Thomas J. Story
Time: 1 1/2 hours for 6 gourds (depending on the intricacy of the patterns)
Cost: About $2 per gourd
Tools and materials
Dried gourds (sources)
A variety of wood-burning nibs
Spray-on clear acrylic coating
Hot glue gun and glue sticks
Ribbon for hanging
1. Use the wood burner to imprint a pattern into the dried gourds. If you are new to using a wood burner, rely on a combination of metal nibs (also called technique points) to create the pattern. Be sure to switch the nibs only when the wood burner and nib are completely cool.
2. Once your design is complete, spray the gourd with a clear acrylic coating. This will give it a glossy finish.
3. To attach the ribbon for hanging the gourds, place a small amount of hot glue on the base of the gourd's stem. Wrap the ribbon around the base and create a loop. Secure the loop with additional hot glue. Or simply tie the ribbon loop to the gourd's stem.
Design inspired by Rimona Gale, Pomegranate Jewelry (510/223-8026).
Gourds are available at crafts stores, or from the Caning Shop (800/544-3373), the Gourd Factory (209/877-3694) or Welburn Gourd Farm (760/728-4271).