Tuesday, May 15, 2012

DIY | Gourd Birdhouse Tutorial

For Mother’s Day, I got a little crafty (with my beloved gourds of course – Ronny might call me obsessed!). I created fun birdhouses to give as gifts. I did quite a bit of research on how to correctly dry my gourds and store them. I wrote about that here.

I waited about 6 months until they were totally cured and dried so that I could hear the seeds rattling around inside. I decided to make my mothers and grandma a birdhouse – just in time for Mother’s Day. Here is the tutorial:

Gourd Birdhouse

Supplies: Gourd(s), rubber gloves, mouth & nose mask, bleach, sandpaper, drill & drill bits, wire, twine.

1. Start by taking fine sandpaper to the mold spots on the gourd. {be sure you are wearing your gloves and mask…you don’t want to breath in mold! I have proof that I wore mine.} My gourd had a lot of wrinkles, so I had to be a little careful with the sanding so it didn’t leave a lot of marks.

2. After you remove the mold, give the gourd a diluted bleach bath. This will help get some of the mold off. Then be sure to let it dry.

3. After it is dry, start with the bottom and drill 3-5 small holes. This will allow for any drainage of water that gets into the birdhouse.

4. Next, drill a hole through both sides of the gourd underneath the stem in order to hang your gourd.

5. To create the hole for the birds, make sure to research what kind of birds might be in your area to use it. I used this chart and decided to create about a 2-inch hole. You can use a large drill bit, but I decided to make several small holes in a circular pattern where I wanted my bird opening.  

6. Punch out the center of the hole, or use the drill bit to “cut-through” to the surrounding holes. Then sand the edges smooth.

7. Pull the “innerds” out. Some of the websites that I found said to leave a few of the seeds inside to help attract birds.

Almost done!

8. To finish it up, you can use spray paint or  just a polyurethane coating. The paint or coating will keep the gourd from rotting. Here is an example of a “hammered” textured spray paint I used on most of the gourds, but I left my favorite gourd natural and just used the clear polyurethane coat.

9. In order to hand the gourd, Ronny helped me put a small wire through the stem hole. I then tied jute twine (because that is what I had – you could use wire or any other type of hanging material) to the wire and hung from my tree.

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