Make A Gourd Birdhouse
gourd birdhouse garden accessory is both functional and good looking. Make it using your
basketry skills, a gourd, pine needles and raffia. It certainly will function as a true
birdhouse, but it can be a decorative accessory inside the house, or outside in the
- Clear Sealer
- ¼" Dowel
- Pine Needles
- Waxed Linen Thread
- Wood Bead
- Sand Paper
- Soap and Water
- Nylon Abrasive Pad
- Hand Drill
- 1¼" Hole Saw
- ¼" Drill Bit
- Long Screwdriver
- Long Hemostat
- Foam Paint Brush
- Wood Glue
- Water Bucket
- Large Tapestry Needle
- Select a
cured gourd with a pear shape.
- Wash the outside of your gourd with
soap and water to remove any grime or mold on the surface of the cured and dried gourd.
Use the nylon scrubber to remove any stubborn stains.
- Allow the surface of the gourd to dry.
- Lightly sand any additional rough
- Wipe the gourd off with a soft cloth.
- Select a surface of your gourd to serve
as the doorway side.
- Use the 1¼" hole saw in your hand
drill to make an entry port into the front of the gourd several inches from the base of
- Remove the seeds and membranes from the
inside of the gourd. Use the long screwdriver or other long implement to scrape the inside
walls. Release the seeds and membranes from the interior walls of the gourd. The long
hemostat can be used to grasp pieces that are out of reach.
- Shake the loosened interior contents
out the entry hole.
- Retain the seeds to use for planting a
new crop of gourds, if desired.
- Use the ¼" drill bit to drill
several small drainage holes in the bottom of the gourd.
- Use the ¼" drill bit to drill
another hole for the perch slightly below the entry port.
- Drill two holes through opposite sides
of the neck of the gourd for the hanging dowel.
- Sand the edges of the entry hole and
any other rough edges caused by the drilling process.
- Insert the hanging dowel through the
holes in the neck of the gourd.
- Apply the clear sealer to the exterior
of the gourd with a foam paint brush.
- Allow to dry.
- Soak your pine needles in warm water
until they are flexible.
- Dampen several strands of raffia to use
- Twine a row
of pine needles together at about their midpoints adding a single cluster of needles at a
time. Keep the clustered ends all at the same distance from the twining.
- Add more raffia as required by lapping
the two pieces and using them as one until the new piece is secure.
- Once you have a row twined together
long enough to wind around the neck of the gourd two times, reverse the direction of
twining and add several more rows of twining.
- Trim any stray raffia ends left from
- Apply the twined pine needles to the
gourd, creating the effect of a thatched roof. Make the second layer a bit higher than the
first to get a nice effect.
- Stitch the ending of the raffia into
the first row of pine needles to secure the layers and finish off the ends.
- Stitch the roof to the hanging dowel on
each side to secure it to the birdhouse.
- Add a cord made from the waxed linen
thread to the neck dowel.
- Thread a large wooden bead onto the
cord and slide it down towards the top of the roof.
- Suspend your new birdhouse in your
garden as a decorative accessory or hang it in a tree to await your new birdie tenants.
Additional Gourd Basketry
Thanks to Doris Messick for providing the gourd for this project.
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