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Painted Gourd Snowmen: Fun & Easy Garden Gift!

You can grow your own gourds to create these adorable painted gourd snowmen! Keep them for yourself or give them as gifts!

If you love gardening, crafting and decorating, you have got to grow decorative gourds!!

Decorative gourds are in the Cucurbit family which also includes pumpkins, winter squash, cucumbers and summer squash like zucchini! They grow under the same gardening conditions – so if you can grow a cucumber, you can definitely grow some decorative gourds!

Which means that you can make your own cute snowmen! But don’t stop there because there are endless uses for gourds if you are creative!

What exactly is a decorative gourd?

There are many varieties of gourds! But, we usually split them into two broad categories: hard shell gourds and soft shell gourds. Both types store very well and can be used decoratively. Today, we’ll be talking about hard shell gourds – because that’s what you need to make these cute snowmen!

Hard shell gourds belong to the Lagernaria genus of the squash family (Cucurbitaceae). Within this family, there are six species of gourds.

A woman's hand holds up two dried brown-yellow birdhouse gourds

The word “Lagernaria” is Latin for “bottle”. This name hints at the original use for these gourds: they were dried and used as flasks to hold water and other liquids! But, it’s also likely that they were used to hold many other things as well! Just another example of how nature can provide for so many of our needs!

To many people’s surprise, Lagernaria squash can be eaten! They are edible just like any other squash. However, as they mature, they become less tasty. And, since we traditionally harvest them once they are mature and then dry them whole, they aren’t as popular as other varieties for cooking and eating.

A woman in jeans, a flannel shirt and a blue hat holds two very large gourds and smiles.

Growing Gourds to Make Gourd Snowmen!

The exact variety of gourd that I used to create these snowmen is often called a birdhouse gourd. They are also known as “bottle gourds” and “white flower gourds”. And, yes, the flowers are STUNNING! The scientific name is Lagenaria siceraria.

Gourds are incredibly easy to grow! If you know how to grow a pumpkin, then you know how to grow a gourd! Gourds need full sun, moderate water, some good compost (they are heavy feeders) and lots of room for their sprawling vines!

You may want to consider growing your gourds vertically. This can help save space and create extra aesthetic beauty! Just be sure that your support structure can manage the weight of those big gourds! You can see in the my picture above that my beautiful arbor collapsed by the end of the season due to the weight of the giant gourds I grew!

Let your gourds fully mature. Harvest them on a dry day before a frost. I’ve lost a few from not harvesting them soon enough! Keep only the best gourds that don’t have blemishes.

A woman with long brown hair wearing a colorful tank top crouches under an arched trellis filled with gourd vines

Drying Hard Shell Gourds

Wash the gourds with warm soapy water. You can then use a diluted bleach solution to sanitize them (1:10 bleach to water). Then let the gourds completely dry. They will need to be placed in a warm, dry place with good airflow. I like to put mine in my greenhouse with fan on them because our air is so humid!

Total drying time will vary depending on the gourd type, how big it is, and how humid your climate is. It could take anywhere from a month to 6 months! The first thing you’ll notice is the hardening of the shell. The shell will also turn brown-ish yellow.

The two snowmen gourds sit on a desk. Art supplies (paint, scissors, ribbon and glue) sits in front of them.

The inside of the gourd will take awhile longer to dry (usually at least a month). You’ll know that it’s completely dry once you shake it and you can hear the dried seeds rattling inside – homemade maracas! You can speed up drying by drilling some small holes in the gourd to increase airflow.

Once your gourd is dry, it’s time to make your painted gourd snowmen! Follow the instructions below! There’s even a quick video of the whole process!

How to Make Painted Gourd Snowmen!

A snowman created from a gourd sits on a pine boughs. The snowman is painted white, has a painted face and red & white checkered scarf and hat made from a sock

Painted Gourd Snowmen: Fun & Easy Garden Gift!

These cute snowmen are made from birdhouse gourds! You can even grow the gourds yourself!


  • Birdhouse gourd, completely dried 
  • White paint (I used Rust-oleum 2x Ultra Coverage Paint + Primer in Flat)
  • Sock 
  • Acrylic paint in light pink, orange and dark brown/black (I used Dusty Rose, Canyon Orange & Traditional Burnt Umber)
  • Ribbon in color & design of choice (I used a thin red ribbon)
  • Fabric Glue


  • Scissors
  • Paint brushes, fine tip is best


  1. Paint your gourd white. I used spray paint to make it easier, but you can also hand paint them. I used two coats of paint. Allow it to fully dry.
    A woman's hand holds up a can of spray paint. In the back ground are two birdhouse gourds siting on a large piece of cardboard.
  2. Place the sock on the "head" of the gourd. Cut the sock about half-way up.
  3. Secure the top of the sock with the ribbon.
  4. Paint the face on the gourd.
    A woman holds a paint brush and paints a nose on a snowman gourd. There is a finished snowman gourd in the background.
  5. Using the other half of the sock (the "toe" end), make the scarf. Cut the sock down either side to open it flat. You can trim it to the deisred thickness.
    Split Image: On the left, a sock is shown being cut vertically down the side. On the right: A woman holds the sock which has been cut on both sides to form a long strip of fabric.
  6. Wrap the scarf around the neck of the gourd. Secure the sock scarf using a few dots of fabric glue where the end pieces cross over each other.


You may want to spray your finished gourd with a laquer or clear sealer to help preserve the paint, especially if you will be using them for outdoors decoration.

Don’t forget to pin this idea for later!


  • Kaylee Vaughn

    Kaylee is the Founder of She has set up and run two homesteads, a one-acre in Idaho, and her current two-acre dream homestead in the Pacific North West. Her qualifications include a Permaculture Design Certification from Oregon State University, and she is a Gardenary Certified Garden Coach. Kaylee currently produces at least 80% of her own food. She contributes to our site through articles, training and coaching to our clients. You can read more about her at

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