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Topic: Day of the Dead Skull Gourds  (Read 2629 times)
Tags for this thread: halloween , day_of_the_dead , skull , sugar_skull , gourd  Add new tag
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cmarion3
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« on: November 03, 2015 05:56:40 AM »

I grew birdhouse gourds one summer and have had several rattling around my basement for years. They take up space and roll all over! I have used them one by one for crafts, but the last 5 were just annoying me.

So, with a few layers of paint, a cup hook or three, and a saw (for the bowls) I transformed them into......Day of the Dead Skulls! Few people recognized them as gourds with the paint and hanging them upside down.

I sketched the faces in pencil, then painted the bright colors. The first two gourds I outlined in black paint, but with Halloween approaching, I used Sharpies on the last one and it worked just great! Much faster and easier. We will see what it looks like next year. I find that sharpies can bleed over time. For the full effect see https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=441356.0



Here's a shot of the naked gourds. Lovely with their mold spots and variations.



Here's one after several coats of paint. I should have done a base sealer coat of shellac, but I do like the slight discolorations coming through the white paint. Makes them a bit creepier.



These are the bowls after a coat or two of shellac. They show the lovely patterns the curing process left. The insides are also coated with several coats of shellac. Caution: Always wear a face mask when sawing or sanding with gourds. The dust is not good for you.





See https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=441356.0 for more on the costume.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2015 07:44:33 AM by cmarion3 » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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kwality570
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2015 07:25:28 AM »

What a great idea to use up the gourds.  Love these!!!
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« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2015 07:59:39 AM »

These are awesome!
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« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2015 08:02:26 AM »

Oh wow! Those are spectacular!
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thisbirdsabsurd
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2015 08:19:27 AM »

These are just great!  (adding birdhouse gourds to my garden list for next year!)
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cmarion3
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« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2015 02:07:36 PM »

I live in Connecticut and growing large gourds is an exercise in patience. Years of patience. The conditions have to be just right, long and hot summer. This year we had a hot start, a very cool middle and a moderately hot end. Our tomatoes were very slow to ripen. It would not have been a good gourd year. So keep planting until you get a good crop.

Another must have is a trellis or arbor so the gourds can hang and get so pretty shaped. Then read up on curing the little guys. They get a coating of mold that makes the lovely patterns, but make your basement smell weird. When dry, scrub with a med brush and there you have them. Also read up on sawing and sanding gourds, the dust is an irritant.
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thisbirdsabsurd
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2015 04:34:21 AM »

Thanks for the info!  Being that much farther north than you, I wonder if I'd ever have any luck. ( we barely had any hot days this year.). I suppose it can't hurt to try though, weird smelling basement and all.  Grin
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yoopidou
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2015 12:36:05 PM »

Creative use of gourds.
It seems to be a bit difficult to grow but that's the moldy part that makes me wonder. especially, since I don't have a basement.
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« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2015 05:53:42 PM »

They just need somewhere to cure/dry. A garage or shed would do that doesn't freeze. They seemed to take a while to dry. And they look pretty ugly while drying. Give it a try.
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steiconi
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2016 05:04:25 PM »

Great idea!  I have a few gourds left from The Summer the Gourds Took Over the Greenhouse, this might be the perfect use for them!

How did you do the fire in the trunk effect?
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