Gourds are vegetables although most people don’t eat them but instead use them for decorative crafts. To prepare a gourd to be used for decorations there are several steps. They include storing the gourd, drying it out, cleaning it, and decorating it.
To dry out a gourd put some pin holes in the bottom of it and let is sit in a dry area with good air circulation. Once the gourd is dried out it can be cleaned and then decorated.
How do you know when a gourd is dried out? It is simple. Gourds contain seeds. When you can shake the gourd and hear the seeds rattling inside, the gourd is dry. It will be very firm or tough to the touch. Once this is observed the gourd is dryed out and can be cleaned.
Cleaning a gourd is accomplished by placing it in water with about a capful of bleach to a gallon of water. The gourd is then scrubbed to remove any mold, or discoloration spots. It is not unusual to see rot on the gourd but this should not discourage you continue to clean it. As the gourd is scrubbed the thin layer of gourd skin is removed. After the cleaning is complete rinse the gourd and let it sit in a dry area.
Once the gourd is washed, cleaned, and let dry it can be coated with paste wax or painted with acrylic or enamel paint. The painting can include wonderful colors and designs. The gourds are then ready for use or sale as decorative crafts. Gourds make great table decorations for the Fall season.
If you don't want to make your own Gourd crafts they can be purchased in Native American craft stores.
Article by CherokeeCloud
Written September 23, 2006