Hands On Crafts for Kids
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By Prudy Vannier



Gourds are plentiful in Jamaica and used for a variety of household things. This project is making a gourd basket decorated with bright Jamaican tropical flowers.

Painting lesson – Painting with washes

When you see the “helping hand” symbol on a project, it means you may need adult supervision to do the project. Always cover your work surface with a mat or some type of protective covering like wax paper or plastic. Always use care when using tools or a heat source. Be careful and safe!


Main supplies:

  • Gourd: 4” – 5” diameter, cut at the top and cleaned (available from Sandlady’s Gourd Farm, 10295 N 700 W, Tangier, IN 47952. Phone: 765-498-5428 Email: sandlady@sandlady.com )
  • Drill with small bit
  • Woodburning tool (Walnut Hollow Creative Woodburner Detailer #24414)
  • 24” 16-18 gauge wire
  • Small pliers
  • Wood beads
  • DecoArt® Americana® Acrylic Paint: Cadmium Yellow DA010, Cadmium Orange DA014, Cadmium Red DA015, Boysenberry Pink DA029, Wild Orchid DA233, Festive Green DA230
  • DecoArt® Satin Varnish
  • Royal® Brushes: ¾” flat, #8 round

    Painting supplies:
  • water basin
  • paper towel
  • Royal® graphite paper
  • tracing paper
  • pencil
  • Royal® palette paper
  • Royal® stylus


1. Make sure the gourd is clean. Use the drill to put holes for the handle at the top.
2. Draw flower shapes onto the gourd’s sides with your pencil. There are several to choose from, or be very creative and draw your own tropical flowers. Start with simple petal shapes, and then add the center. If you prefer to use the drawings as patterns, trace the flowers onto tracing paper. Position a flower on the gourd, slide graphite paper under it, then go over the lines with a stylus to transfer the design. Repeat until you have flowers all around the gourd.
3. Use the woodburning tool to outline the flowers, carefully following safety directions on the package. Add creative detail, if you like, by striping the petals or adding dots.
4. Have small puddles of paint on your palette paper. With the #8 round brush, add water to a corner of a puddle, making it very thin. Load the brush with this and lightly sweep over the petals of a flower to color. The paint has to be thin enough that it doesn’t cover the woodburned design. This type of transparent painting is called “washes”. Use a different bright color for every flower.
5. Varnish by brushing over the gourd with satin varnish with the ¾” flat.
6. Put one end of the wire through the hole in the top of the gourd, add beads, and then use the pliers to curl the end of the wire around the pencil or paint brush handle. Be creative, curling and adding beads as much as you like, attaching the other end to the opposite hole to create an artistic handle.



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