Introduction: Making Gourd Birdhouses

Birdhouses made from gourds are a fun wintertime craft and make a great project to do with kids.  There are several varieties of gourd which make great birdhouses -- You can sometimes buy them at your local farmers' market, or if you're in it for the long haul you can grow your own.  If you are taking the true DIY route, make sure to hang the gourds in a dry place after harvesting them in the fall.  They should be moisture-free before you start this instructable.  Depending on your climate, this could take an entire year.

For this project, you'll need

-Dry Gourds
-Sander or Sandpaper and patience
-1" Forsner Bit
-A small eye screw for each gourd
-A length of cord or wire for each gourd
-All-weather paint (We used white spray paint)

Step 1: Sand

The first step to cleaning up the gourds is lots of sanding.  An electric sander speeds up this process, but sandpaper works just as well.  When you have finished, the gourds should be lighter in color and very smooth.

After you've cleaned the gourds, sand down the stem, leaving a small nub for attaching the eye bolt.

Step 2: Drill

Using the 1" Forsner bit, drill a hole in the main cavity of your gourd.  This will be the entrance for your guests.  At this point, you can take out a lot of the seeds and dried interior flesh, but make sure to leave a few seeds inside.  Legend has it that this attracts birds to nest in the birdhouse.

Also drill a small pilot hole in the remaining stem and put in the eye screw.

Step 3: Paint

Depending on your style, you can paint the gourds however you like or finish them with a clear sealant.  The protective coating of paint or sealant will help your birdhouse last through the seasons.  Hanging the gourds from the eye hooks while painting provides a convenient way to reach the entire surface.

Step 4: Hang

Find a spot within eye-shot of a window or porch and hang your birdhouses using the length of wire or cord.  With luck it will have inhabitants before long.