with sanded edges°°

  • Clay tools (or at least some bamboo/dowel skewers to poke nail holes in the clay)

*Sculpey sells the best multi-color packs with standard 2” x 1” x 1/2” blocks of polymer clay; each student will need 1.5-2 blocks’ worth of clay to finish a mezuzah.
*Many craft and hardware stores will chop dowels for you in-store, or any straight razor should get the job done with some carefully applied elbow-grease: place the razor where you want to cut and press down, slowly roll the dowel to score all the way around twice, then try snapping it off at the score line. If it still won’t break apart, roll and score 1-3 more times, repeat as needed. Don’t forget to sand the edges down!

You can choose to print out scrolls to put in the mezuzot, or create scrolls with the students in a different session.

Set Induction for Art Project:
Mezuzah Tour:  Meet students at the door, but instead of entering the classroom, go on a short tour of mezuzot around the building. Ask students to make observations about the similarities and differences between the mezuzot – their materials, shapes, designs, colors, letters or symbols on them, etc. At some point in the tour, ask whether younger students could reach all the mezuzot to the classrooms. If the school only has adult-height mezuzot, part of our mission will be to put up second mezuzot on all the classroom doors that even the youngest students could reach if they wanted to – after all, one of the mitzvot is to teach them to our children, and all the children should be able to see these reminders around the school.

Back in the classroom, create two lists on the board: “Basics” and “Options.” Ask students to provide observations of what would be the components of the best mezuzah to remind people of the commandments.
Sample lists:

  • Space for a scroll 

  • (Usually) a shin or the word ??? on the front (for Shaddai, one of God’s “nurturing” names) 

  • From the hallway: Right side of the doorframe, leans into the room 

  • Either needs nail holes or mounting tape 

  • Beautiful in some way 

  • Materials – wood, clay, glass, stone… 

  • Decorations – Hebrew, nature, Jewish stars, etc. 

  • Scroll can be visible or completely hidden from view 

  • Classic or modern design 

Tell students we’ll be making mezuzot out of clay today – see how many of these qualities you can include in your design! Pass out copies of the Mezuzah Step-By-Step for students to share. 

1. Use the parchment paper as a work surface – the clay can stain and stick to tables, but they stick less on parchment paper.
2. Think about the design you want. Be sure it includes – or allows for – the Basics on the board. For instance, plan the design to be seen in the proper angle; decide whether to include a shin or Shaddai; determine how it should be mounted on the doorpost; whether to leave any holes in the clay so the scroll can be seen; etc.

3. Create the base for your mezuzah: place the dowel flat on the parchment paper, and form clay (the equivalent of between half and a full “brick”) around it so the bottom/back remains “open.” Make sure you have enough clay on the ends to create nail holes, or to attach clay loops for nail holes later.

4. Decorate the base with other colors and shapes of clay.
5. Create nail holes either in the clay itself or by creating two clay loops and attaching them securely to the clay at the ends. Leave the wooden dowel in so it retains its shape until it is baked.
(See Step-By-Step for instructions with photos.)