Attract new neighbors into your yard or garden with this DIY birdhouse made from our 'Birdhouse' gourds! 'Birdhouse' gourds will last for decades and can be carved like wood once cured. Leave natural or decorate any color you want!
How to Cure for Craft Purposes:Pick your gourds for drying, as soon as the vines are dead and the gourds' skin has begun to turn an ivory color. Cut them from the vine with shears or a folding saw, leaving 1"-3" of stem attached to the fruit. Choose only those that do not have cracked or broken skin. Clean off any soil from the surface, and wipe the gourds with a mild bleach solution (1 oz. bleach to 2 quarts water). Store gourds on a wire mesh, making sure they do not touch, out of direct sunlight, in a cool, well-ventilated place. Bring indoors only if you must, as curing gourds often develop a strong smell. It may take up to 6 months to completely dry inside. When the gourds are finished drying, they will feel much lighter. Give them a knock to make sure the gourd is hard and hollow. You will be able to hear the seeds rattle around inside, and the outer skin will peel away to reveal a brown or tan shell.
- Protective face mask (when drilling and sandpapering)
- Birdhouse Gourd (hard-skinned gourd, wood-like when dried)
- Electric drill & drill bits
- Nylon rope or wire
- Taking the dried gourd, use your pencil to note where you want the entrance hole for the birdhouse on the gourd. You will want this hole high enough from the bottom so a bird can step down into the house.
- Drill the entrance hole based on what birds you want to attract. Here are a few diameters for specific birds -
Bluebird; 1 ¼"
Flicker; 2 ½"
House Wren; 1"
Chickadee; 1 ¼"
Blue Martin; 2 ½"
- Use sandpaper to smooth down the edges.
- Remove seeds and pulp with the spoon. Any leftover organic material will become a snack for the new residents!
- Drill small holes in the base for drainage, a quarter-sized hole at the top on the back side to provide air circulation, and two holes at the top of the gourd to hang the birdhouse.
- Thread the nylon string or wire through the holes at the top of the gourd, hang, and enjoy!
Written by Madeleine Pesso