- Dried gourds, three
- Polymer clay
scouring pad, bleach/water mixture, soft towel, newspaper and wax paper (to cover work surface), paintbrush, pencil, ruler
- Acrylic paints: off-white, purple, lavender, hot pink, gold, lime green, blue
- Krylon Clear Matte Varnish
- Parchment-lined baking sheet and oven
- Hot glue gun and sticks
- 1. Scrub gourds with scouring pad to remove dirt using water-and-bleach mixture. Dry thoroughly with soft towel.
- 2. Cover work surface with newspaper. Basecoat gourds lavender, off-white, and lime green. Let dry. See Photo 1. Apply additional coats as needed for opaque coverage. (see photos)
- 3. Freehand sketch paisley shapes randomly on body area of gourds using pencil. Draw some shapes upside down and others sideways for best variety. To draw simple paisley shape, sketch teardrop shape and add small curl at top.
- 4. Outline paisley shapes on gourds as follows: purple on lavender gourd, hot pink on white gourd, and off-white on green gourd. Fill in designs using colors of choice. Let dry between paint applications. See Photo 2 and Photo 3. Once dry, add designs, flowers, and other patterns onto paisley shapes and randomly on areas between paisley shapes. See Photo 4 and Photo 5. Let dry. (see photos)
- 5. On wax paper-covered work surface, remove clay from package. Condition in hands until soft and pliable. Use ruler to measure areas on gourds for comb, beak, and wattle. Form and shape comb, beak, and wattle for each chicken using photos as guide. See Photo 6. Gently press shapes on gourds for ease in adhering later; remove and position on parchment-lined baking sheet. Follow manufacturer’s instructions to bake clay pieces in oven. Let cool completely. (see photos)
- 6. Hot glue comb, beak, and wattle shapes onto each gourd. Let set. See Photo 7. (see photos)
- 7. Paint combs and wattles hot pink and beaks gold. Let dry. Apply two to three coats to achieve opaque coverage. Let dry. Dot eyes black using end of paintbrush handle. Let dry. Highlight dot eyes white. Let dry.
- 8. Apply two coats of varnish onto all surfaces. Let dry.
- 1. For a fast and simple way of cleaning gourds, spray with bathroom cleaner that contains bleach. Then scrub, rinse, and let dry.
by Suzy Myers