How to Make Drinking Gourds

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Drinking gourds have been used for hundreds of years.
Drinking gourds have been used for hundreds of years. (Image: Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

A drinking gourd is a long-stemmed gourd cut and hollowed to look like a large spoon or ladle. Some ancient cultures, such as Africans and Native Americans, used gourds as utensils for scooping water. The process of creating a drinking gourd takes from several months to more than two years, but if you purchase an already dried gourd, you can eliminate most of the time. Coat the gourd in wax to create a waterproof ladle that can last for years.

Things You'll Need

  • Long-stemmed gourd
  • Bleach
  • Pantyhose
  • Coping saw
  • Spoon
  • Scrubbing pad
  • Sandpaper
  • Beeswax
  • Small pot

Select a gourd with a long stem and a round body. Wash the gourd in a 10 percent bleach solution.

Place the gourd inside the pantyhose and hang it in a cool, dry location for six months to two years until the gourd is dry. The gourd will sound hollow when it is dry.

Wash the gourd in a 10 percent bleach solution once more.

Draw a line along the rounded portion of the gourd about halfway down the body of the gourd. Cut along this line with a coping saw.

Scoop out the inside of the gourd with a spoon. Scrub the inside with a scrubbing pad to smooth the inside of the gourd.

Sand the gourd inside and out with sandpaper.

Melt beeswax in a small pot. Pour the wax over the inside and outside of the gourd to protect it from water and prevent it from rotting when used as a drinking gourd. After the wax dries, give it one more coat for added protection.

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