Before I get into gourds, I have a small announcement. You can probably tell that posts have been a bit slow, because life is a highly demanding coworker. We have decided that I would type up posts for our website as well as Madison to help the flow. So there’s another narrator in town. Hello!
With that said, let us begin discussing the endless possibilities of the mottled canvas of the gourd.
Besides being a glorious fall decoration for centerpieces and displays, gourds serve lots of crafty, nature-y purposes. Most of these crafts require drying the gourds first, which isn’t difficult. One way to do it is to hang them up in a place with good air flow until they are brown, hard, and dry. For those who don’t feel like going through all that work and are in no rush, simply leave them on the vine until they dry out. Mature gourds are not harmed by rain or frost. After they are dry, you can begin your gourd extravaganza. Got too many useless bits and bobs around the house? Small gourds make great bases for recycled crafts and sculptures.
(This is supposed to be a lion. Fine, it’s a guinea pig lion. He’s still beautiful to me.)
Beneath the pieces of leftover fleece is a gourd and some screws. The tail is the stem of the gourd. I used lots of other things like beads and bits of trash (and a good amount of hot glue) to complete him in all his recycled glory. This might be a bit complex for younger kids, and they would be happy just decorating the gourd with makers and beads, or making a simpler sculpture. You can use anything, any piece of trash to create a cute work of art.
If there are seeds in the dried gourd, you can make a lovely set of decorated gourd maracas.
You can also make birdhouses with the body of a dried gourd. Bottle, gooseneck, and (go figure) birdhouse gourds are good for this project, or any gourd with a large bottom big enough for birds to nest in. First you cut a hole on the side for the bird, the size depending on which birds you are interested in attracting. You can use a doorknob hole cutter or an expansion bit to make it. Use sandpaper to sand down the hole, then sand the exterior. (Sandpaper is going to be your best friend in gourd projects.) Then you wash the outside and inside of the gourd with soapy water or vinegar water, and get all the stuff out of it. Let it dry. Next, you can paint it if you like, and make it all pretty. Apply a varnish or sealer to protect it from the weather, and drill a few little holes in the bottom of the gourd with a drill for drainage. You can also drill some holes in the top to put string through to hang. And there's your birdhouse!
Those are just some ideas. There is a whole world of things to do with gourds, a treasure trove of magnificent art to be done with these glorious fruits! Do not be limited to the few ideas presented to you today; explore, go forth, create new and marvelous gourd masterpieces to inspire and transfix the world with the awesome power of the gourd for generations to come!
Okay, I’ll stop now. But if you have any other gourdy ideas, put them in the comments, because we like to hear ideas from you. Have fun with gourds!