Gourd Ghost Blocks

By  Linda Hollander 

size: 3-1/2"x9-1/2", 3-1/2"x11"

  • Gourd Ghost Blocks


  • Lara’s Crafts Wood Blocks, 3-1/2”, three
  • Creative Paperclay Delight Lightweight Air Dry Modeling Medium
  • Dried banana gourds, 7”; 5”, two
  • Black craft wire


  • DecoArt Americana Acrylic Paints: Antique Maroon, Driftwood, Georgia Clay, Graphite, Pebble, Raw Umber, Soft Black, Snow White
  • Loew-Cornell American Painter Paintbrushes: Series 4300 Shader #8; Series 4000 Round #2; Series 4300 Liner 10/0; Series 4400 Angular Shader 1/4”, 1/2”; large flat
  • Polka dot or circle stencil
  • DecoArt: Staining and Antiquing Medium, Multi-Purpose Sealer
  • Krylon: Workable Fixative, Crystal Clear Indoor/Outdoor Clear Finish
  • Polyform Sculpey Essential Tool Kit
  • Adhesives: heavy-duty, white craft

Basic Supplies

  • scouring pad, plastic knife, power drill with small bit, wire cutters, sandpaper, dust mask, stylus, painter’s tape, palette paper, container of water, paper towels, ruler, soft damp cloth

Pattern - Gourd Ghost Blocks

  • 1. Remove gourd stems and soak in warm water for 10-15 minutes. Use plastic scouring pad to remove dirt and outer skin. Scrape stubborn skin with plastic knife. Let dry. Drill hole into large end of each gourd while wearing dust mask.
  • 2. Apply multi-purpose sealer to blocks using flat. Let blocks dry; sand lightly while wearing dust mask. Measure and mark center of one side of each block and drill small hole so wire can pass through.
  • 3. Basecoat gourds Snow White until opaque. Working one gourd at a time, form 2" ball of clay and push onto stem end to secure. Use wet hands to push and smooth clay downward over top half of gourd. Taper edge until it blends seamlessly with gourd surface. Smooth clay using water and shader. Shape top into cone and slightly bend to make top of ghost's head.
  • 4. Form two pea-sized balls of clay for cheeks. Press onto face using fingertips and water; use filbert to smooth edges. Form another pea-sized ball for nose; press onto face between cheeks. Blend top edge of nose into forehead. Apply round handle end of paintbrush to indent eye sockets and mouth. Roll tiny balls of clay for eyeballs and set aside. Roll 1" ball of clay into log; cut in half. Use finger pressure to form arms. Slightly flatten upper arm and press onto gourd. Use wet shader to smooth upper arm onto body. Carefully shape hands and arms. Set aside to dry.
  • Tip
  • 1. Darker areas on the gourds will not be removed in the cleaning process but will be covered with paint in later step.
  • 1. Basecoat ghosts Snow White. Mix antiquing medium with touch of Pebble; apply to dry ghosts, working into crevices. Let dry. Carefully wipe off excess with damp cloth. Load flat with Georgia Clay, off-load onto paper towel, and drybrush cheeks. Drybrush eye sockets and mouths Graphite using round. Adhere eyes into sockets using craft glue. Let dry. Dot eyes Graphite using stylus.
  • 2. Cut three 8" wire lengths; curl 3" of each length. Bend curled end upward and insert into bottom hole of ghosts. Spot glue using heavy-duty adhesive. Let set.
  • 3. Basecoat blocks Georgia Clay. Let dry. Mix (3:1) mixture of antiquing medium + Raw Umber; paint blocks. Use damp cloth to remove excess. Spray blocks with Workable Fixative.
  • 4. Print out full-size patterns. Transfer wording onto blocks. Tape off stripes on sides of "B" block and on second "O" block. Tape off stripes on top of first "O" block. Paint stripes Soft Black using shader. Remove tape. Apply polka dots to remaining tops and sides using flat. Float outer edges of tops, sides, and front of all blocks Antique Maroon using 1/2" angular shader.
  • 5. Transfer spider web to corners of blocks. Paint webs with thinned Soft Black using liner. Add dots using stylus. Randomly add highlights with thinned Driftwood.
  • 6. Basecoat letters Soft Black using round. Add curls on wording with thinned Soft Black using liner. Let dry. Add highlights with thinned Driftwood using 1/4" angular shader. Let dry. Spray blocks with sealer. Adhere end of wires into blocks using heavy-duty adhesive.