Making a cute birdhouse out of one of nature’s uniquely shaped structures is a joy! Gourds are easy to grow and are available at roadside stands. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors, and their unique patterns from the seasoning/molding process make them a work of art.
Along with the fulfillment of making something fun, you’re also helping out local songbirds with their housing situation. These birdhouses can last for years.
The gooseneck gourds are the best because they hang easily and they have enough room in the bottom for the nesting area. There are also other varieties to experiment with if you prefer. Enjoy them as decoration for the fall. Then, instead of throwing them out, leave them in a garage or breezeway to sit and mold, called seasoning. Don’t touch them. They’ll look ugly but they won’t once they go through that awkward stage.
In early April, brush off some of the white mold that has formed on the outside. You’ll see patterns emerge and then you can determine which ones look best to you. Once satisifed with your chocies, drill a 1-1/4-inch to a 1-3/8 inch hole on one side, in the largest section of the gourd. After drilling the hole, shake any dried up seeds out of it. You may plant the seeds or dispose as you see fit.
Coat the outside of the gourd with Mod Podge Clear Acrylic Sealer Gloss. It’s a spray, so no brushes are needed. Spray with several light layers. Not only does it preserve and protect it from the elements, it also brings out the look and lustre of the pattern. Tie a string or jute around the neck of the gourd. You can secure several gourds together in a grouping. Then hang them in a tree, or from your porch – any place that you think a bird may want to nest. And if a bird doesn’t nest, it still looks good as decoration. Enjoy!