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Let's Make Halloween Gourd Dolls

Updated on October 13, 2015
Nightcat profile image

Nightcat loves everything about Halloween! She’s pretty sure it is a national holiday and if it isn’t it should be.

Dolls from your garden

Anyone of any age can create gourd dolls for Halloween, all you need is paint, hot glue, fabric, and the embellishments you desire. These two fellows were inspired by a novel perfect for Halloween reading and the musical (it made sense at the time) and so they are sort of Phantom of the Opera dolls, or something like that. Please keep in mind these dear fellows likely have a few years on younger crafters, so be kind when you speak of them.

I grew the gourds myself and dried them on my back porch for about six months, then cleaned them in a mild bleach solution to remove any mold and gently rubbed off the skins once dry. To make things easier for younger crafters, why not start with faux gourds? Children can also find dried gourd at the local craft store or craft fairs. Now let's get crafting.

Erik In Opera Dress

You'll need:

Black Paint

While Paint

Glitter Glue

Black Felt

Beaded Ribbon

Mardi Gras Hair Tie

Gold Paint Pen

Purple Crafting Clay

Yellow Crafting Clay

To make this doll dry and clean your gourd. Then add your base color. I chose black for the scenes in the novel where Erik is dress in his opera cape and evening dress. Let this dry completely and keep in mine it may take several coats.

To make Erik's opera dress I added white accents and clothing details with a gold paint pen, plus glitter in contrasting colors because the bombastic use of color in the musical influenced me. The Hands, feet and face were molded feet hand from children's crafting clay, then added.

People who remember the actual novel will remember Erik is describes as having yellow skin stretched so tightly over his bones that he looks like a living skeleton and glowing gold eyes so those details were added using yellow clay and a paint pen.

Because he looked so somber I added the Mardi Gras hair tie and green beaded ribbon trim and fun accents like bells on his softened feet. So he is sort of a mix between the Phantom and a harmless gourd critter.

20 BIRDHOUSE GOURD (Hard Shelled Gourd / Calabash) Lagenaria Siceraria Vine Seeds
20 BIRDHOUSE GOURD (Hard Shelled Gourd / Calabash) Lagenaria Siceraria Vine Seeds

Grow your own! It is a labor of love, but there is nothing like growing your own gourds.

Making Gourd Dolls & Spirit Figures
Making Gourd Dolls & Spirit Figures

This book was a huge inspirations as I worked on these dolls. No, mine do not look like those on the cover, but by listening to the spirit of the gourd like these wonderful artisans I got pleasing results.


Need to clean your gourds?

Red Death

The Red Death gourd doll was made the same way, except with red paint for his base, and red crafting clay for his hands, feet and face. It sounds strange but gourd do have personalities. Both these gourds directed the way they were crafted. So instead of somber, serious dolls like I intended the overall effect was soft, rounded and childlike.

Brag Book

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Spirit Gourd Dolls

Read the original novel

The Phantom of the Opera (Bantam Classics)
The Phantom of the Opera (Bantam Classics)

To me no film version or musical can match the original novel. In it readers meet Erik, the Phantom, who due to being born looking like a living skeleton was denied even a loving childhood. He traveled the world and due to his genius soon made himself at home in many wondrous places and developed many talents, and sadly a passion for murder.

But many years pass and the man once known as a monster settles in beneath the Opera house to live out his life in peace, well, with the occasional murder and blackmail to attend to. All would be well except that he hears promise in the voice of Christine...


Like the craft? Do tell!

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    • Nightcat profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      @MarcellaCarlton: Aww, thank you, MarcellaCarlton! Hugs! :)

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I love this. Thank you so much for sharing your craft. They are so adorable!

    • Nightcat profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      @anonymous: Aww, thank you so much, awelldressedbullet! Hugs! :)

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      These are just so gosh darn cute!

    • Nightcat profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      @VspaBotanicals: Aww, thanks so very much, VspaBotanicals, hugs! :)

    • VspaBotanicals profile image


      5 years ago

      Excellent ideas here!!!

    • Nightcat profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      @Diana Wenzel: Thank you so very much, RenaissanceWoman2010. Hugs! :)

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 

      5 years ago from Colorado

      Cool! I love that you grew your own gourds for this project. Love the theme. Those spirit gourds are pretty awesome, also.

    • Nightcat profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      @Jerzimom: Thanks so much, CherylFay. Thanks for the visit, hugs! :)

    • Jerzimom profile image

      Cheryl Fay Mikesell 

      5 years ago from Mondovi, WI

      These are totally awesome! Super Lens!

    • Nightcat profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      @premjayaram: Thank you, premjayaram! Hugs! :)

    • premjayaram profile image


      5 years ago from Malaysia

      wow...nice tips there. Great lens.


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