June 20, 2017 by Rachel
If you need help drawing a star template, see my posting for “How to Cut a Five Point Star.”
If you already have a gourd birdhouse and don’t want to cut an actual star-shaped hole, you can just paint the entrance to look like a star.
To cut a star entrance into a gourd, you only need a drill and a mini hand saw or jab saw. Trace the star where you want your entrance hole. Drill the ends of each segment of the star. Then, in the middle of the star, drill several holes close enough together so that you can fit your saw blade through the gap.
To decorate the gourd, trace star shapes and stripes over the cleaned surface. Use outdoor acrylic craft paint and seal the finished gourd with outdoor glossy varnish.
I really liked the natural patina of the gourd below and decided to use dye to keep the color transparent. I wouldn’t be able to control putting down dye around traced outlines, so I made star stickers out of blue painters tape and a large reclosable storage bag.
I built the color up slowly with a sponge barely damp with dye. From far away the star color may seem gold as it is on my other bird houses, but it is actually the color of the cured gourd. Towards the bottom of the photo, you can see faint circles showing through the red dye. Those are spots left from mold during the curing process. Mold spots don’t sound pretty, but I love the mottled color!
If you’d like to see the kid-friendly directions for the first star gourd birdhouse that I made with my kids, visit my website http://www.thepaintedgourd.com/July4Tutorial/
Most birds who need nesting cavities would prefer an old tree to a gourd. But with more woods being cut down, there’s a shortage of habitat, and gourd birdhouses can help!
If you are interested in making gourd birdhouses that aren’t purely decorative as these star gourd birdhouses are, feel free to print the handout from my website Gourd Birdhouses RachelArmington.com