Guest Blog: DIY Gourd Lamp by Plant Jungle

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Halloween has passed and Thanksgiving is quickly approaching. You have plenty of fantastic gourds left over but what do you do? Today we have a guest blogger with the perfect answer to this question. Megan Evans on behalf of Plant Jungle in Utah, details how to turn plain old gourds into stunning works of art.

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DIY: How to Make a  Gourd Lamp 

By Megan Evans 

Special thanks to Mark Burton & Graham Hickey

Brought to you by Plant Jungle

Looking for a fun DIY project or a thoughtful holiday gift for a loved one? A homemade gourd lamp is a perfect solution for both. Young bottle gourds can be harvested for culinary purposes. Alternatively if a gourd is allowed to mature it will desiccate to form a hard woody shell. This “petrified” gourd can be hollowed, cleaned and used for a number of applications.  In fact dried bottle gourds have been used for centuries to make items like lamps, utensils, bottles, and even musical instruments such as the sitar.  As bottle gourds come in many shapes and sizes, your imagination is essentially the only limitation to what you can make with these.

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Building lamps from bottle gourds is our personal favorite use of bottle gourds. The gourds themselves are very esthetically pleasing as lamps. Additionally placement of a light source within the gourd provides a fantastic glow that casts light through the designs etched into the exterior of the gourd. This provides a really nice effect that will brighten up any room in your house. Construction of a lamp from a bottle gourd essentially consists of 3 major steps: hollowing a dried gourd, carving/drilling a design on the exterior of the gourd, and then fitting the gourd with an appropriate light.

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Below are some basic instructions for constructing your own gourd lamp. After mastering the basic approach to using a gourd to construct a lamp we encourage you to be creative and think of new designs and other cool uses for dried gourds. Due to the material of the gourd, we do not recommend that you leave the lamp on unattended or on for long periods of time.

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Materials that you will need:

  • Dried gourd
  • Drill and drill bits- The largest holes were drilled with 1 inch bits with the consecutive holes being 5/16thof an inch to 1/8th of an inch. The largest holes can be finished with a dremel
  • Sandpaper (80 and 100 grit)
  • Stencils
  • Compass
  • A pencil
  • 10 watt incandescent light bulb
  • Tapped thread size 1/8thlamp couplings
  • One 2” candelabra socket
  • 1/8thCandelabra base
  • 1/8thlamp nuts & washers
  • 1/8thtapped solid hex nut

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Directions:

  1. Sand the gourd with 80 grit sandpaper. After thoroughly sanding the rough areas, finish with 100 grit sandpaper.
  2. Measure the midsection of the largest part of the gourd and then use a geometric compass to make a concentric circle from the largest section. The concentric circles will provide a systematic placement for the pattern.
  3. Use a pencil to stencil the pattern on the gourd prior to drilling.
  4. Drill the largest holes around the midsection with a 1inch or smaller bit. Afterward, drill smaller holes along your traced pattern.
  5. Drill the top of the gourd to fit a 1/8 Candelabra base
  6. To assemble the light fixture insert the candelabra base through the hole on the top of the gourd. Fasten the candelabra in place with a steel washer and hex nut. Do not over tighten the hex nut as this may crack the gourd.

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Since 1998, Plant Jungle has been in the indoor plant business selling live and artificial plants as well as plant maintenance tools, pottery, custom gifts, and plant arrangements. Give a unique gift! We can create custom corporate/client, housewarming, and condolence gifts. Additionally, we offer seasonal products such as gourds, pumpkins, and Christmas trees. Plant Jungle also specializes in patioscaping and indoor plant designs including container gardening, office plants, and plant arrangement for special occasions. Plant Jungle can customize interior plant arrangements to your specifications such as custom designed Christmas ornamental plant displays or custom designed garden containers for your business. For more information regarding our custom gifts or perusing our indoor plants go to www.plantjungle.com or contact plantjungle@twistlab.com

As always be sure to check for the latest version of GrowIt! on the Apple App Store, and stay up to date on the latest GrowIt! news at www.facebook.com/growitapp and www.twitter.com/growitmobile!

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