A couple of months ago I had the pleasure of meeting a woman Ruth at the Heritage Square Museum garden. She was thinking of starting her own vegetable garden and asked me to come over and get her started.
We had a fantastic morning– she made me coconut cranberry pancakes and homemade chai (with cilantro! who woulda thought), and just before I left, she gave me this!
A big dried gourd! She told me it was from Mexico, and that she already had plenty. This may be a water bottle gourd, though I’m not totally sure. Honestly, this woman was so generous– such a magical gift! You can hear some seeds rattling within and it is hard as wood. It has been sitting in my garden as decoration since I brought it home, and I finally figured out a simple way to make it functional, while still remaining so lovely.
I decided to transform it into a simple vase! I’m officially a grown-up with vases.
To make a gourd vase you’ll need:
- a dried gourd
- a magic eraser (optional)
- masking Tape (or any non super-sticky tape)
- plant pot (optional)
- paper towel or washcloth
Spread out your newspaper on the ground. You can do this inside or outside– I opted to do it on my patio.
Begin sanding the base of the gourd. You want to sand all excess flakey skin off until you have a smooth surface. Sand about three inches up.
Take a wet paper towel and wipe off all of the sawdust from sanding.
Once gourd is dry, use the masking tape to delineate a line roughly 3 inches from the bottom of the gourd that surrounds its entire circumference. Do your best to make this straight.
Select your paint. If you’re going to be keeping this outside, I would suggest an outdoor paint so it won’t crack or bleach as readily.
Place gourd upside-down in your plant pot This way, you can paint the entire base without fingerprints.
Paint base in any way you like. You may paint a tad bit over the tape to ensure you get a straight line! I opted to use just one color, applied in sweeping motions, but you can paint it in any color you like. I may continue painting on mine– we’ll see.
Let first coat dry!
Paint a second coat if you think it is necessary– let it dry for 30 minute-1hr
Peel of the tape. Yeeeahhh see that nice straight line?
Be sure to pry out the stem! If your gourd is sufficiently dry, it shouldn’t be difficult.
Appreciate your vase 🙂
*A word of advice! I don’t know how well these gourds actually support being filled with water without being varnished. If you want your paint to have added staying power and your gourd to be a bit more waterproof, you can varnish or seal your gourd. Just make sure whatever varnish or coating you choose for the inside is plant safe!
I’m considering finding a way to cut a bit of the top off of this gourd and making a pot! Wouldn’t a little cactus look cute in there? Also considering painting a thing double gold band above the blue– time to get some gold paint. I can’t believe I don’t have some already.