The Shady Porch: Gourd Art - Hot Air Balloon Wind Chime

6.06.2013

Gourd Art - Hot Air Balloon Wind Chime

I mentioned on an earlier post that we harvested gourds from our garden some years ago and they've been drying out waiting to be used. They're so dry now all there was to prep them for use was to shake out the seeds, which is a good thing - no messy scooping needed! Anyway, I've been inspired this year to finally make something of them all. My first creation, a Gourd Birdhouse: How-To, was the subject of that earlier post; now, I've made a Hot Air Balloon Wind Chime.

Gourd Art - Hot Air Balloon Wind Chime by The Shady Porch #chime #crafts #art #gourd
I turned this gourd all around looking for inspiration and, when I turned it stem side down, it reminded me of a Hot Air Balloon. I decided a hand- drawn, paisley-inspired design for the balloon portion would provide the right mood. I used one of my favorite media - pine cone petals - for the basket! The strings attaching the chimes are hidden by the balloon basket. This whimsical floating musical creation is gracing the front porch, now, and let's me know when a breeze is coming up to carry it away on a fantastic adventure.


How I made the Hot Air Balloon Wind Chime

STEP 1 - Wash and Dry the gourd thoroughly. Next I painted the balloon portion white so the design colors would be brighter. I drew the paisley design on using some cut outs as shape references and then free handed the rest. After that it was just a matter of coloring in the designs. I used Elmer's Painters pens and Sharpie Fine Point permanent markers for the bright colors.
Gourd Art - Hot Air Balloon Wind Chime by The Shady Porch #chime #crafts #art #gourd
STEP 2 - To shape the basket I used cardboard tubes - I cut to the height I wanted and then slit the side of the tube and formed a cone shape to create the basket. It took two of these cardboard cone shapes taped together to fit the girth of the gourd at the point of the basket. I also cut a styrofoam circle to make a bottom for the basket.
Gourd Art - Hot Air Balloon Wind Chime basket parts #gourd #balloon #chime
assembling the basket portion of the hot air balloon
STEP 3 - Before permanently attaching the basket, I attached the chime. Now the basket would help secure the chime string. I ran neon nylon cords to give the appearance of the ropes that hold the basket to the balloon; I held them in place with hot glue.

STEP 4 - To finish the project, I attached a hook to the top of the balloon. I used a little piece of egg carton between the hook and the gourd to make it look more polished.

STEP 5 -The final step was to spray the balloon, ropes, and basket with a coat of polyurethane to weather-proof the project.

Gourd Art - Hot Air Balloon Wind Chime by The Shady Porch #chime #crafts #art #gourd
"We'll chase your dream across the sky
For we can fly, For we can fly  

Up and away - In my beautiful, My beautiful balloon"
 -Up, Up And Away Lyrics - The Supremes
Other fun craft projects you might enjoy!