Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Let the Gourd Times Roll

I have been interested in gourds for at least 4 or 5 years now and I have made one gourd bird house in the past, using pyrography, or wood burning. However I really would like to get more into this very fun and versatile craft. I grew gourds last year and the year before. I have planned to make things with the gourds but first wanted to let them "season" for a year before getting started. So finally this summer I rolled up my sleeves and started cleaning the gourds, with the help of my faithful sidekick (aka the hubster)! I decided to use leather dye to color the gourds as it is a transparent color so that the patterns on the gourds (some are beautiful) are still visible. I began to look online for leather dye, as I didn't know where else to purchase it. Because it is a liquid the shipping was going to cost more than the dyes. So I started to see if there were any leather shops nearby and voila'! There is a Tandy Leather Outlet in Ft. Wayne, not too far from our home. I was looking for dye and the sales lady pointed out a sampler pack that was on clearance so I got 8 different colors for $15! Quite a deal! I was set and ready to get started as I had also purchased a wood burner, with which to burn patterns onto the surface of the gourds. So here are my first two dyed gourds. The one is an apple gourd and I just painted it red so that it looks like an apple. It is nice for fall decoration.

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Things you will need when painting a gourd with leather dye; foam brushes and paint brushes, gloves (will stain skin), an apron to protect your clothes (if you are messy like me!) and some water to clean off brushes.  Also I found that when I accidently painted an area of the gourd that I didn't want to that the "magic" erase sponges removed it wonderfully. 

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The cottonwood leaf pattern was just traced from a leaf from my yard.  I used a small paint brush to put on the colors of the leaf.  Both gourds are covered with wood sanding sealer after they dried.  I plan to try some spray polyurethane on future projects to see which I like best.

I hope to do more gourd work soon and hopefully for Christmas presents so I will post more as I complete them. 

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