Purchase small gourds to use this year and then allow them to dry for next year. Small gourds take several months to dry so better get started now. Mold on the gourds is a natural part of the drying. Store in a cool place with plenty of room to rotate them often. Use rubber gloves as the mold on some may irritate some people. Check with your local produce departments in the supermarket to see if they have any left over after Thanksgiving or Halloween they would like to get rid of.
Once dry they will be very light in weight and you will be able to shake them and hear the seeds. Now that they are dry, use rubber gloves to wash with a bit of Clorox and dish soap. It takes some elbow grease to get them clean. Allow them to dry.
Once dry, paint with acrylic paints. When dry and painted to your liking, spray well with several coats of poly. Spray either matte finish or satin. They will last for years to come. Mine are about 10 years old. Store and make sure no critters like mice can gnaw on them to get to the seeds inside.
By Cmcmamo from Ballwin, MO
I tried this once. Grew my own, dried them, cleaned, bleached, sanded, painted and turned into bird houses. It was fun but very hard getting them cleaned. Some of them broke or were too thin skinned.
The ones at our grocery store look like they are waxed or varnished in some way. Will they still dry OK? I am going to look at the local farmstands for some bigger ones. Would love to make a couple of birdhouses next summer! Thanks for the tips!
I bought a variety of gourds at our local nursery....They have 'warts' or whatever the 'technical' word is....and mine too, look waxy or varnished...My Granddaughters picked them out...and REALLY want to preserve them...I will try this method...and HOPE it works!!
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