Boo-man Group

Just in time for Halloween! This is an easy project that requires just two materials: acrylic paint and a dried bottle gourd. Admittedly, finding a dried gourd can be tricky. I came across a cheap stash at a local nursery. They were $3 each for the dried, unscrubbed ones. The scrubbed ones were $5 each, and, looking back, I maybe should have paid the extra $2 because cleaning these suckers is hard work.

If you keep your eye out for them, I am sure you can find a cheap, local source. However, if you think these are so cute you want to go out and do them now, I seem to recall seeing them at Hobby Lobby or Michaels. Or, if you want practically free gourds and want to plan this project for next year, you can grow them!

On that note, before I get into the project, let’s talk about the gourds. Some people don’t actually realize that these are plants. The dried gourd you plan to craft with was recently growing on a vine somewhere, similar to pumpkins and cucumbers. They are just a particular kind of squash or melon.

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According to Wikipedia, this plant was one of the first cultivated plants in the world, grown not primarily for food, but for use as a water container.” It can be also be eaten. While ancient cultures have used this amazing plant for functional and necessary purposes, we are not so noble. We are going to make cute, fun little ghosts.

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Dried Gourd Turorial

Step 1) Prepare your dried gourd. This means scrubbing the dickens out of it if it still has the flaky black bits on it. 20131007-222118.jpg Incidentally, this is mold…I recommend that you wear gloves and maybe a mask. And if you are having your kids help, do the scrubbing for them. Though, quite honestly, I have never had an issue. Since you are painting the gourds, they don’t have to be pristine. Just make sure you get the flakiness off so your paint does not peel.
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Step 2) Once gourd is flake-free and dry, you can paint it. Go ahead, be generous. I used white acrylic paint and had to do many, many layers before I was satisfied, but the stuff dries quickly so it’s not a big deal. Why not get creative and add some metallic or glitter paint. There is also no reason you can use a color other than white. However, I went traditional Ghostbusters on this and used black and white. I have done the project before with a foam brush and a paint brush. Both work well.

Step 3) Draw in your eyes and mouth. I used black acrylic paint, but you can get creative with this. I also rimmed the stem with black and added a little detail to the back for fun. When you are happy, give it a spray of glossy sealer.
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If you search far and wide for bottle gourds and only find apple gourds, do not despair, here are some Halloween/ Fall ideas with apple gourds.

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