Make an Elegant Thanksgiving Decoration from Gourds

Create this elegant Thanksgiving decoration with natural materials such as gourds, dried leaves, flowers, and cattails.

What You Need:

  • Dried gourd
  • Nonpermanent marker
  • Saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Bleach and hot, soapy water
  • Scouring pad
  • Nonserrated knife
  • Disposable paintbrush
  • Wood stain
  • Soft cloth rag
  • Small soft paintbrushes
  • Dry or semidry leaves
  • Foil adhesive
  • Wooden curtain rod ring
  • Red variegated gold leafing
  • Clear sealer
  • Rubber cement
  • Wood glue
  • Cattails
  • Matte decoupage medium
  • Pink glitter
  • Vase
  • Gold acrylic spray paint
  • Newspaper
  • Gold spray paint
  • Small rocks or unpopped corn (optional)

How to Make It:

1.   Choose a gourd with a solid uniform base. Use a nonpermanent marker to draw an opening around the stem. Saw off the top portion of the gourd along the marked line. Sand the cut edge smooth.
2.   Remove the insides from the gourd. Soak and scrub the outside of the gourd with hot soapy water, bleach, and a scouring pad. Use the blade of a nonserrated knife to remove mold and tough spots. Let dry.
3.   Use a disposable paintbrush to apply wood stain to the outside of the gourd. Wipe with cloth rag and let dry.

4.   Use a soft paintbrush to apply foil adhesive to the fronts of the leaves. Remove the small hook from the wooden curtain rod ring and apply adhesive to the ring. Paint the cut edge of the gourd with adhesive also. Let the pieces dry just until tacky.

5.   Gently lay sheets of leafing onto the adhesive areas on the leaves, gourd, and ring. Wipe away excess adhesive with a clean, dry paintbrush. Coat all foiled areas with clear sealer; let dry.
6.   Apply one coat of rubber cement to the backs of a leaves and one coat onto the gourd where you want to position the leaves, covering more than enough area. Let dry until tacky but not wet.
7.   Apply the leaves to rubber cement area. Note that once a leaf is positioned, it can't be moved. Rub off extra rubber cement from the gourd.

8.   Apply a small amount of wood glue to one side of the ring and adhere the ring to the bottom of the gourd so it sits securely; let dry.
9.   Turn the gourd upside down and apply a generous amount of wood glue to the inside of the ring for extra stability; let dry. Paint cattails with a generous amount of matte decoupage medium and sprinkle with pink glitter. Let dry standing upright in a vase.
10.   Paint cattail stems with gold acrylic paint. Lay cattail leaves on newspaper and paint with gold spray paint.; let dry.
11.   Arrange cattails and leaves in the gourd vase. Place a few small rocks or unpopped corn in the bottom of the gourd if needed to keep the cattails in place.

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