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Jun 16 / Jamie

Painted Gourds


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


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.


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


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.


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


We found places for them all to dry.


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



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.




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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