Beaded Gourd Purse
This beaded gourd purse is decorated with a whimsical lady's face.
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Project by Chie Turk from Santa Monica, Calif.
Voted best dressed in high school, Chie Turk of Santa Monica, Calif., has always been into style, fashion and designing. But she credits her fiancé's mom for introducing her to the world of gourds. However, she put her own fun and hip twist on a traditional piece resulting in a unique gourd purse painted with a stylish lady's face. She also creates fun "doggy" bags for her dog, Zoe, to wear when they go for walks. The brightly colored bags conveniently store a key, a little cash and a waste bag.
Materials and Tools:
clean and dry gourd
white acrylic paint
multi-color pack of Sharpies
small round mirror
drill with a small bit
karge sewing needle
embellishments – hair, beads, fur, 18 large accessory beads
electric belt sander
Power Pro 30 lb.
hot glue gun
1. Pick a clean canteen gourd. Wipe it down with a dry cloth.
2. Draw a circle on the top of the gourd with a compass. Make sure it is large enough to fit your hand through.
3. Put on your mask and eye protectors. With the drywall blade, pierce the gourd and cut along the drawn circle at an angle.
4. Gut the inside of the gourd; remove all seeds and contents from the inside of the gourd. Scrape out all of the contents with your gourd scraper. Using sandpaper, sand the inside of the gourd and discard the residue.
5. Take the gourd lid to the electric sand belt and smooth it down.
6. Wipe the gourd's inside and out with a damp cloth and then a dry one.
7. Determine which side will be the face, then on the opposite side of the face (the back of the head) find the center point and make a dot with your pencil about one inch from the rim and another dot one inch from the base.
8. About 3 inches from the back dot on the base make another dot and another three inches from that.
9. Repeat this on the other side.
10. If your gourd does not have a stem on the lid, draw two dots about 1 inch apart in the center.
11. Draw the face and the hairline. Draw the hairline past the lid (resembling bangs).
12. Check that the dots are balanced to the face.
13. If your hair barrette is a large bead that cannot be hot glued on you must pick a spot on the base that you want it and draw another dot.
14. When happy with the balance, drill holes where you drew the dots. Wipe it down one last time.
15. With prism markers, color in the lipstick and eye color.
16. Using a Sharpie that most complements the desired hair color; trace the hairline, lips, eyes, nose, and mole as desired.
17. Let dry for five minutes.
19. Paint the white of the eyes with a small paintbrush and white acrylic paint and allow to dry for about 10 minutes.
20. Sign the bottom with your girl's name with a Sharpie pen.
21. Spray a very light coat of the lacquer on the exterior base and lid and let dry for about 10 minutes. Repeat this 6 to 10 times.
22. Allow it to dry approximately eight hours.
23. Cut about four feet of the 30 pound test string. Fold it in half; thread one end through the hole on the right side of the face. Tie a large bead to the crease that you created when the string was folded in half.
24. Thread the string on a large needle to help guide the string through the gourd and string back through the hole.
25. Put the two ends of the string together. Bead your first handle. Check for length to the other hole, then put both string ends through the hole on the opposite side and tie a second large bead on the inside of the gourd. Repeat for the second handle.
26. Cut about a foot of string. Bring one end through the first hole on the top of the lid. Put enough beads to be able to open and shut it. Bring the other end through the other hole and on the inside tie the two ends together.
27. Hot glue the mirror to the inside of the lid over your knot.
Cinnamon Cooper creates many handbags including this one made of hand-beaded silk.