A few years ago we grew gourds at Coffeetree Bottoms with the intent to make bird houses out of them. We moved those gourds to Carlsbad, NM with us where they dried perfectly in the arid sunny climate. With our Ohio move this winter Christmas crafting fell a bit by the wayside, but we did manage to make our gourd bird houses.
Step 1: When gourds are ready for crafting, mold covers the skins and seeds rattle inside. The skins also feel very hard to the touch. First soak the gourds in water then scrub off the mold. It came off readily for us using a wire brush - it did make a bit of a mess so be prepared for that. Let the gourds dry a few hours.
Step 2: Drill a few holes in the bottom for ventilation and drainage.
Happy boy helping the birds...
Step 3: Drill two holes up on the top to hook a wire or cord through for hanging.
Step 4: Make an opening for the birds. This site provides good hole size information (it does matter!), why birds are in desperate need of more cavities to nest/roost in, etc. We made our holes 1.5" in diameter using a hole saw.
Step 5: Once the hole is drilled, use a wire hanger or some other rigid object to remove most of the seeds, chaff, etc.
Step 6: Feed a wire through the top holes and voila! Your gourd bird houses are ready for hanging. We opted to leave our gourds completely natural so when they fall apart they can be composted. We chose a wire for the hanger so the bird houses can be secured tightly to avoid swinging which many birds do not like.
Hang the bird houses before spring and watch the happy residents!