Why not take some time and start creating birdhouses from gourds. You know you want to make your deck perfect but give the birds a break because they might rearrange things if they select it as their house. Align the door with the bottom of the gourd and then adjust accordingly for size. Make an opening with a 1 38-inch drill bit and hold the gourd in place or brace it against a wall or other object while drilling and holding the gourd. It might be a little difficult to cut out the edge of that hole perfectly but its worth trying with a smaller knife. It should be doable depending on the shells hardness. When drying out a gourd certain types of gourds work better. It might be necessary to wash and scrape out some seeds before placing it in the oven any leftover pumpkin or squash pulp left inside will be taken care of by the first residents of your birdhouse. Examine the gourd for any cracks or splits. You’ll need to find a solid gourd in order to complete your birdhouse. Work the sandpaper in a circular motion with light pressure on the areas where the gourd is peeling once it feels smooth use your fingers to remove any loose pieces. After you’re satisfied with its condition wipe down all surfaces to get any residue from sanding off. To clean a birdhouse gourd mix a solution of 1 part bleach and 10 parts water. Scrape off any remaining residue with a steel wool pad. Bleach is applied to disinfect the outer shell and lightens the spots on each birdhouse however it wont remove all the imperfections and these unique features are what make each birdhouse special and will never be erased. To hang your birdhouse with wire you’ll need to drill two 1/8 inch holes through the gourds stem to feed the wire through. While you’re at it you may want to clean off any sharp edges and dirt that might be lurking around the stem so you don’t risk cutting and slicing up your hands. Poke a rigid wire through the top two holes in birdhouse and twist the ends of the wire together securely and then cover with tape or rubber to protect from injury. If you want to add anything its important to do it now. Find the length of the dowel rod that is just below the doorway opening then cut it to size and drill a 3/8 inch hole all the way through. Make sure that this dowell is at an angle away from where you are stringing your birdhouse. The end should also be perpendicular to the door in order for birds to be more comfortable. To ensure that the dowel doesn’t move and stays perpendicular you may want to glue it in place with wood glue or use wedges or ropes and then insert the dowel into the gourd and brace it on all sides so that it stays in place. If you have time its a good idea to paint your birdhouse. Paint thats weather resistant should be used and the wood should be sealed with at least two coats of varnish for optimal protection. To extend the life of your gourd hang it from a broom on two sawhorses using a dropcloth. Apply varnish with the spray paint to avoid any drips. You can waterproof the interior of your gourd by using a deck sealant. After that pour in enough and swish it around and then pour out the excess to leave the birdhouse completely dry. After a few hours you can hang it outside to enjoy.
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