Gourds are a fun item to work with when doing crafts or making home decor. I have not worked with gourds nearly as much as I would like to because they are not all that easy to find at a craft store. The best way to get gourds is to grow them yourself. It's not all that hard to do. See the below short video on how to grow gourds
After your gourds are grown, you will have to cure them before you can use them for decorative purposes. Curing a gourd takes a long time. There is no way to artificially shorten how long it takes, it has to happen naturally. The outside dries more quickly, but the interior can take 6 to 10 months depending on the size and type of gourd.
- Wash the gourd with soap and water, be careful not to bruise it,
- Wipe them down with regular rubbing alcohol to help sterilize the surface and cut down on mold, however, your gourds will mold and become discolored, this is a part of the process.
- After cleaning, place your gourd outside, in the shade for 7 days. You will notice the skin begin to harden and it may change color. If you see spots, or blackened areas, this is normal, do not touch them.
- Take your gourd to a well ventilated, cool, dimly lit place and either place on a screen, hang in mesh bags or hang by a string or rope. It is important that air be able to reach all sides of the gourd so it will dry properly. Do not do this inside your house, as there will be mold on your gourds as they dry and it is not healthy for people or pets. The best place to do this is in a shed or barn. You can do it outside and hang them from tree branches as long as you can keep animals and birds from bothering them.
- Examine your gourds every few weeks to make sure that none of them are getting soft, or rotting. If any are, throw them away. Do not handle moldy gourds without gloves. It is not necessary to wipe off the mold, just leave it and it will dry out and die as the gourds mature. Make sure to turn any gourds that are not hanging so all sides get dried evenly.
If you are wondering how to clean your gourd, once it is cured, I wanted to share this video with you, it has all the information you need.
I am really looking forward to growing my own gourds next year, but I have decided that I want to dry some gourds this year for practice, so I went to the market and I found some fresh gourds to buy. Wish me luck!