Gourds are the dried fruits of vegetables in the Cucurbitaceae family. Available in a variety of shapes and sizes, gourds are often used as decorative accents for the home and garden. Gourd shells are primarily hollow and will not deteriorate over time. Painted gourd crafts range from useful bird houses and feeders to personal accessories and holiday decorations. You can paint gourds with acrylic or oil-based paints.
Painted Gourd Birdhouse
Turn a large gourd into a decorative birdhouse by drilling an entry hole in the center of the base and painting the gourd with acrylics. Begin by cleaning the gourd, inside and out, before applying the layers of paint. Apply a background color first, let it dry and then paint birds, flowers, butterflies and other garden-related scenery as decoration for the bird house.
Painted Gourd Bird Feeder
Drill a large opening in one side of a small to medium size gourd and use it as a bird feeder. Paint the body of the gourd to resemble an outdoor cafe, a drive-in diner or a fast food restaurant. Other painted bird feeder designs can include any garden-related theme.
Painted Gourd Vessels
Remove the stems from large gourds, leaving an opening in the top large enough for a vase or a basket. Paint the gourd vases to coordinate with your interior decor using blocks of color, stripes, swirls or any type of scene design that you like. You can also paint the gourd to resemble a basket by drawing weave lines on top of the painted finish.
Slice a gourd in half vertically to make two decorative masks from each shell. You may prefer to leave the stems on or trim them off, depending on the length. The stem section is on the bottom of the mask and may come in handy as the mask holder. After drilling eye holes, decorate the face with acrylic paints, feathers, beads, rhinestones and other embellishments.
Paint the base of a round gourd orange to make a permanent Halloween decoration. Gourds do not deteriorate over time, so you can pass the painted Jack-o'-lantern to your kids. Draw the outline of the Jack-o'-lantern with a light pencil and then fill it in with black acrylic paint.
Holiday Ornaments and Decorations
Paint small gourds in holiday colors and hang them on your Christmas tree. Paint large gourds to resemble a snowman or Santa and sit them on your porch or in your yard as festive decorations.