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Jun 16 / Jamie

Painted Gourds

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This past summer we had a bumper crop of birdhouse gourds.  For whatever reason, they seem to grow really well in our garden.

Birdhouse gourds

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We waited until just before the first frost and then picked them.  In all, we had over 60 gourds.  We tied a string to the neck of each gourd and hung them in the garage all fall and winter.  They dried out completely and were ready for crafting.  The kids joined a local 4-H group this spring and we decided to donate them to the group to be made into birdhouses to raise money for a lego robotics project the kids are doing this fall.

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We sanded each of the gourds to make them smooth.  Steel wool seemed to work the best.

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Then Mike drilled a 2-inch opening in each one.  Jackson and I are prepping them: untying them and sorting them by size.  Some were too small, and some had lovely rattling seeds and we made those into shakers.

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We invited other 4-H members over after the gourds had been drilled and cleaned.  The kids had a blast painting them.

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We found places for them all to dry.

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I loved the way they looked on the rocks in the sun.

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After they dried, we drill a 1/4-inch set of holes in the top for a string to hang them up and in the bottom for drainage.  We touched up any paint that got chipped, sprayed them with a coat of clear acrylic to make them water-proof and hung them to dry.  I have to admit, I really didn’t want to take them down.  I would love for my porch to look like this all the time.

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We brought them to our tent a a town tag-sale.  They sold well.  Jackson was an especially persuasive salesman.  We still have a bunch more and I think I might have the kids paint up a set just for us to hang.  I have more plants growing in the garden as well, so there will be more to do next year.

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  1. 1
    jenny / Jun 20 2014

    what a great project Jamie…and so rewarding for the kids too! hope your Summer is going well.

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