I love a good pumpkin as much as the next person. Carved, stuffed with flowers, decoupaged, don’t get me wrong – they’re mighty versatile! But have you considered gourds lately? They’re a personal favorite of mine because, well, you can just get downright funky with gourds!
The History of Gourds
No, there will not be a test, but you do need to look gourd-smart for your guests!
- Gourds have been cultivated all over the globe for thousands of years, including caveman years
- Gourds are actually a member of the pumpkin/squash family
- Gourds have been used since pre-historic times for storing supplies, hauling water, eating utensils, musical instruments – you name it!
- Gourds are a bit like kudzu. They are quite prolific and will climb everything within their area: fences, buildings, hillsides, cars that have been parked in one place too long, Grandma if she doesn’t move fast enough …
- Gourds are huge in the Southeast as birdhouses, attracting the purple martin to take up residence where, in turn, the purple martin gathers mosquitoes for dinner
- There really are juried Gourd Shows around the country this time of year
- There is an American Gourd Society, headquartered in Kokomo, Indiana
- There is a Gourd Museum near Helen, Georgia (I’ve been there)
- There are decorated gourds on display at The United States Botanic Gardens in Washington, D.C. (which make them Federally-Funded Gourds)
Capturing the fancy of artists, now that they’re not needed as much for bowls, spoons, flutes and the like – gourds come in all sizes and shapes to make the perfect do-it-yourself table decorations for Thanksgiving!
Here’s a good site with step-by-step instruction on how to make your own gourd turkey. This guy goes all the way to a detail-painted turkey, but I can envision stopping here, then nestling this little “deconstructed” turkey into a nest of dried magnolia leaves, then inserting some red berries around for color. You could also use a little furniture polish or spray him with a clear glaze to perk him up even more!
Another idea? Find some baloon-shaped gourds. Turn them over on their side or give them some turkey feet and let them stand up, then start gluing!
Silk fall leaves, feathers, real dried fall leaves – you can make a turkey tail out of about anything. Even candy!
Add a beak and a pair of eyes and a turkey wattle, maybe a cute little raffia bow and voila!
Let’s keep the gourd vibe going. Hollow out some gourd cousins (squash for the uninitiated) and pop in a tea light!
Get some craft wire and make gourd place card holders!
Celebrating do-it-yourself Thanksgiving Decorations made with gourds today!
Please remember to Celebrate Something Everyday!