DIY Paisley Chickens made from gourds!

by Susan Myers on November 2, 2012

Well, look who I found gossiping away on my front porch!  A gaggle of paisley chickens!  You know, chickens are notorious for just clucking away about all the latest tidbits.  Who grabbed who’s hair on the latest episode of Housewives of Atlanta.  Who just got out of rehab?  What happened last night on Honey Boo Boo?

Paisley Chickens/Suzys Artsy Craftsy Sitcom #crafts #painting

But I hear that paisley chickens are the worst.  They actually have personal subscriptions to the National Enquirer!  Hmmm… I guess we have something in common!   Anyway, just in case you would like your own gossiping bunch of paisley chicks, I will show you how they are made!

For this project I used:

3 Dried Gourds
Acrylic Paints in light blue, dark blue, gold, brick red, white and teal
Polymer Clay
Hot glue
Krylon Clear Matte Varnish Spray

Paisley Chickens/Suzys Artsy Craftsy Sitcom #crafts #painting #gourd art

Our fabulously dressed chickens started out as these lowly dried gourds.  Well, everyone has to start somewhere, right?  These dried gourds have been sitting in my stash for several years now, just waiting on the right idea to come along.  In order to prepare them for painting, I scrubbed them each with a non-abrasive scouring pad.  It is good to use some bleach in your water to stop any of the molding that is going on.  A simple method is to spray them with bathroom cleaner (that has bleach in it) and then scrub them.

Paisley Chickens/Suzys Artsy Craftsy Sitcom #crafts #painting #gourd art

Because my chickens need to go together as a group, I chose a color palette that I would use on all the chickens.  My colors for this project are light blue, dark blue, gold, white, teal, and brick red.  I began by painting a base coat on each gourd, one light blue, one white, and the third- I added some white to my gold and painted it a light gold.  It took about three coats to cover the gourds well.

Paisley Chickens/Suzys Artsy Craftsy Sitcom #crafts #painting #gourd art

Drawing paisleys is a simple process.  They are basically tear drop shapes with a curl at the top.  I sketched different sized paisley all over the base of the gourd, turning some upside down and some sideways for variety.  I did not add them to the neck of the gourd, because everyone knows paisley chickens don’t have paisley on their necks.  Right?

Paisley Chickens/Suzys Artsy Craftsy Sitcom #crafts #painting #gourd art Paisley Chickens/Suzys Artsy Craftsy Sitcom #crafts #painting #gourd art

I used dark blue to outline the paisleys on two of the gourds and the brick red to outline them on the yellow gourd.  I then started filling in the paisleys with color.  Each paisley is totally different from the next.  I did not go by any pattern or design, just filling them in as I wanted.

Paisley Chickens/Suzys Artsy Craftsy Sitcom #crafts #painting #gourd artPaisley Chickens/Suzys Artsy Craftsy Sitcom #crafts #painting #gourd art

Some paisleys had flowers painted in them, some just had circular designs.  I added dots of color to some for a bit of variety.  Working with the same color scheme on all three gourds helps to make them match each other even though no two paisley are alike.

Paisley Chickens/Suzys Artsy Craftsy Sitcom #crafts #painting #gourd art

And here they are waiting for me to make their little heads.  Am I ready for the gossiping to start?  Well sure.

Paisley Chickens/Suzys Artsy Craftsy Sitcom #crafts #painting #gourd art

I used polymer clay to create the comb, beak and wattle for each chicken. Don’t you just love that word, wattle? Anyway, the process is to shape the clay how you would like it, then put it in a 200 degree oven for about an hour to dry.  Once the pieces have cooled and hardened, they were then hot glued onto the gourds.  I then painted the comb and wattle with the brick red, and the beaks with gold.  (It took several coats of paint).  You could shorten this process by using the proper color clay, but I tend to work from my stash and pink was my only option.

Paisley Chickens/Suzys Artsy Craftsy Sitcom #crafts #painting #gourd art

See, they don’t even have eyes yet, and they are already talking about me!

Paisley Chickens/Suzys Artsy Craftsy Sitcom #crafts #painting #gourd art

A dot of black paint creates the eye.  Add a smaller dot of white for a highlight.  The final step is to add two good coats of Krylon clear matte acrylic spray to protect the paint.  And then they are done!

Paisley Chickens/Suzys Artsy Craftsy Sitcom #crafts #painting #gourd art

Now if I could just get them to be quiet!

What to purchase some already made chickens?  My latest flock of gossiping chickens is now available in my Etsy shop!

gossiping chickens on etsy

For more decorative painting, see:

Vintage Seed Packet Art
Enchanted Fish recycled cookie sheet art

hand painted egg sign

Or how about this sweet Hand Painted Vintage Egg Sign by Crafts by Amanda?  Easy tutorial!

suzys sitcom facebook page

Want to try your hand at quilting?  My newest quilt Pattern- Sleepy Puppies!  A great gift!

sleepy puppies baby quilt

Are you new to the Sitcom?  Be sure to check out my Frequently Asked Questions Page!

For over 150 crafty tutorials for all ages, visit my Tutorial Page! 

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{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lucy November 18, 2014 at 7:40 pm

Grew gourds for the first time this year with the idea of making birdhouses. During my search for ideas, I found out that gourds can be used for beautiful works of art, also. These chickens are the bomb and since we just became chicken farmers I’d like to make me some! I just wondered a couple of things. Will the polymer clay hold up outdoors or do I need to research a different method for the beaks and wattles (I love that word too!)? Second, did you just get lucky and have gourds that stood the right way or did you have to sand them to make them flat on the bottom? I noticed one appears to be sitting on a rope ring. Thanks for the great idea! I love visiting your site! Always a pleasure!

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2 Richard June 17, 2014 at 7:53 pm

Suzy;
I just found your beautful chickens. I am a person that can not draw a straoht line with a ruler, so pardon the next question Would you be willinf to sell these chicks…delivered to Florida. If yes, I would appreciate you emailing a price back to me at rihale19@yahoo.com.

Thank you very much for your prompt reply….
Richard

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3 Susan Myers June 18, 2014 at 6:36 pm

Hi Richard!

Yes! I sell my paisley chickens in my Etsy shop! You can find what I have in stock here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/SuzysSitcomStore. I add new ones every few weeks. If you would like something special, just let me know!

suzy

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4 Andrea June 2, 2014 at 10:37 pm

These just made me squeal with delight. These are SOOOOO cute and they look really easy. Now I just have to find a gourd. :) See I would totally get addicted to making these and paint them up paisley style for the various holidays too… These are low profile enought to line up on my mantle! ooooh or team specific colors… lol Sooo cute!!! Thanks so much for sharing!

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5 Helen June 1, 2014 at 5:50 pm

These are adorable. I was just wondering what type of gourds they are?

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6 Susan Myers June 1, 2014 at 9:20 pm

Thank you! They are Kettle Gourds or sometimes called Martin gourds.

suzy

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7 Lis April 26, 2014 at 8:46 am

Oh My!!! These are even cuter than the last batch. Great job!

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8 Susan Myers April 29, 2014 at 2:00 pm

Thank you so much, Lis! They were lots of fun to make!

suzy

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9 Christine April 25, 2014 at 11:11 am

They are sooo cute… What did you do with the stems?Cut them and then sand… I am going to make a set of these..they are adorable… Thanks for the inspiration!!!!

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10 carmem March 22, 2014 at 10:09 am

Olá !!
Fiquei encantada com sua criatividade, gostaria de saber se
você faz para vender, e o preço .
Grata Maria Carmem .

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11 Lillian Connelly March 19, 2014 at 9:03 pm

I love these so much. I am going to grow some gourds in my garden this year so I can make some. Thanks for sharing them!

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12 Lisa Ludlow June 24, 2013 at 8:19 am

I love paisley designs and chickens. These are so cute. A must do on the list. Now to find some gourds! Thank you for the tutorial, it was well done with a great “play by play” commentary!

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13 amber whitehead May 24, 2013 at 10:20 am

I love them my kitchen has chickens so creative and cute!

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14 Anonymous March 23, 2013 at 12:58 pm

Muy lindo, y creativo, Felicitaciones.

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15 deana March 14, 2013 at 5:22 am

What a great Idea. I think i am going to look around at my local trade days or search online for some dried out gourds and make me a few and have them sitting around our country cafe. I think the customers would get a kick out of them.
but just wanted to pass on some info that some people might not know about Polymer clay. What ever supplies you use with your clay has to designated for clay purpases only. If you plan on using a knife per say to cut your clay and you do not have an extra knife to just get rid of then use plastic knifes ect. Even your cookie sheet you lay you clay on cannot be used for food anymore. So usually what I do is I go to my local 1.oo store or thrift store and get supplies I can use for my clay work and have a tote that my clay, and anything I use in my clay making go in to that tote.
When u first take your clay out of the wrapper it will be really hard to knead so what I do is just about 10 – 20 minutes or so befor I know I am going to use my clay is I put it up in my bra against my skin or in my pocket, so the heat from my body helps to soften it a little bit. It will still be hard but not as bad. I just take off the brick of clay only what i am going to be using and cover up the rest. When I tend to use the whole block then I will tear off pieces and get that one soft then tear off more and add it to the section I have been softening till the whol block it worked out. There are lots of fun things you can do with any left over clay just do a search and a whole new world will open up.

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16 Susan Myers March 14, 2013 at 9:40 am

Hi Deana!

Thank you so much for the tips on working with polymer clay. I really didn’t know a few of them. I don’t work with it often. I baked mine on a sheet of foil, so I guess I’m okay with the food issue, but definitely good to know!

Thanks so much for stopping by and thank you for the kind words! If you decide to make some chickens, I’d love to see them!

suzy

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17 deana March 14, 2013 at 7:12 pm

You are so welcome,
As soon as I can find me some Gourds and get them painted I would love to show you what I have done.

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18 Connie Warner March 12, 2013 at 4:37 pm

Love your chatty Paisley chicks!

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19 Connie Warner March 12, 2013 at 4:33 pm

These are just the CuTeSt things I have seen in a long time— of course, I Do like chickens anyway, and Paisleys remind me of the ‘Love & Peace’ days when I wore alot of paisley- printed clothing! This project goes in my ‘To Do” file! Thanks!! =)

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20 Deneen March 9, 2013 at 8:47 am

I love these. They are so creative.

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21 Cheryl@ Sew Can Do January 17, 2013 at 10:21 am

LOVE these. So super cute and the paisley really makes them pop. Also love how gossipy they are. Now I just need to find some gourds…

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22 CoSuDu December 10, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Oh my gourd, these chickens are beautiful! Thank you very much for the tutorial. The following might be a dumb questions, but how, exactly, did you dry the gourds? They don’t appear to be hallowed-out so that must mean the “guts” and seeds are all dried-up inside? Also, how long did the drying process take?

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23 Suzy December 12, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Thank you for your kind comments! And no, it is not a dumb question! I purchased my gourds already dried, so I did not have to do anything but scrub them and ready them for painting. You can purchase dried gourds on line from many different vendors. I happened upon mine at a flea market.

If you choose to dry your own gourds, it takes several months. There are several tutorials on line to help.

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24 Mariann Kohl November 13, 2012 at 10:30 am

These are adorable! My mom wanted chicken statues for her front yard for Christmas, guess what she’s getting!

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25 Leslie November 11, 2012 at 8:28 am

These are adorable!!

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26 Angela November 8, 2012 at 10:30 am

Olá, Suzy.
Estou encantada com suas galinhas. Tenho várias cabaças e em algumas fiz as galinhas de angola, agora pretendo “copiar” seus modelos. Você me autorizar publicar em meu blog, claro com o link da fonte citada?
Parabéns pelo lindo trabalho e obrigada por compartilhar.
Abraços,

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27 Suzy November 8, 2012 at 11:45 am

Oi! Obrigado por perguntar sobre o tutorial cabaça galinha! Sim, você pode usar uma foto do tutorial e adicionar um link. Por favor, não copiar todo o tutorial. Se você fazê-los, eu gostaria de vê-los!

Obrigado pelas palavras gentis!
suzy

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28 Creative Mind November 8, 2012 at 6:19 am

Love Love Love it suzy…so beautiful :)

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29 Trish November 5, 2012 at 9:40 am

Very cute-nice to see such a unique craft :)

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30 Roxanne November 4, 2012 at 2:30 pm

I love these chickens and your sense of humor!

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31 Stacy November 4, 2012 at 11:42 am

I love these!!! They are adorable :)

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32 Doreen November 4, 2012 at 12:18 am

So So adorable! You are very talented, to say the least. Have you thought of making more and selling these chicks?

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33 Suzy November 5, 2012 at 11:26 am

Thanks, Doreen! These three might end up in my shop, so who knows? Maybe I’ll have a bunch of clucking chickens soon. :)

Thank you for stopping by!

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34 Julie November 3, 2012 at 10:01 pm

Girl, I have to say those are the cuities chickens I have ever seen and to think I have 4 old dried ready to use gourds out back. I can’t paint a lick but I think I can doodle and make something cute. Thanks for the wonderful idea and the how to too.
Blessings!

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35 Suzy November 5, 2012 at 11:36 am

Thanks, Julie! I’d love to see how yours come out! We could have a “hen” party! Ha!

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36 brandi November 3, 2012 at 8:18 pm

Cool Beans! They look like Mexican pottery! I love it!

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37 JoAnna November 3, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Wonderful, these are fantabulously (yes that should be a real word!) awesome! thanks!
JoAnna

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38 Brenda Williams November 3, 2012 at 12:19 pm

OMG…this may well be my favorite thing ever! How cute! You have SO MUCH talent!

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39 Kam November 3, 2012 at 11:56 am

Hee! Paisley chickens! The last photo really does remind me of a group of little ol southern ladies catching up on the latest gossip…so cute!

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40 Joyce Fisher November 3, 2012 at 11:50 am

Hi Suzy,
These are just about the MOST ADORABLE chickens I have ever seen!!! The cuteness factor is off the charts!!! They would look so great in my sister’s kitchen so I guess I have to add “find gourds” on my to-do list! You are so wonderful to include step-by-step instructions and photos so we can make them too!
Peace, Love & Joy,
Joyce
peaceloveandjoyce.blogspot.com

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41 jet November 3, 2012 at 9:29 am

awesome idea. well done. love it!!!

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42 norene November 3, 2012 at 8:48 am

They are very cute! I wonder if they eat their pellets. Mine don’t.

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43 Chic and frog November 3, 2012 at 3:35 am

They are lovely! Thanks for the tutorial!

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44 Brenda November 2, 2012 at 6:40 pm

These are **AWESOME**!!!! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!!!

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45 Johnnie November 2, 2012 at 12:41 pm

These are gorgeous!

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46 Shannon Hicks November 2, 2012 at 11:48 am

Okay, these are adorable. I just love chickens, and these are the best! Very country cool!

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