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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Mabon Crafts -- Making a Gourd Rattle

Sunday, September 7, 2008
One of my projects in the next coming months is going to be the making of a gourd rattle. I have not found a commercially made or sold rattle that has the sound that I want. So I am going to try my hand at making my own.
It doesn't look like a difficult project, so I figured I would share with all of you the instructions that I have found during my research.

  • 1 dried gourd, any shape or size, but hard and firm
  • Rattles-seeds from gourd, pebbles, beans
  • Knife or hand saw, to cut neck of gourd
  • Narrow spoon or knife
  • Dowel or stick, 6" long and the width of neck of gourd in diameter, if necessary
  • Twine or heavy string
  • White glue
  • Poster paints and shellac - for decorating if you wish
  1. With knife, cut off the narrow end of the gourd; if neck is long enough, leave most on for handle
  2. With narrow spoon or knife, scoop out seeds and membrane inside the gourd. Save seeds for rattle.
  3. Dry gourd in the hot sun or oven at a low even temperature.
  4. When dry, fill gourd with seeds, beans or pebbles.
  5. If it's long enough for a handle, reattach gourd end with white glue.
  6. If dowel is needed for handle, place glue on one end of dowel and insert in the neck of gourd (B). Dry. Dip twine in white glue and wrap firmly around the dowel and up the gourd about 1/2" (C).
  7. If desired, paint a bright colorful design on gourd with poster paint; when dry, shellac to protect finish. Or you may leave it natural.
A long season of drying in the warm sun and wind is the best for gourds. In colder climates the process can be speeded up by a warm oven. Be sure the gourd is completely dry before cutting otherwise it will shrink and wrinkle. In other words if you can't hear the seeds rattling then don't cut it.

Blessed Be!

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