Ever since my trip to Oaxaca I have had an obsession with gourds. You might remember this blog post with bowls I purchased that are made from gourds.

Do you garden? I’m looking forward to the next growing season, because we’re going to include a new crop: ornamental gourds. Our homegrown veggies never go to waste; I’m sure the same will be true for gourds. Not to mention they are straight-up gorgeous.


It wasn’t until we decided to do a gourd craft that we found how versatile gourds could be. However, finding dried gourds wasn’t as simple as we anticipated (hence, our new future crop).

Did you know that gourds are nature’s perfect containers? Since they are naturally biodegradable, I love the idea of finding more uses for them.

Be sure to come back to follow our gourd growing, drying, and preserving process. Until then, here is a fun craft.


Using a pencil, draw a line around the gourd where you would like to remove the top.

Carefully use an X-ACTO knife to cut the circumference. Keep the top if you would like to incorporate it into your design.

Empty the contents of the gourd, saving the seeds if you plan to grow your own. Use a metal spoon to scrape and cleanout the innards.

Lightly use the sandpaper on the outside of the gourd, removing any imperfections. Vigorously sand the bottom of the gourd until the gourd stands on its own.

Apply a coat of wood stain, allowing the stain to absorb; wipe off excess.

Draw a design you would like to burn on the gourd. The internet is the best source for design ideas, including templates.

Gently poke holes, using the awl, if you plan to thread with leather. We used a “whip stitch” for threading ours, again, the internet is full of many knotting ideas and directions.

Finally, follow the directions and safety precautions for your wood-burning tool and burn your design without burning through the gourd (unless this is part of your design).

Have you found a good use for gourds? We would love to hear your ideas!

Photography: Jenna Sparks & Thrifty Rehab / DIY: Thrifty Rehab