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Gourd Trinket Box

by Dan Dunkin

For this tutorial we selected the Japanese Hyakunari Gourd because it is an almost ideal sized gourd for a trinket box, it is a small gourd, but not too small of a gourd. Mature on the vine they weigh about 11 pounds with a height of about 10 inches. once cut, this gourd makes a round trinket box about 5-6 inches in diameter, (a few are smaller, but this is the typical size)

Japanese Gourd
Japanese Hyakunari

Although we did use a Hyakunari, other gourds of similar shape can be used to make boxes of various sizes, and if they have the "Hour-glass" or "bottle" shape, a catch ring lid can be made from the tapered portion of the top just above the waist of the gourd.

Top of Gourd
 Bottom of gourd

Start by cutting your Hyakunari gourd in half.

Next, cut the top in half, and cut the bottom portion of that piece approximately in half. The very bottom of this piece will be your catch ring, so try to estimate where to make this cut by projecting the catch ring to a size where it will insert into the top. The remaining piece in the middle can be used as a base stand, if one is necessary. Hyakunari gourds by nature will normally sit flat anyway, but some need this piece for stability.

inserting the catch ring
Fitting the catch ring

completed trinket box lid

Before sanding too much, test on bowl to match. If the lid does not settle on the bowl all the way, catch ring can be sanded to fit higher into lid, or bowl opening can be sanded to create larger opening.

Insert the catch ring from the bottom of the last cut, into the top. If necessary, the edges can be sanded to fit.

The ring should fit far enough inside the lid so the opening in the bottom does not need to be as large as the base of the lid itself, by inserting the ring far enough inside, the base opening can be left small enough to allow the top of the bowl to be smaller than the diameter of the lid.

Preparing bottom of gourd

Most Hyakunari's will sit flat without a base, but some bottle and kettle gourds night require this base ring for stability.

With the lid assembled, or at least the catch ring firmly in place, remove enough of the top of the bowl to allow the catch ring to fit into the base, but not enough to be sloppy. Depending on how much must be removed, this can be cut or sanded to size.

Once the catch ring will insert a little, then sand the inside of the bowl to take away the sharp edge, as well as to open it up enough for the lid to rest firmly on the rim of the bowl.


Fossil Gourd 1

Once completed, your gourd trinket box is ready to craft.

This process can be used on many shaped gourds, as long as the neck is narrow enough to accomodate the making of a catch ring.

Fossil Gourd 3

Copyright Dan Dunkin The Gourd Reserve


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