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Nostalgic DIY Halloween Gourds

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

DIY Material List

Mature dried Gourd

Dust Mask & Safety Glasses

A Basin To Wash Your Gourds In

Dish Detergent & Bleach

Scrubbing Pad

Wire brush

Metal spoon

Paring knife

Fine grade sand paper

Small hand-held dermal drill (I purchased mine at AC Moores)

Primer (optional)

Paint of your choosing

Block of Styrofoam


Matte or gloss acrylic spray

Embroidery floss

©chericottrellsmall pumpkin and miceOct102013_4440

Jump Aboard And Let’s Start This DIY


Step 1

Always start with dried gourds. When dry the seeds will rattle, it will be lightweight and sound hollow inside. HOW TO DRY GOURDS

Step 2

Cleaning the gours…Filling basin with hot water add a few drops of dish detergent and bleach. Using scrub pad begin scrubbing and washing the debris off the gourd. If there is difficult debris use a paring knife to scrape off.

washing a dried gourd

Step 3

Rinse well making sure there isn’t ny soap scum left on the gourds. TROW AWAY USED SCRUB Pad

Step 4

Dry gourds overnight in a dark area. Do not put in the sun to dry for there is a chance of gourds cracking.

cleaned and dryed courds

Step 5

Using a pencil draw a line around the diameter of the gourd. This is a personal preference on how large or small you want your bowl to be.

Step 6

Using A Small Hand Dremel

hand dremel

Before using the small hand-held dremel put on your dust mask and safety glasses. On SLOW SPEED slowly begin cutting along your drawn pencil line.

Opps owl © cheri cottrell

Proceed to drilling a hole on opposite sides of the min gourd bowl, making sure the holes are aligned.

Step 7

Once top and bottom is separated proceed to clean and scrape out the pulp and seeds of your mini gourd. Making sure all debris is cleaned out.

Cleaned and scraped gourds

Step 8

Use a sanding bit and slowly smooth edges of bowl. With a damp cloth wipe any dust and debris.

Step 9

BEFORE PAINTING, place toothpicks in styrofoam making sure that for every one gourd there are two toothpicks closely placed together.

gourds on toopicks


Step 10

Paint What Ever Your Creative Heart Desires!

Choosing paint..I used watercolors and ink, only because I like the translucency of the gourd to show through! If you use opaque paints be sure to use white primer first on your gourds.

gourd bottoms copy

Don’t Forget The Bottoms!

Step 11

Once finished painting the gourd carefully place on top of the toothpicks, making sure there is enough space between the gourds to allow spray to get around evenly.

Step 12

Wearing a dusk mask bring acrylic spray and styrofoam with gourds and spray a light coat. Let dry thoroughly and spray again.

Step 13

Choosing your color of floss. Cut the floss to desired length for hanging, attach each end to holes on either side of the gourd. Fill the gourd with decorations and hang!


newpumkin gourd happy halloween

Warmly, Cheri


Halloween Gourd Ornaments

Monday, October 21, 2013

Hand Painted Halloween Ornaments

Please Go To The DIY!

Measures Approximately 1 3/8″ Wide x 1″ Long

This Project Was A True Labor Of Love

gourd 1 cinderella 2 copy

new 1 owl painted gourd

gourd 1 owl spider 1

gourd 1 owltree

gourd botttoms side

Tomorrow I will put up a DIY so you can make your own! And if you do I would love for you to share them with me!

Warmly, Cheri


Follow My Process From Start to Finish

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Starting With The Inspiration

Yesterday morning was filled with running small little errands, the first stop was the Post Office. Going down town is just so charming with all the quaint homes and buildings there is always something to look at! Just smelling the falling leaves mingled with that wonderful wood burning stove smell yummm! I wish they could make a donut with those smells I would eat the whole box.

And there it was, right in front of me! The most beautiful leaves, red, orange, brown with soft crisp edges just littering the Post Office brick stairs!

I picked up three and knew exactly what type of picture I wanted to sketch. That’s the funny thing about inspiration you just never know when it’s going to happen!

hammy 2 sketches pumpkin

I quickly sketched out the idea so not to forget it! When I got home I roughly re-sketched it with small notes of what I want in the borders. I always sketch on tracing paper, no big reason I just started with what I had on hand years ago and now it’s just what I am comfortable with.

sketchs pumpkins

Hope you stop by Tomorrow and see the finished sketch on watercolor paper and follow the progress of the painting as I share the day-to-day process!

Warmly, Cheri


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

” Mornings in Paris “

I started my day out in Old Port (Portland Maine)…just lingering. I just had that hunch It wasn’t going to be a productive day!


pirate stor portland

Walked Around The City

Took In A Few Good Shops


I new I was procrastinating…I have been working on the illustrations for the book and hit a speed bump. I needed to pick a few sketches and start tweaking them, but which ones! Sometimes starring at a million sketches, (O.K. maybe not a million but a lot)…I knew I had to make some choices and that’s where the procrastinating came in.

lasagna pasta

Made Homemade Sausage Lasagna


O.K. maybe I should just put myself on temporary suspension for the rest of the day! To be honest there wasn’t much daylight left, sooo I decided to go with it! I took to finishing up some of my homemade Halloween ornament…shhh…that’s for another blog, can’t wait to share. Went into my studio and tided up a little bit. I threw away all the crumpled scrunched up sketches that littered the floor, never making it into the good pile. Cleaned off the drawing board placed some fresh flowers on the desk…the old ones looked as if they needed to be tossed a week ago. ” There we go! We just needed a little boost!” I closed my studio doors and said to myself “I will see you tomorrow morning bright and early”!

new flowers in oil can

Decided to Make a Vase Out of My Empty OIl Can

700 books on a couch

Carl Larson ~ “At Home”

Nina Williams ~ “The Illustrated Cottage”

After a long day of procrastinating…I sat on my couch eating my yummy sausage lasagna, looking at my new olive oil can vase (boy that is a mouth full) and enjoyed a few of my favorite books!

Warmly, Cheri

Count Down Halloween

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Wishing You A Happy October


Warmly, Cheri


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© 2008 - 2013 Cheri Cottrell.
All Rights Reserved.
Please do not use, reprint or reproduce any illustrations, images or writings in any way without my express written permission. All illustrations are property of Cheri Cottrell LLC and are protected by trademark and copyright.
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