Save Your Gourds!

Most all of us buy beautiful gourds to use in decorating our homes for fall. Did you know that you can dry them and use them over and over? They won’t have the same brilliant fall colors, but they retain their shape and a little bit of the original color. I do this every year and I now have lots and lots of dried gourds to use for decorating year after year.

This is what I do. When it is time to change fall decorations to Christmas, I take all of my beautiful fall gourds to the basement and lay them out on newspaper. Check them carefully when you do this. If one has a bad place, compost it. It will mold and get very yucky.

Here are 2007’s gourds a month or so ago. During the winter I move them from the newspaper to beside an old stove (not used) in our basement. A few always rot and get composted. These survived and look pretty yucky.

I then take them to my utility sink and give them a good washing. Use and old fingernail brush or toothbrush to get the gunk off of them. Look how pretty they look now!

You could stop here and your gourds will look fine to re-use. I decided to soak mine for a while to see if I could scrape off some of the skin. After I soaked them, I scrubbed them again.

After they dried, I raided my husband’s workshop to see what kind of stuff I might find to rub on the gourds to give them a little sheen. I used wood stain on a few and tung oil on the rest.

I wanted the gourds to be a little bit shinier, so I used a sponge brush to add a coat of Future liquid floor wax to them. I like what happened!

Now they are ready to be used to decorate and they’ll last for years and years!


  1. Great idea! I’ve been wondering if I could keep my gourds. Glad to see that it can be done.

    (I came here via A Soft Place to Land)
    Happy Autumn! 🙂

  2. Great idea! All those gourds I tossed! Accck!! Will keep this in mind. Thank so much for sharing!

  3. Thank you so much for this post. I knew there must be a way to keep from having to buy new gourds each fall for decorating. I plan to take your advice and then spray paint/glitter mine. I love me some sparkle!!!

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