As mentioned in my last blog my son really likes to create something from virtually nothing. He’s always “adventuring” in our wooded backyard and comes home with treasures that he uses again and again.
Last summer he wanted to grow birdhouse gourds and make a few homes for our chirpy feathered friends. I loved the idea and shockingly the gourds took off!
We ended up with 7 large gourds and 12 small gourds (I hope to have the kids paint the smaller gourds later this summer and turn them into maracas.)
After we harvested them we waited approximately 7 months until we could turn them in to birdhouses. During this time we had to make sure they were in a location where air could circulate around them (I sat mine on a pallet on the screen porch). The kiddos had the job of testing them periodically to see when they were ready. If they rattled, they were ready!
Now you’ve probably seen beautiful birdhouses hand painted or etched. I loved that idea- but I’m completely aware of my limitations.
After looking around to see what we had readily available we found lacquer and thought that having glossy birdhouses would be perfect.
It took us a few hours of sanding the gourds. (They gather mold while they cure- so be sure sure to wear a mask while doing this step!) We then dipped them in a bleach/water solution and let them dry. After they dried we cut a 2″ hole (using a Drummel) in the area that we wanted to be the front. We also drilled two 1/4″ holes in the top (for wire or leather to hang with) and three 1/4″ holes in the bottom for drainage. We then put a leather strap through the top and sprayed them with lacquer. Viola!
Since they take up so much space in the garden I didn’t plan on growing more birdhouse gourds. I was thinking this could be an every other year type of craft. However, mother nature had other ideas. I now have two volunteers growing! I’ll gladly create whatever I can from these little beauties next year!
Also, we had success! Currently we have a family of birds living in one of our gourds.
This entire craft cost me $1.44 for a packet of seeds since I had all of the other items on hand!
Have any fun garden craft ideas? I love to hear all about them in the comment section below!