Mark Derse/Country Woman
What You’ll Need to Turn a Gourd into a Birdhouse
- Dried birdhouse gourd
- Wooden dowel
- Pumpkin carving tool
- 220- and 400-grit sandpaper
- Paint pen
- Spray Varnish
How to Turn a Gourd into a Birdhouse Directions
- Use pumpkin carving tool and cut a circle into belly of gourd. (See note below on suggested hole sizes, depending on the type of bird you are looking to attract.) Sand cut edges with 220-grit sandpaper. Clean out as much of the dried flesh and seeds inside gourd as possible.
- Lightly sand outside of gourd with 220-grit sandpaper. Wipe off dust with rag and sand again with 400-grit sandpaper.
- Drill horizontally through top of gourd, using a bit the same size as wooden dowel. Trim down dowel to fit through top of gourd with 2 in. on each side outside the gourd.
- Draw design onto gourd with pencil, and trace with paint pen.
- Spray gourd with varnish to seal. Tie twine around each dowel side, making a loop to hang.
NOTE: Each bird species has its own requirements for habitat, entrance-hole size and cavity dimensions. For instance, house wrens need a 1-in. entrance hole in a 5- to 6-in. diameter gourd and prefer them hung in a shady area close to brush. Purple martins like doorways that measure 2 1/8 in. and the gourds to be hung high in open areas. Chickadees need a 1 1/8-in. hole and like to nest in wooded areas. Bluebirds and tree swallows require a 1½-in. hole and prefer to nest in open areas. For flycatchers, make the hole 1¾ to 2 in. in diameter and hang the gourd in a tree close to a brushy area.
Learn how to build a modern birdhouse in the video below.