Last fall I picked up this green pumpkin-like thing at the farm along with some traditional pumpkins for our front porch. It reminded me of a green Frankenstein head.
When I went to add these pumpkins to the compost pile before the snow (eek!) began falling, the Frankenstein head seemed to have partially dried and was not rotten or squishy at all so I thought, "Hey, I'll just leave this out to dry some more and see what happens." I stored it among our wood pile behind the shed. It dried very nicely.
Well, now I know that it was an apple gourd and this summer I decided I would make it into a birdhouse for my dad for Father's Day.
I had my "contractor" drill a 1 1/8" hole into the side of the gourd. This size is ideal for chickadees. There are many sources online to help you determine what size entrance hole to make for specific species of birds. We also drilled some small drainage holes in the bottom of the gourd.
I slightly sanded the gourd with some fine steel wool to rub off any flakes of skin that were peeling. I prefer "au natural" so I simply coated the gourd with some spar varnish to protect it from weather. You could also paint the house or paint a design on it. I then drilled a hole slightly below the entrance hole to add a perch. I used a small branch. I added some wire to the stem for extra support and formed a loop on the end for hanging. You could also use copper wire.
I was really pleased with the way this turned out and it was easy. This fall, I'll be picking up some more of these "Frankenstein heads" from the farm (hmm, it would also be fun to grow my own), and they will spend the winter on the wood pile. I imagine these would also dry well in a garage. Hopefully, one of these will be hanging in my yard next spring! Maybe in yours, too?