Things You'll Need
Dried gourd crafts include birdhouses, decorative pieces and even bowls. Once you find gourds to use in your craft project, it will take a lot of patience and time to dry them. Gourds can take anywhere from one to six months to dry, depending on their size. In order to dry the gourds properly, they must be stored in a well-ventilated and dry environment.
Dry the Gourds
Leave 2 inches of the stem on the gourd. Use pruning shears to remove the gourd instead of twisting it off.
Wash the gourds with warm water and mild soap. Use diluted bleach to kill bacteria. This will remove unnecessary dirt and debris and help to speed up the drying process.
Place the gourds where they will receive plenty of air circulation. Hang them by their stems in a well-ventilated area or place them on a screen. Do not allow them to touch each other, and make sure that you place them in a dry environment. Gourds also dry best in dry environments.
Wipe off the moisture every two to three days. If they are on a screen, rotate them when you wipe the moisture. Fungus and mold will form on the gourds, but if they develop soft spots, you will need to throw them away.
Check on the gourds. The gourds are dry when the seeds move around freely, the mold on the outside of the gourds feels dry and the gourd itself feels lighter.
Paint the Gourds
Clean the gourds off in a well-ventilated area. Soak the dried gourd in warm water, and then prepare a bleach solution that contains 1 part bleach and 9 parts water.
Saturate a towel in the solution. Wipe away the mold carefully. Use a scouring pad if you need to remove stubborn mold.
Soak the gourd in warm water for four hours. You will have to wrap a towel around the gourd to prevent it from floating on top of the water.
Use steel wool to scrub away the skin. Rinse the gourd off after you remove the skin.
Lay out newspaper. Choose a paint color for the base coat. Paint designs onto the gourd, and allow the paint to dry. Cover the gourd in matte spray.
Wear a mask when you clean gourds to prevent breathing in the harmful mold.