6 benefits of installing a water softener in your home – Royal Examiner

Squash vines are nature’s container store.

Their beautiful fruits have been used for countless centuries as ladles, birdhouses, storage boxes, hats, vases, dining bowls, musical instruments, candle holders, salt shakers and anything else you can imagine.

They also make a great base for holiday decorations.

With a trip to a farmer’s market (or a search online), you can find many dried squash in many forms.

For a special Halloween or Christmas decorating project, start looking now for dry gourds with round bottoms and thin tops, gourds shaped like large peanuts or pumpkins, or even the size and shape of eggs. When dry, these gourds lack the colored skin of smaller gourds, making them a fantastic canvas for decorations.

Small gourds could be Christmas tree decorations, while larger gourds could be display decorations like pumpkins.

Dried gourds usually dry out for at least a year, sometimes two, and the outside can be dirty or even moldy. Spend a minute washing them with a copper scrubber. Once dry, you can also use some sandpaper to smooth the hard exterior.

Then imagine what your water bottle could become. Pumpkin-shaped gourds could become a long-lasting jack-o’-lantern. A gourd could become a Santa Claus with a big hat, a snowman or a penguin.

For example, get inspiration for your water bottle from Christmas cards or holiday napkins.

Cover your gourd with a base coat using acrylic paints and allow to dry. You can lightly sketch a pattern on the base coat with a pencil and then use brushes to paint in the details.

Once painted, cover with a clear topcoat to preserve the gourd – this is especially important if you want to display it outdoors.