Time To Order Your Gourd Seeds

Growing gourds can be a very exciting and interesting adventure!

Start your gourds inside by planting up to but no more than 2 seeds in a 3″ container or pot.  When you are finished potting your seeds-THOROUGHLY soak with water until it flows out the bottom of the pot.  After the initial watering, water like you would a normal house plant.  Soil for gourd seedlings can be on the dry side but do not let it dry out completely.  Keep seedlings in sun.  The more sun they receive, the stronger the plant you will have.  If they receive less light, you may have thin, less hearty plants.  You do not need to fertilize seedlings while they are still inside.  Then around June 1st or AFTER THE THREAT OF FROST (this is very important, frost will kill your plants), plant outside in full sun.

Gourd vines will take over fences, trelises, and other plants if left alone.

Click here to order your seeds!

New Raw Gourd Area At Meadowbrooke Gourds

Gourd crafters, check out our new, expanded area for raw gourds at our Retail Store!

Egg Gourd & Moss Centerpiece How-To

You don’t have to be a professional artist for gourd crafting to be fun! There are numerous projects using raw gourds that can be simple and easy. We are excited to share a series of quick how-to’s for those that want to get their hands into gourd crafting, but may not know where to begin! We hope you enjoy these project sheets and use them as inspiration for your own projects. Please feel free to share them and share your gourd crafting photos with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Our first project is a beautiful, rustic centerpiece made with cleaned, raw egg gourds. This piece can be used for Easter as well as the entire Spring season!

Download the sheet here.

What you will need:
Cardboard box
Gourd Eggs (about one dozen) available at mbgourds.com
Glass containers at varying heights and sizes
Acrylic paint (Robin’s Egg Blue, Off White, and Brown)
Paintbrush
Toothbrush
Green Reindeer Moss

Step 1: Cut holes in a cardboard box for your gourd eggs to sit in without falling through.

Step 2: Decide how many blue, brown, and white eggs you would like to have and paint each accordingly. For the brown eggs: just leave the gourd as its natural color. For blue and white eggs: First, paint the top portion of the egg, let dry. Then flip it over in the cardboard hole to paint the bottom half. These eggs took two coats of acrylic paint to cover completely.

Step 3: Once the eggs are dry, dip a toothbrush in brown acrylic paint mixed with water. The more water the more transparent your “specks” will be. Flick the toothbrush to speckle the eggs to your desired effect and let dry.

Step 4: Fill various glass containers will green reindeer moss found in the floral section of most craft stores. Arrange the eggs in the containers. Enjoy your beautiful Spring display!

A Gourdgeous Display

Clothing and houseware retailer, Anthropologie, is known for their absolutely stunning window displays. Not only are they beautiful, they are eco-friendly and wildly creative.

Their recent fall windows caught our eye because the main focal point is the use of raw gourds. We appreciate the sculptural, organic flair gourds bring to decor of all sorts and gourd lovers everywhere will appreciate this artistic interpretation. Here are some of the photos from the Anthropologie Facebook page: Enjoy and be inspired with gourd creativity!

image copyright Anthropologie

image copyright Anthropologie

image copyright Anthropologie

image courtesy Anthropologie

image courtesy Anthropologie

image copyright Anthropologie

View all of the photos here. 

How to Attract Butterflies to Your Gourd Butterfly House

In a recent post we explained how to create your very own butterfly gourd house with our raw, cleaned gourds. (We also have finished gourd butterfly houses for sale onlineand in our retail store.) Now that your butterfly house is hanging in the garden, it’s time to attract some beautiful butterflies!

Butterflies will use your gourd home as a way to stay safe from harmful animals, insects and inclement weather. One way to attract butterflies is to color your gourd with bright colors! Butterflies are particularly attracted to yellow, purple, red and pink. Our finished butterfly houses are colored this way to attract these beauties.

 

Placing your gourd in a sunny area with lots of flowers will also help to bring these lovely insects around your home. Here is a list of flowers that naturally attract butterflies!

Provide a source of water. Pour water on flat rocks or on stone walkways and place your butterfly house near this moisture. This encourages them to investigate and eventually use the house as shelter.

For more tips visit ehow.com here.

Make your Own Butterfly House

The weather here in Carlisle is absolutely beautiful and it’s making us excited for the warm months to come and lots of time spent outside! Meadowbrooke Gourds is known for our handcrafted gourds, but we also sell raw gourds for you to craft on your own! We just wrote a recent post about gourd crafting and how much fun it can be. Gourd crafting is virtually limitless since dried gourds can be crafted like a fragile piece of wood. One of our popular items for the warmer months is our gourd butterfly house. To make your own butterfly house start with a raw, cleaned gourd as shown below.

This is a penguin gourd and we recommend the 13 inch size for this project. (click the image to purchase online.)

* Next, drill staggered slits into the gourd for the butterflies to enter the house. We use 5 slits. Do not worry about cleaning out the material inside the dried gourd. This actually gives the butterflies more protection.

* Paint the house any way you would like! Be creative and have fun! We have seen loads of creativity during our “Paint your Own” Workshops. Check out the photos on our Facebook page for some inspiration.

* Drill holes in the stem to attach a wire for hanging.

Pictured above: Meadowbrooke Gourd’s signature butterfly houses.

Place in your garden or on your porch and enjoy!

Crafting with Raw Gourds

Right now at Meadowbrooke Gourds we are offering a SALE on 4″ -5″ raw, uncleaned gourds. Come out to the retail store and fill an entire bag for only $10! If you have always wanted to try crafting your own dried gourds, this is a great opportunity to try your hand at it. Crafting gourds is a lot of fun and the creativity is truly endless! We are constantly amazed by the new ideas and creations our local artists come up with.

Raw, uncleaned gourds on sale now at Meadowbrooke Gourds

We also offer cleaned raw gourds on our website in many different shapes and sizes. Check them out here.

Very much like a fragile piece of wood-you can do anything to a gourd you can to wood.  You can dye, paint, cut, wood burn, etc. your gourd.  We have not found any paint, shellac, dye etc. that cannot be used on a gourd.  Please remember though, like wood, a gourd will burn so we do not suggest putting a candle or open flame around it. More blog posts about crafting tips coming soon!

Mod Podge Vase

We found this project from Crystal and Company – a wonderful blog that is definitely worth checking out!

Crystal posted a project for making these really cute Mod Podge Vases to give as gifts!

Mod Podge vase from Crystal & Co.

The project is so simple. First you tear scrapbook paper into imperfect pieces, then you layer it on any glass vase or recycled jar with mod podge. For more detail instructions with photos click here.

This made us think how pretty this technique would be on a dried, raw gourd vase! Dried gourds can be crafted just like a fragile piece of wood – perfect for decoupaging!

Grab your mod podge, interesting scrapbook paper pages and create a one-of-a-kind gourd.

These penguin gourds would make great decorative vases with the tops cut off!

Gilded Fruit and Gourds

from realsimple.com

A holiday table centerpiece we found in the November issue of Real Simple magazine uses gilded fruit.  In the magazine, they are in a shallow bowl, but any decorative wood, glass, or – yes – gourd bowl will work just as well.  They refer you to their web site for instructions on how to guild the fruit.  It’s fairly, you guessed it, simple, and yields beautiful results. Here are the steps from the Real Simple website…

1. Clean and dry fruit. If you’re using fresh fruit, the firmer the better. You can get the same look with fake fruit, if you want it to last.

2. With a disposable paintbrush, apply a thin, even coat of water-based gilding adhesive like Rolco Aquasize ($15 for 16 ounces, fineartstore.com). Let dry until tacky (about 15 minutes).

3. Press sheets of faux gold leaf (available at crafts stores) onto the fruit with a soft cotton cloth. Overlap sheets slightly, and remove any loose pieces.

4. To give the fruit an antiqued look, use another soft cotton cloth to apply brown or black shoe polish. Buff to a high shine.


part of our Nature's Centerpiece Collection

While you’re at it, why not gild your dried gourds for a beautiful decoration that will last for years to come?

You can find dried, cleaned raw gourds on our website. Try placing gilded fruit and gourds in one of our gourd bowls. Try filling the bowls with other items, too. Nuts, autumn leaves, and other seasonal items would make a beautiful table scape as well.

Drying Process, Oct. 25

We started this project on October 8th, as the first picture shows.  The second picture was taken on October 15th, and you can already see that the martin gourd is probably going to dry out faster than the gooseneck.  This past Monday,the 25th, the martin is starting to get good and moldy all over.  It’s much lighter, too, easily picked up with a little finger hooked under the stem.  (Later this winter, we’re going to try lifting it with much less resilient objects.)


10/25, the other side of martin gourd

The gooseneck shows change from the 8th, but it’s definitely going to be a longer process.  It’s a little lighter, it can now be lifted easily enough with an index finger hooked under it’s neck, but it’s a stretch for a pinky.

We’ll continue to update you about once a week, less often as changes slow down further in the process/winter.

Taken 10/25

Taken 10/15

10/8, right off the farm.