How to Craft with Gourdscomments (18) October 30th, 2015
Gourds for crafting are called "hard-shell gourds." They're green in the field, but after harvest, they slowly dry out, leaving a woody shell and lots of crafting possibilities. You can often find them at farmer's markets in early fall or online from retailers such as Welburn Gourd Farm or Amish Gourds.
|Find more fall-inspired craft projects:
• How to Make a Quick Table Runner
• How to Crochet Autumn Leaves
• How to Make Leaf-Print Napkins
• How to Knit Everlasting Autumn Leaves
Here's a rundown on gourd crafting, courtesy of my mom, Pam Harris.
What you'll need:
- Hard-shell gourd
- Large bucket of water
- Scrub sponge
- Pencil with eraser
- Pumpkin-carving saw
- Small paring knife with a sharp point
- Garden gloves
- Dust or surgical mask
- Embellishment materials (discussed below)
Choosing a Gourd
Select your gourd based on a shape that is pleasing to you or that will work well for the project you have planned. For instance, a very round gourd with a flat bottom will be more stable as a flower vase than a tall, thin gourd would be.
Look for cracks in the gourd's surface. Although a cracked gourd could be used for a project where you will be cutting out the cracked portion, it's usually better to start with a gourd that is free of cracks, as the area around the crack is very delicate.
Sometimes a gourd will have a "mouse hole" in it. If I like the shape of the gourd and the hole is in a "convenient" place, I will go ahead and use it for a project.
Don't let the surface mold and grime affect your decision in selecting a gourd. The mud, grime, and mold that accumulated during the drying process can usually be easily removed.
Cleaning a Gourd
This is a simple process. Just soak the gourd in water for about 10 minutes, then scrub it with a heavy-duty scrub sponge (I use Scotch Brite, which has a nice, rough surface).
Most gourds can be cleaned in less than 10 minutes. Some areas of mold and dirt will come right off with light rubbing; others will take a little more effort. After cleaning, allow the gourd to dry for about 30 minutes.
Some gourds will have natural discoloration that appears in a random, uneven pattern. This can't be removed-it's best to consider it part of the natural beauty of the gourd.
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