Picked early, hard-rind or hard-shell gourds and okra dry to your wood-like texture, making them suitable for crafts. Their shapes — long and slender, bulbous, curvy or snowman-like — imply they are especially useful for creating fashionable, cute or quirky Christmas ornaments. Select your fruits with a job in mind, or allow the natural shapes inspire your creativeness.

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Gourd

Gourds, scrubbed, sanded and waxed to a smooth, sparkly shine, have a Christmas-decoration-like appearance, but with strand lights peeking through tiny holes in within it, they present star-like glimmer. Remove the bottom end, cutting it right to sit down flat. Notch a groove for the light’s cord. Scrape out the innards — dried pulp could be dusty, so work outside and wear a dust mask. Drill holes through the shells in artsy fashion, allowing Christmas components from trees and poinsettias into elves and scalloped garland, guide your layouts. Plan your photographs or patterns with templates, tracing paper or cutouts along with a pencil, if freehand styling isn’t your forte.

Hand-Painted Pretties

When you cut on long narrow, okra pods crosswise, employing a pumpkin saw, little handsaw or jab watched, their ribbed shell types a star-like form. Cut 1-inch broad stars, clean out the pulp and sand the shells, readying them for paint. Let your creativity and festive color scheme guide your art; spray paint the ornaments with metallic silver, antique bronze or gold paints — or hand paint each with alternating stripes or vibrant polka dots using artwork paints. Dangle grouped stars from a wreath, a door knocker or dining-room chandelier arms with assorted length ribbons.

Okra Angels

Use long, slim okra to create a chorus of angels. Attach each choir member’s wooden-bead head and Spanish-moss hair with hot glue. Draw singing faces with simplistic ovals representing open mouths and lash-adorned crescents for shut eyes, employing a fine-tip marker. Glittery-gold pipe-cleaner halos and wire-ribbon wings finish the bodies. Attach a folded-paper songbook to each angel’s entrance at chest height. As the novel’s title, print a party guest’s name, and stand every single angel in a water glass or canning jar as party-table place settings.

Hung With Care

Small gourds and okra sprayed with craft glue and dusted with glitter make attractive Christmas-tree decorations, since do papier-mache fruits wearing vibrant pieces of wrapping paper and topped with high-gloss lacquer; hanging them does not have to be tricky. Screw a little eye hook into the peak of each wood-like decoration. Through the eye, slip a cable Christmas ornament hook, a stylishly curvy hanger or length of ribbon. If you use ribbon, knot the ends to form a loop.

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