Americana Stars and Stripes Birdhouse Gourd

Celebrate the birth of the United States of America with a homemade birdhouse project inspired by the American flag. This tall standing gourd makes a perfect holiday centerpiece. The white stars were blocked out from the blue background with stickers made from blue painter's tape. Birdhouse gourd centerpiece for Fourth of July

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Materials for this project:

A cleaned gourd birdhouse with drilled entry and drainage holes

Kilz acrylic primer or other sealer

Scrap paper for tracing shapes

Permanent marker (we use Pigma Micro Pens because they are odorless and versatile)

Acrylic paints: ochre, cobalt, white, red, and gold

Blue painter's tape

Waxed Paper

Delta Ceramcoat Exterior Gloss Varnish or other Polyurethane Varnish

Antique gourd with ochre underpainting

Seal the gourd with KILZ primer and letting it dry overnight. Paint the gourd with ochre acrylic paint.

Drybrush or sponge white paint over gourd

Either sponge or dry-brush white paint over the ochre. This helps give the gourd a more primitive appearance.

Trace star template over birdhouse gourd entrance

Draw and cut out a large star to go over the entry hole. Trace the shape onto the gourd with a permanent marker. Paint the star gold: it may take several coats of gold paint to make the star reflect evenly.

Make your own stickers from blue painter's tape

Blue painter's tape lifts easily and doesn't leave adhesive residue so it is a wonderful tool for blocking off areas to be kept free from paint. To make star stickers, begin by laying strips of painter's tape adhesive side down over a sheet of waxed paper. The painter's tape won't stick firmly to the waxed paper, but it can be smoothed flat. Draw out a star that is narrower in diameter than the painter's tape is wide and cut it out. Trace enough stars onto the painter's tape to cover the top of gourd.

Star stickers smoothed over gourd top

Cut out the star stickers, peel the waxed paper off the backs, and position the stars over the top of the gourd.

Gold star and stickers on primitive gourd centerpiece

Paint blue paint over the stickers at the top of the gourd. At this time, also paint the bottom of the gourd with blue paint. Let the paint dry.

Remove stickers from blue background of Flag birdhouse

Even if it takes two or three coats to make the blue paint even, the star stickers will still peel off. If a sticker is covered with too much paint, pick its edge loose with a knife blade or pin.

Stripes inspired by the American flag

To make the red stripes, stick a strip of painter's tape running from the middle of the star down to the gourd's bottom. Evenly space more strips of painter's tape around the lower half of the gourd. Because the gourd's bottom was painted blue in an earlier step, the stripes can finish off with an even edge instead of having to fit over a curved bottom.

Peel back tape for red stripes of flag

Paint the lower half of the gourd with red paint. Try to keep the edges between the red paint and the blue paint neat. After the red paint has dried, peel off the strips of painter's tape. Before varnishing the gourd, clean up the edges of the stars and stripes with white paint.

Antiqued color for Americana Birdhouse gourd centerpiece

Fill the inside of the birdhouse with sphagnum moss or shredded alder wood and display it within a wreath of grapevines or honeysuckle.

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