Dried gourds make a beautiful addition to harvest season decor. You can make gourds even more festive by dressing them up with one of these simple and inexpensive craft ideas. Gourds grow in many shapes and sizes and these decorative techniques will work with them all. You can buy dried, craft-ready gourds (if not available locally, gourds can be purchased online) or learn to dry your own gourds here.
Plastic craft gemstones in assorted shapes and sizes
It doesn’t get any easier than this. <span “=””>Just coat the back of the gem stone with glue and attach to the gourd. Whether your approach is random or a planned design, either way the results will sparkle!
Flat items to paste on the gourd such as: pressed leaves and flowers, colored tissue paper, items cut from a book, newspaper or magazine, fabric, etc.
Mod Podge (or white craft glue slightly thinned with water)
Flat paintbrush (1/2-2 inch wide)
- If using paper or fabric, cut out shapes.
- If using plant material make sure it’s pressed flat and dry.
- Work in one small area of the gourd at a time.
- Using your flat brush, paint a thin coating of glue onto the gourd.
- Press a piece of your collage material onto the gourd and paint to cover it with a thin layer of glue.
- Repeat with the next piece until the gourd is covered.
- Allow to dry.
Sharp cutting tool such as an X-acto, hand saw, or utility knife to cut off top of gourd
Fine grit sandpaper
Craft paint (glossy paint creates an interesting contrast with the matte texture of the gourd)
Painter’s or masking tape
Enough sand or pebbles to fill the bottom third of the gourd
Container to set the gourd in for support while working on it (examples: bowl, pitcher, or large vase)
- Use pencil to draw a line where you will make your cut.
- Carefully cut off the top of the gourd to create the vase. (If using a hand tool this job can be made easier by first drilling a small hole into the gourd, big enough to insert the blade.)
- Shake out any dried seeds or loose fibers. If needed, loosen the contents with a long-handled spoon or use your hand if the neck opening is large enough.
- Lightly sand the cut edge to give it a smooth finish.
- Use painter’s tape to create a sharp line between the paint and the unfinished area of the gourd, or, paint free-hand for a more rustic, hand-crafted look.
- Create a secure place to paint the gourd by setting it on a bowl or other container while you paint. (Take care to cover the bowl with plastic wrap to avoid getting paint on it.)
- Paint part of the gourd with the color of your choice and leave the remaining part natural and unfinished.
- After the paint dries, carefully remove tape.
- Fill the gourd about a third of the way with sand or small pebbles to weight it down.
- Place dried flowers and grasses or artificial flowers in your gourd vase. Fresh-cut flowers may be used for a short-term display since the water could, eventually, seep through the gourd.
Pro Tip – If you are working with a large gourd, set it in a bowl for support and to keep it from rolling while you work on the top area of the gourd. Once the top is dry, you can rest the gourd upside down in a pitcher or tall vase (without water of course) to work on the bottom.
Looking for more paint-related projects to try? Click here for more ideas!