Gourd Lanterns

5 Materials
2 Hours

Over the years, I've carved pumpkins but I've never worked with gourds. While picking up gourds for another project, I really took the time to look at how beautiful they are and then idea hit me...

...what if I make lanterns using these beauties?

Step 1: Choose your gourd

A - this is a larger gourd with beautiful coloring

B - and I chose a much plainer gourd

A little fact - gourd and pumpkins are in the same family - Cucurbitacea - however, pumpkins can be eaten and gourd cannot be eaten. A squash is also in this family and they too can be eaten.

Step 2: Cut and clean the large gourds

1 - I used a serrated knife to cut a hole in the bottom

2 - As you can see, the inside is much like a pumpkin

3 - Using a large spoon and my hand, I cleaned the inside

4 - scraping away all of the "stuff" until it was clean

Step 2: Cut and clean the small gourds

1 - I used a serrated knife to cut a hole in the bottom

2 - the I scooped out the insides using a large spoon. You can see the insides are much denser than the other gourd

3 - Once the inside was clean, I cut off the top

4 - and I used a spoon and knife to cut away inside the top. The top didn't have any seeds and was "meatier".

5 - Once the top and bottom were clean I cut a hole through the middle inside

6 - I cut and scooped out the insides so you could see through the gourd

Step 3: Cleaning

1 - I filled a bucket with a gallon of water

2 - then added one cup of bleach

3 - I placed the gourds into the bucket and allowed them to soak about 10 minutes

4 - I removed them from the bucket and allowed them to dry

Step 4: Making the lantern - large gourd

For the first stripped gourd, I used a 1/2" drill bit and simply drilled random holes then I used a flat head screwdriver to clean the holes so there wasn't anything blocking them.

Since this was a new medium to me, I wanted to try staining the outside.

1 - I applied a walnut stain and allowed it to sit on the gourd about 2 minutes

2 - and then wiped it off. Not much of a difference.

For the other stripped gourd, I drew a design on the gourd and drilled holes using a smaller drill bit.

Then I used green craft paint and painted vines and leaves onto the gourd.

Step 4: Making the lantern - smaller gourd

I drew a free-hand design onto the gourd with a pencil

Then used two different size drill bit to follow the design

Step 5: Lights

For safety, I used battery operated tea lights in all the gourd lanterns.

I'm glad I experimented with gourds. They give a unique look to my fall decorations which I love.

This video file cannot be played.(Error Code: 102630)
Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page. More info

Top Hometalk Projects

30 Creative Ways To Repurpose Baking Pans
15 Kitchen Updates Under $20
20 Easy Concrete Projects You Absolutely CAN Do!
31 Amazing Furniture Flips You Have to See to Believe
31 Amazing Furniture Flips You Have to See to Believe
Craft Organization Ideas Mom Will Love
30 Ways To Use Old Jeans For Brilliant Craft Ideas
18 Adorable Container Garden Ideas To Copy This Spring
Gardeners: Copy These 28 Stunning Ways To Display Your Plants
27 Gorgeous Update Ideas For Your Bedroom
15 Genius Curtain Ideas To Instantly Upgrade Your Space
15 Amazing Things You Can Make With Dollar Store Gems
21 Totally Terrific Things You Can Do With Doilies
31 Coastal Decor Ideas Perfect For Your Home
30 Creative Ways To Repurpose Baking Pans

Have a question about this project?

3 of 7 questions
  • Mary
    on Sep 30, 2018

    How did you make those twine pumpkins on your mantle?

    • Wxw
      on Oct 22, 2018

      Love the twine pumpkins. Thinking ahead, i saved stems b4 discarding pumpkins from previous seasons. The stems dry out perfectly for a "real" touch! These twine "pumpkins" add great texture to easy homemade fabric pumpkins shown in our favorite upscale catalogs.

  • Susan
    on Sep 30, 2018

    Are the ones shown in the tutorial actually squash? My gourds look very different from these, and these look like butternut squash?

  • Victoria Bachlotte
    on Jan 4, 2020

    I might try this..... I am a little impatient though. Do you think a drimmel would work for carving designs on outside?

    Also did you notice a defference in light in places that were thinner?

Join the conversation

2 of 17 comments
  • Wxw
    on Oct 22, 2018

    Double duty for butternut squash . . . Butternut squash soup. So easy to make and great for a chilly fall dinner.

  • Mary
    on Nov 12, 2018

    Love it! I think that if I did this, it would never come out like yours... I might just try anyway!! Thank you!🦃

Your comment...