Dry a few of your own gourds for decorations in your home or garden.
Harvest ornamental gourds when the stems are dry and brown and the shell is hard, glossy, and brightly colored. Wash off any dirt and dip the gourds in a weak solution of bleach water or wipe the surface with rubbing alcohol.
Place gourds on a slatted tray or flat surface in a dark well-ventilated area to dry. Don’t let the fruit touch as one rotten gourd can spoil the bunch. Allow the gourds to cure for about a week. Discard any soft or rotten fruit.
Continue the drying process in a warm dark ventilated location. Turn regularly and check for mold. Wipe off any mold that appears and return to drying. Discard any shriveled or decayed gourds.
Your gourd is completely dried when the shell is hard, gourd is lightweight, and you can hear the seeds rattle inside.
A bit more information: Look for new ideas for using and decorating your gourds at local art shows and gourd festivals. Visit the Amish gourd website for a list of gourd festivals.