Bottle-Gourd Creature

Susan Begin from Olmsted Falls, Ohio, combines culturally themed designs with gourds to create playful, decorative masks and sculptures in all shapes and sizes.

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Materials and Tools:

4" dry, clean bottle gourd
wood bead
copper wire
colored wire
wooden base
acrylic paint
water-based varnish


1. Drill five holes in the gourd body: one for the head, two for arms, and two for legs.

2. Cut a length of copper wire three times as long as the gourd. Cut several 12-inch lengths of colored wire and wrap approximately 4 inches of this wire around the copper wire.

3. Thread the copper wire through the "head" hole of the gourd and out one of the leg holes. The wrapped colored wire should be at the top of the gourd.

4. Thread the wood bead onto the copper wire and colored wire. The wrapped part of the colored wire will be inside the wood bead. Glue the wood bead to the gourd.

5. Cut another length of copper wire for the other leg. Thread it into the gourds through the other leg hole.

6. Bend and coil the ends of the leg wires into feet.

7. Cut another length of copper wire for the arms. Thread it in one armhole and out the other. Bend the arms as desired, and coil both ends into hands.

8. Paint body of gourd with various colors and designs. Paint head yellow and add a happy face.

9. Drill holes into the wood base using the Gourdling's feet as a guide.

10. Cut several small lengths of thin wire. Attach the Gourdling to the base with this wire, twisting the wire underneath the base.

11. Cut the felt to fit the bottom of the wood base. Glue the felt to the wood, covering the twisted wire on the bottom.

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