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Adventures in Gourd Crafts

We’re Falling for Gourd Crafts

Come October, every time we enter the grocery store or walk through the farmers market, we can’t help but notice them. They’re bulbous, curvy, smooth, bumpy, orange, white, green, yellow, striped, dotted, two toned, and everything in between.

Of course we’re talking about that little harvesttime favorite, gourds. Which got us to thinking: Why do they come in such a cornucopia of kinds? Turns out it’s because gourds can cross-pollinate each other as well as other pumpkins and squash. Who knew?

Gourds are thought to be one of the earliest domesticated plants. Found in Peruvian archaeological sites dating back to 13,000 BCE, they were used for food and to make tools and musical instruments.

Together Time

With such an array of textures and colors, gourds practically beg to be used for art projects. Here are a few crafty ideas your family might enjoy.


When your kids look at the gourds you’ve gathered, what kind of animals do they see? A chicken, a lemur, a snake? Using acrylic paint, googly eyes, feathers, and glue dots or a glue gun, you can bring those critters to life!

We’d love to see what your creative crew comes up with. Tag #littlepassports on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to show us your gourdimals.

Gourd Bouquet

Ornamental gourds make fantastic fall vases. Either find one that sits up securely on its own or shave off the bottom so it’s flat and stable. Then hollow it out and fill it with bits of nature from around your yard or neighborhood.

Dried hyacinths,  pinecones, and sprigs of fall leaves work well for a water-free bouquet. If your gourd is big enough to put a small glass of water inside, you can add fresh fall blooms like dahlias and sunflowers. We love including some aromatic sprigs of rosemary or lavender, too.


Up your jack-o’-lantern game by adding some gourds into the mix. Hollow them out, just like you would  a pumpkin, and then carve a spooky face or pretty pattern. If you have a drill handy, you can make really lovely dot patterns reminiscent of an old tin lantern.

Gourd Garland

Drape your mantel or front porch with a DIY gourd garland. All you need is some small lightweight gourds with stems (the stems are key), twine, sprigs of greenery, and any other bits from nature you’d like to use.

Attach the lengths of greenery together with twine to make the garland your desired length. Then tie a loop of twine around the stem of each gourd and add them to your garland along with your other gathered treasurers.

Gourd Centerpiece

This is an easy project  for even the littlest fall adventurers. Gather a platter, placemat, clear vases, or a large flat bowl for the base of your centerpiece. Then add small decorative gourds and any other autumn finds to create a festive focal point for your table.

While traditional autumn colors such as red, orange, and yellow make us warm and happy, you could also try more subdued colors and interesting textures like white gourds paired with dark green kale, brown twigs, and a soft spray of wheat. 

Have fun getting creative together! And remember: Heading outside to gather the supplies for your creations is all part of the fun.