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gourds

Pumpkins and gourd decor is tied to the Halloween season. When it’s passed, there are still some decor ideas to explore, and ways to preserve gourds, too.

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It’s decorative gourd season, folks! But these colorful cuties shouldn’t be restricted to fall décor. In fact, good ol’ gourds can serve a variety of purposes in your home during any season. Here’s your guide to making gourds a go-to year-round.

Gourd decor preservation tips

Before getting into some fun uses for gourds, let’s talk preservation. To prepare your gourds for projects, use these tips:

  1. Make sure the gourd is hard and dry. This usually takes anywhere from a few weeks to six months after harvest. You’ll know it’s ready when you can hear seeds rattling inside.
  2. Clean the gourd. You’ll want to remove the thin, membranous outer skin before you start on a project. To do this, soak the gourds in warm, soapy water to soften and weaken the shell. Then use a wide-coiled scrubber to remove the outer skin.
  3. Prevent molding. Mold often develops on gourds as they dry, so add a bit of chlorine bleach to a final rinse for the gourds before letting them dry overnight.

Fun craft ideas with pumpkins and gourds

Some of the best gourd uses make for great craft projects, including several that the whole family can enjoy together. These are wonderful ways to get creative with gourds, which is especially fun considering the many sizes and shapes they come in. Check out these fun craft ideas:

  • Cut a hole in the side of a gourd, clean out the interior, and fill in the bottom with birdseed. Hang it outside for an instant birdfeeder.
  • Soak the seeds from inside a gourd in water. After they’ve softened, thread them with a needle to make unique jewelry.
  • Fill empty gourds with wax, place a wick, and enjoy a lovely gourd candle.
  • Drill holes on either side of the gourd (near the top, if possible). String twine or ribbon through to create a gourd garland.

Stylish décor

An elegant bowl is your best bet for gourd styling that you’ll use again and again. In addition to being beautiful, it’s also practical since it can be used for centerpieces or for serving. Here’s how to make one:

  1. Place a rubber band around the gourd where you’d like the bowl opening to be.
  2. Cut straight across right at the rubber band level.
  3. Empty out the interior of the gourd.
  4. Smooth the interior with fine sandpaper.

Those are the basic steps, but you can also customize your bowl by painting it, giving the opening a beveled edge, wrapping ribbons around the exterior, or adding other stylish touches.

Special occasion accents

Gourds can be stocked for use on special occasions, too. You’ll love these fresh takes on classic favors and accessories:

  • Escort cards: Tie a card with guests’ names and table numbers to the stem of each gourd.
  • Place cards: Cut a thin line into the top of each gourd. Stick a place card in each cut and use them to create a seating arrangement at the table.
  • Favors: Paint the outside of each gourd with a unique design and have guests take one home at the end of the event.

With all these options, don’t be surprised if you go gourd-crazy. Finally, there are options for enjoying this cute little creation all year round!

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Resources:

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/10-ways-to-use-gourds-winter-squash.html

http://www.ncgourdsociety.org/crafting.htm

 

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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.