Gourds yield themselves to a variety of purposes, which makes them a fun material to use for crafts. When you prepare a gourd properly, they can be painted or stained and transformed into all kinds of beautiful things. Birdhouses, bowls, vases, and decorative ornaments are an example of some of the gourd crafts you can complete. Before you can begin, you will need to learn how to prepare a gourd for crafts. In this article, we will supply a materials list and provide step-by-step instructions on how to prepare a gourd.
The type of gourd you use will depend on what you hope to achieve. Bottle gourds are a terrific choice for birdhouses and decorative crafts, while bowl gourds work best for bowls. Ornamental gourds can be used for a variety of gourd crafts, as can snake gourds and dipper gourds. When selecting a gourd, you will want to use one that is of full maturity. NEVER use a gourd that has not fully matured as it will only rot during the crafting process. It is also important to give your gourd time to thoroughly dry (a.k.a cured) before beginning. NOTE – An indicator that a gourd is fully cured is when you can hear the seeds rattling inside.
Materials needed to prepare a gourd:
– Mature dry gourd
– Large bucket
– Dishwashing detergent
– Scrubbing pad
– Small paring knife
– Wire brush
– Metal spoon
How to prepare a gourd for crafts:
STEP 1 – Clean the gourd – The first thing you will want to do is thoroughly clean the outside of the gourd. To do this, fill a large bucket with hot water and add a few drops of bleach. And a few drops of dishwashing detergent. Use a scrubbing pad to scrub off dirt, mold and other debris from the outside of the gourd.
STEP 2 – Rinse the gourd – Empty your bucket and rinse off the gourd. Chances are, you will need to rewash it. Go ahead and do this now, repeating the procedure listed in STEP 1. Then, rinse again.
STEP 3 – Inspect the gourd – When you prepare a gourd for crafts, it is essential that you get as much debris off of the exterior as possible. If you see any white spots or white film covering the gourd, it means that you either did not get off all the debris or you have soap built up on the exterior. If necessary, soak the gourd in hot water and a few drops of dishwashing detergent. NOTE – The gourd will float. This is normal. You will need to ‘roll’ the gourd as it soaks.
STEP 4 – Scrape the gourd – Use a small paring knife to scrape off any excess skin from the gourd. The scrubbing pad can be used for any skin that is located close to the base of the gourd.
STEP 5 – Rinse the gourd – Rinse the surface very well, rubbing your hands along the gourd as you rinse. Make sure ALL the soap comes off.
STEP 6 – Dry the gourd – Place the gourd in a dry, dark area and allow it to dry overnight. DO NOT set the gourd in the sunlight to speed the drying process. This can cause the gourd to crack.
STEP 7 – Remove the interior – The inside of a gourd is filled with dried seeds, dust, and pulp. Take your gourd outside to remove what’s inside of it and you should also wear a dust mask while you perform this step to prepare a gourd. Cut open the gourd (making sure that the hole coincides with the craft design you have in mind) and remove the interior.
STEP 8 – Scrape the interior – Use a wire brush and a metal spoon to scrape out as much as possible from the interior of the gourd. Then, use the wire brush to scrub down the interior to form a smooth surface.
Additional tips – When you prepare a gourd for crafts that will involve paint, you will want to prime the exterior beforehand. Primer will help the paint adhere and last longer on your finished gourd crafts.
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Personal knowledge and experience