Tutorial for making Beaded Gourds

Toledo, OR(Zone 8a)

Link to the tutorial:. http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1293843/

Please refrain from conversation on the tutorial site with the exception of questions that may help others in the process of waxing or beading. Thanks so much for doing
this as it will alleviate a huge lengthy post. Hope you all will enjoy the tutorial and I am open to any suggestions as to presenting this tutorial. I don't have access to a video cam or I would have done it that way. Maybe in the future.

I hope I can pull this off and if you have any questions, Or Suggestions, my Dmail is always open.
It is going to be an ongoing tutorial and I am going to try and figure out how I can keep that on a separate page so that it doesn't get confused with other postings. Let me know if you haven't got your materials yet.
I will begin by showing you the process of applying the wax.

I am working like crazy getting this put together. I am working on the materials list now and will post it soon as my battery recharges on my camera.

I am adding the material list with photos so it is in a new posting

Anyone can join in. There will be no end date or day to day. It will just be a tutorial on how to do this that will walk you through it.
Feel free to drop in anytime or just be a looky loo NO Problem.

I am thinking that a post by post tutorial will work great since it allows me five pics per post. I was going to try and figure out a recorded one but I don't have a great webcam so if you can all deal with a visual I will go with that. I do better with pics anyways as far as my learning a new craft goes.
Some of the materials will make you go HUH?? but you will understand as we go.
Be thinking of what you are going to want to create and the fact that you will be sculpting it to a small extent. If you want one dimensional then you won't have to sculpt much. Think of a theme and think about size. Remeber the beads are tiny tiny tiny so its going to take some time

Patience is a virtue and a little glass of wine helps too, eheheh

I have been asked by many how I bead my gourds.
Well, It is a long and tedious process, but to those of you that are interested I am going to offer to teach a
gourd, or what ever you choose to use, beading tutorial.
This is not a class where you will walk away with a finished product but it will get you started so
that you can do it at you leisure. If there is enough interest I will produce this for you all. I have taught three classes on
the process and filled up every class. The last one was at the Siletz Indian Reservation here in Toledo,
Oregon. I taught it to several of the local residents as well as some from Newport and surrounding areas. We had a blast. I taught it
at the library and it was a 3 day class. It cost $45 but had no problem with the charge as I donated it back to the children's fund at the reservation.
So, If you would be interested in doing this, there will be no charge just a bit of a commitment to follow though with the the class.
I am still working on putting the tutorial all together so if you are interested, Please sign up and the class will begin on
January 19th. Sign up ends on the 12th. of January. I will give you a supply list and to those that are interested and sign up
I will offer to make you one of my tools of the trade that you will find extremely helpful in picking up and applying the tiny beads into the wax.

I am working on the Thingamajigs today so that anyone that wants one just needs to drop me a Dmail with your request, They are $5 for materials and shipping. Just drop it in an envelope. I trust the USPS or a check. You can use a T-pin this is just a little easier to work with.


This message was edited Jan 18, 2013 8:17 AM

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(Linda Kay) Del Rio, TX(Zone 9a)

Sign me up please!

Toledo, OR(Zone 8a)


I am editing this Sign up as it really is just an ongoing tutorial on beading gourds. so there is no need to sign up but if you have specific requests or further questions, just Dmail me.

I am going to delete this sign up list as there isn't any need to sign up, It will just be ongoing and I will post the materials list before I begin so that you all have an opportunity to get what you need.

I will start on the 18th if all goes as planned.

You are going to either love this, or never want to see another bead. hehehe

The one thing about beading gourds is to not work for periods longer then 20 minutes without getting up and walking around and taking a break. If you don't do this, I promise it will make you nuts. heheheh or give you anxiety attacks. Well, it does that to me. But you are all going to love this.

This message was edited Jan 6, 2013 4:03 PM

Elfie @ Goodwater,, AL(Zone 7b)

I am in...

(Linda Kay) Del Rio, TX(Zone 9a)

All we have for beads are Wal mart, can you tell me who has a good selection of beads? We are going to San Angelo later this week, then to San Antonio early January. I can shop at hobby lobby, Joann's??? Maybe you get yours online somewhere?

Toledo, OR(Zone 8a)

This is one source for SEED Beads.

and this is my best source for the Beeswax sheets that you will need. Unliess you have access to a closer source for natural color beeswax sheets.


They hesitate to ship during the cold months due to the fact that the sheets may break but you don't have to worry about that as you are going to be ripping the sheets up anyway.

(Linda Kay) Del Rio, TX(Zone 9a)

Thanks, I will start looking for a design.

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

I have done lots of Indian beadwork over the years, but never a Beaded Gourd so please sign me up.

I have size 11 beads. What size is needed. Below is a web site that sells beads and that I have ordered from.


(Barb) Manchester, NH(Zone 5a)

Will it be okay to lurk??? I have so much going on right now with Norm's operations and chemo etc that I know this isn't a good time for me to try this. Sure would like to one day though....
I'll be watching to see how you all do.....

Toledo, OR(Zone 8a)

You can use 11's but they are really a bit too big. The best size is 13/0 and don't use delica. They must be seed bead, Charlotte are okay but the preference are seed beads. The reason being is when you push the bead into the wax you want a lot of color of the bead showing. If it is a cut bead you won't see much color. Once I get everyone signed up I will go into detail but if you are looking to save money on beads now then just make sure they are seed bead and not delicas or cut beads. Also if you have a source for beeswax SHEETS not bees wax blocks, you need sheets like you use for candle making. You might be able to find some sales going on in craft stores now after the holidays and if you are looking for beads then keep in mind what your design might include such as animals flowers etc. and get the colors you are going to be wanting. Remember also that you have a lot of background work to do such as sky, mountains, grass, trees or what ever your design might include.

'As I say. I don't want to jump into too much just yet, but that might help you out a bit.

Barb, you are more then welcome to be a looky loo. Since I am not charging for the class anyone can see it but if you want to actually be a part of it, besure to join in on the first day so as to get your supply list etc.


(Barb) Manchester, NH(Zone 5a)

Thanks for your understanding Jan. I'll be watching!

Blue Ridge Mtns, VA(Zone 7a)

Please add me too, Jan.

Waving to all, hope your Holiday was beautiful and blessed.

Toledo, OR(Zone 8a)

Blomma, I have too, but they don't carry many if any 13/0 beads.
You want to make sure that when the bead is pushed into the wax that there is a large enough surface for the color of the bead to show. Remember, each bead will be applied ONE BEAD AT A TIME, and it is pushed into the wax.

Victoria Harbour, ON

I'm here as well

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

Jan thank you, but I think I will withdraw and just lurk because this project sounds too time-consuming and time I don't have much of. I will be watching since I do want to learn for a future project. Thanks again, Lilly

Kansas City (Joyce), MO(Zone 5a)

Well I will be surely lurking and may attempt something small.

Toledo, OR(Zone 8a)

Well, since there doesn't seem to be many that have a lot of time I am just going to do a tutorial for folks to look at when they have time. If you have specific questions, I will be glad to answer them for you but like I said, this is not a walk away with a completed project class. It takes time.
I will make up a supply list and a source list and you can choose to do what you will with them.
It will be after The new year before I will have time to pull it all together.

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

Thank you Jan, that works for me.

Blue Ridge Mtns, VA(Zone 7a)

This may be getting ahead and don't have a design in mind yet, but could you recommend surfaces other than gourds or eggs that would be appropriate to use? For instance, I found a plain tall clear glass cylinder vase and wondered if it would work or would its surface be too slick?

Elfie @ Goodwater,, AL(Zone 7b)

Humm,,, I think I would like to do one with a shell relief. It would go with my decor for our new home. I could take it nice and slow too.

Toledo, OR(Zone 8a)

Let me show you a ocean theme one I did. The top has chips of turquoise and the bottom has abalone shells and some red coral on it too. So what you decide to put on it depends on what effect you are trying to achieve. When I say to use 13/0 beads its because you can get them very close to each other where as the 11 and bigger allow for more wax to show through on the back ground. You want to hide the wax and when you place your beads bead by bead they are pushed into the wax and the hole is face up. You wan't to use seed beads as delica's and cut beads have less color surface that shows. More on this later

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(Linda Kay) Del Rio, TX(Zone 9a)

Jan, those are beautiful!

Elfie @ Goodwater,, AL(Zone 7b)

Ohhhh. I like that.

Toledo, OR(Zone 8a)

The bottom I made to look like a clam shell holding the whole Ocean. The name of this piece is called Over and under as you can see the turquoise is the sky and the orange is the sun.

in Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

Can I join ? I work doing the day.

in Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

oops . I work during the day.

Elfie @ Goodwater,, AL(Zone 7b)

Getting caught up on everything so I can do this.

Toledo, OR(Zone 8a)

I'm so excited that everyone is also excited about the tutorial. Now that the holidays are over I can get down to creating it. Since I have never taught a class on line it should be interesting. It may have to be a photo tutorial but I will be sure to make it fun and interesting. I learned and taught myself and since it is of my own design I hope that you will find it as fun and exciting as I do. I will start working on it this week. I will come up with a material list first so that you have what you need to make one.

Victoria Harbour, ON

I'm in year 5 doing a dg workshop and I've enjoyed every moment of it..although I've sent out materials to everyone..all same, each turn out with the individual's own personality..gives me a great sense of accomplishment.

Toledo, OR(Zone 8a)

Material List

First you will need a surface on which you plan on building your beaded project.
I have posted a picture of a few ideas. Your choice.

Beeswax Sheets. Depending on the size of your project and how much sculpting you plan on doing will depend on you. I would have at least 10 sheets of Natural colored beeswax. If you are working on something about the size of the Emu Egg that I am going to demonstrate with I would have at least 5 sheets.

If you want to have a tool like mine, I will make you one for a minimal charge for materials and shipping. Or... you can make your own from a T-pin and some sculpy clay. I just cover at least half of the t-pin and then shape it so it feels comfortable in the palm of your hand and holding it with your forefinger and thumb.

You will need lots and lots of 13/0 beads and make sure you have plenty extra of specific colors for what you are making. Sometimes its hard to match up like colors. I have found that out too many times thinking I have enough.

A porcelain door knob will come in handy too or a big spoon. This is one of those tools that you go HUH? It will become clear

If you want a beading tool or we have decided to name them Thingamajigs, let me know in a Dmail.
I know we aren't selling on this forum but the cost of a Thingamajig is $5 and that covers material, labor and shipping, other wise you can just use a T-pin.

This message was edited Jan 4, 2013 7:28 AM

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Toledo, OR(Zone 8a)

more pictures.
You need something like a foam core covered board with velvet or felt. You can put your beads on this and them poke them with your pin and pic them up.
Lots of beads

And a good imagination. You won't be able to draw on your surface as it will be covered with wax but you can always remove an area if you don't like it.

Okay that is pretty much all you will need.

Surface to work on
A covered board or something to put your beads on so that you can poke them and they wont roll away
Spoon or Porcelain door knob.

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in Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

Can you give me an idea how many beads should I buy to cover a emu egg? A hank is 240 beads right? It covers how many inches ? Bead size higher the number the smaller the bead? I don't want over buy, but I want enough to cover it too. I plan on shopping tomorrow. Any help will be appreciated.
Thanks, Patti

This message was edited Jan 4, 2013 9:38 PM

(Linda Kay) Del Rio, TX(Zone 9a)

We will be in San Angelo next week, I will pick up supplies then.
Where do you get emu eggs?
I think I will try my first one on a gourd, as I have some here.

in Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

I ordered my emu eggs on ebay.

Toledo, OR(Zone 8a)

My emu eggs were given to me but like Tatters said, they have them along with ostrich eggs which I really like working on , on ebay or etsy

As far as how many beads to cover your egg, that is impossible to say. Since I don't know what you are going to construct on your egg, as that takes extras too. I have never ever counted how many it takes to cover them I just always buy at least a few hanks and a lot depends on what color you are using most, From the bead store that I bought from it comes in baggies or little bottles too. I have loads of beads that I can gladly part with as I am not doing much beading anymore. What colors are you looking at. Its hard to know how many because as you are beading, you drop them, some break, its just impossible to keep tract and they are as big as a pin head. How do you count all those.
Here is an ostrich egg I did. You can see that it would be impossible to count. I wish I could be more help.
Oh, and the larger the number the smaller the bead.
Don't get any smaller then 13/0 or you will have problems picking them up, and they will be popping and breaking, and you will go crazy, as they are so small. I bought some 15/0 beads that I could hardly see.
Let me know what your design is and I can send you some beads to have no charge if I have the right colors and I probably do as you can see I have a bazillion beads. That picture is just a sampling of all my beads.

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Toledo, OR(Zone 8a)

You don't have to sign up for this class, It will be an on going tutorial and I will be here to answer any questions. I will start the tutorial part next week. I am making up some "thingamajigs" the beading tool, for a few of you that requested them.

(Linda Kay) Del Rio, TX(Zone 9a)

I am looking at hummingbird pictures with hibiscus flowers for my design. Something like this.

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Toledo, OR(Zone 8a)

Oh that would be awesome. I have a bunch of red and orange beads yellow too. Well you just let me know and I can send you what I have if it helps.You are going to want to get a couple different shades of the color if you want to shadow or shade it in. Its really all up to you.
Love that design and you could do a great 3D of that by building up the wax and then sculpting it back down to what you want it to look like.
You will learn how to do that in this tutorial.

This message was edited Jan 5, 2013 10:58 AM

New York, NY(Zone 6b)

This looks like so much fun and therapeutic. I will not be able to make a project yet for some time but I have loads of beads that I was trying to figure out what to do with from other beading projects. I will be watching when I can and when I get ready, buy the beeswax. In the mean time, will be looking for an peony or a muli petal flower like a rose etc. to get ideas from. I like 3D art. Thanks for the tutorial.


Toledo, OR(Zone 8a)

Let me show you the Huichol Indian form of doing this. They came and looked at my work and I explained that I got my original ideas from them but just took it to another level and made it 3 dimentional

Look at some of this beaded work

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