Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Gourd Dollhouse Tutorial

Make a house that is just the perfect size and shape for your lovely little peg doll friends.

First: Select your gourd. I got mine from The Caning Shop in Berkeley. (By happy memory stirring coincedence, it was right behind (same building) The Gilman Street Project, which was where I first saw Nirvana, when we were all young enough that they should be playing in tiny all ages clubs.) These are Kettle and Bottle gourds. The bottle gourds were 14.00 and 9.00 being medium and small sized and the Kettle gourds were 5.50 each. They are very nice there and you can phone them so you can get help selecting the perfect gourd.

To cut the gourds you really do need a rotary tool (Dremel being the most widely owned).
You will want to select the rotary saw bit with the rough surface, the other spiral bit is much harder to control.

Draw on your door and window shapes in pencil (which will wipe off with a damp cloth if need be). I keep my shapes rounded and organic, being both easier to draw and to cut, and they work best with the gourd shape, as well.

To do the cutting I brace the gourd against my body as it does take a bit of pressure and a steady hand to do the cutting. Press straight down and the bit will drill right into the surface of the gourd. Once seated, press the bit forward to trace over your pencil lines. I like to make sure my hand will fit inside the door, as it makes cleaning out the gourd Much Easier. This is both Loud and Dusty. Eye and ear protection is recommended.

Once you have the holes cut, scrape out the seeds and dried gourd guts with a spoon.

Smoothing and getting out the flakey dry stuff is easier with this type of abrasive pad, cut small to fit inside your gourd.

Use a 450 grit sandpaper to round the edges of all the opening to make it safe for tiny, soft fingers.

I use inexpensive acrylic craft paint because it had great colors and covers very well. Also you can just squirt it right inside the gourd and spread it around.

Decorate your gourd with "curtains". I have used eyelet, fringe and pompoms for my curtains. All are cute. Hang with hot glue or other adhesive.

My rug is a felted weater scrap, trimmed with scallop shears, and also glued in place. The fluffy rug helps mitigate the uneven floor of the gourd.



Now make some tiny furnishings and move those sweetie peg dolls right in. Make a whole neighborhood.

Be sure to let me know if you make one! I will start a little flickr group, so everyone can show off their creations!

I will be putting these samples up in my Etsy shop, with their wee residents and some new furniture, hopefully next week.

37 comments:

amerlino said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
futuregirl said...

Great tutorial! What an awesome use for a Dremel. :)

Bridget B. said...

Ooo! These are super cute - thanks for sharing!

nancy said...

oooh, do you have a mailing list for your shop updates, oh wait, maybe i just need to sign up for your shop RSS because I don't have a dremel and I *need* one of your little houses...

capello said...

i want a set for myself. and no, i will not share with my children.

Julie said...

Love these! So adorable!

farawayme said...

Oh my goodness these are super cute!

I love the little peg people too! wonderful! x x x

woolanthropy said...

Great tutorial. I love your little village. Super cute!

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

oh! I am *SO* glad you shared this! My late grandfather used to make these for us with gourds from his garden. I would LOVE to be able to make a few to pass on myself. THANK YOU! I'll be linking to this as well.

eurolush said...

Love these amazingly creative and adorable gourd houses.

What an eye you have for seeing the possibility in those dried gourds, for such simple and fun play toys for kids.

Of course, maybe they will be play toys for a certain "36 year old kid", who happens to have fallen in love with everything about them!

I look forward to visiting your etsy shop soon!

Knitsonya said...

You and your dremel. I think you could solve the country's financial crisis with that thing. You are one skilled gourd cutter.

Lisa said...

You're awesome. I love that you are a grown woman who's not afraid to play with power tools and toys.

Can I be you when I grow up?

Kim G. said...

These are absolutely adorable! Well done!

Jessica said...

This is cooler than cool, thanks for the tutorial.

Aurora said...

OK peeps, if you are looking for the perfect gourd, let me know at:

www.touchthespindle.blogpspot.com

I have 2 large gourds 4 sale at $10 each. Let me know if you want a pic. They are larger and rounder than these - more the shape of the one on the left in the last picture here.

I'm in Santa Cruz County.

PS I am keeping the last one for myself Betty. Awesome job!

Linnea said...

What a wonderful idea. Your houses turned out so well. I love the shade of blue you used to paint the inside of the houses. So pretty and fun. Have a great weekend!
xox,
Linnea

Tina said...

What an awesome tutorial. Thank you so much! This looks like a lot of fun. Off to Google search for a place where I might find gourds locally. Hmm..

sulu-design said...

How cute are your gourd houses? SO cute! The interior decorations are killing me. Those curtains... agh! Adorable!

Wendy said...

Fantastic! These would be perfect for an autumn nature table. Now if I can just find some gourds (and maybe plan to grow some myself next year).

Thanks so much for this.

sunny said...

Cute!

I have one question, however. I actually have several gourds that grew in our yard this year, but I wonder if they need some type of drying first. Any ideas?

Thanks!

sunriseiz@yahoo.com

Roxanne/Cheetah Vleour said...

OMG, I never knew what they had in The Caning Shop! I always thought of it as that place attached to Gilman St. and I never knew how they stayed in business. Now I know.

I may need to go gourd shopping.

finchwench said...

Gourds make for great birds' nests as well.

laura said...

The best part is the rug! It's so simple, but sets the whole room off. :)

Kat Atonic said...

I know the owner of The Caning Shop... small world. I was going to put a bunch of gourds up for sale on Craigslist today, but now I may rethink a couple of them and make a doll house or two! How fun :)

indeepknit AT gmail

Jennifer said...

You are awesome. I HAVE to make this for my Pretty Girl.

Thanks....

Michelle Sybert said...

Yay! thanks for the tutorial. I am so making one (or more) of these!

Michelle@Everyday Celebrating said...

Amazing! Truly fabulous!
And girl, I feel your pain about turning 40. My big one is 2 years away and even now I can't believe I'm freaking 38! Just know that you don't LOOK 40.

NerdMom said...

I love this project! I want to post about it on my blog. Can I use a picture of your final project for the post?

Brianne said...

I love this tute! Where do yo get the pegs to make the people?

SaraR said...

is it possible to do it without a dremel? ie with a knife or other tool??? please let me know. :)

zime said...

WOW!!! I need some of those house for my Mininas!!!
Thanks for this ttutorial.

(^v^)

tiger said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
medical cardiology said...

My grandfather used to make these for us with gourds from his garden

Angie said...

Hey, thanks so much for posting these darling gourd houses. Your photos made me smile.
I have these same gourds growing now in my greenhouse and I was searching the web for ideas on how to use them. I'll certainly do this when they're all cured and ready.

Thanks again-

Great blog!

Tangmo said...

so creative^^

playmobil said...

Doll house Kits are complete set which will include all the items that you need to have for a complete doll house. With Doll house kits you will get various options present in the market. But again the more option you see, more confused you get.

Jeans Manufacturers said...

OOoh my Gosh What a beautiful items :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...