Instructables
Picture of Hardshell Gourd Luminary
Hello! I am excited to present my first instructable, the Gourd Luminary!  To make one of these, you will need the following:

One hardshell gourd
Drill
Electric saw
Pencil
Sandpaper
Woodburner
20 ga. beading wire
C7 light cord
Hole saw
Wood glue
A little imagination!

Optional:
Wood stain or paint
 
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Step 1: Step One: Gourd Selection and Preparation

Picture of Step One: Gourd Selection and Preparation
Choose a firm, heavy-feeling gourd to work with. If the shell is too thin, the gourd is likely to crack as you work with it. If the gourd is dirty and/or still has the outer cuticle attached to it, wash it in hot soapy water. A steel pot scrubber will help remove dirt and debris. Allow the gourd to dry.

Step 2: Plan and Draw the Face!

Picture of Plan and Draw the Face!
Feel free to go crazy...try to stay within your limits, though. An elaborate face is kind of hard (but not impossible) to carve. For this lesson, we'll stick to a traditional Jack-o-Lantern face. Draw it on with a pencil.
**Tip*** When drawing with pencil on gourds, stray marks are easily removed with a Baby Wipe!

Step 3: Beginning to Carve!

Picture of Beginning to Carve!
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With your drill and a bit that is large enough to accommodate your saw blade, carefully drill holes in each of the face pieces. Then, with your saw, carefully cut out the mouth only. I will explain why in the next step.

Step 4: Cleaning Out the Inside

Picture of Cleaning Out the Inside
This is the least fun part of the project. I use a Wire brush on a bit extender and my drill. You can use any number of other methods to work out the inner pulp. Do it carefully, it's easy to break a gourd at this stage. Cutting only the mouth lessens the chance of this happening. 

Step 5: Cut Out the Remaining Pieces and Sand

Picture of Cut Out the Remaining Pieces and Sand
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Once the gourd is hollowed out to your satisfaction, use your saw to carefully cut out the rest of the face. Sand all edges smooth.

Step 6: Add a Flourish!

Picture of Add a Flourish!
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Use the scrap of gourd that you cut out of the mouth section, and sketch out a leaf pattern. Cut it out and use your wood burner to add accents.
Jerimy1 year ago
"Feel free to go crazy...try to stay within your limits". Which is it?