Celebrating Fall With a Trio of Paper-Sculpted Gourds

Sometimes I like the challenge of creating something as realistically as I possibly can out of paper. While visiting a local farm, I discovered so many interesting gourds in all different sizes and shapes. Of course I thought — that’s it! A great idea for a photo-realistic paper sculpture.

After purchasing many different varieties of gourds in all different shapes, sizes and colors, I had to narrow it down and decide which one I would try to mimic out of paper and paint. These are the three gourds I chose. I also decided to make them quite a bit smaller than the real-life gourds.


My favorite part of this design was adding the texture to the gourds — all those knobby lumps and bumps. I then painted the gourd after it was all shaped and formed to mimic the color of the ones I bought at the farm.

The paper sculpture that was the most challenging to make was the smoothest-looking gourd of the three. That surprised me as I thought it would be a breeze to make that one: Just glue down some paper, add some paint and it is done. But for some reason, it took some trial and error and many re-dos to get the smooth surface of the gourd correct. It kept getting lumpy and the seam where the two ends of the paper met kept showing up in an obvious way in all the wrong places. The trick is to hide your seams when you paper sculpt so that is doesn’t give your “secret” away that it is just made out of paper.

This trio of gourds was a fun project to do and I especially like hearing people be so surprised to discover they are paper gourds and not real gourds. The photos show the real gourd next to the paper gourds, which are completely three-dimensional and made entirely out of paper that I painted to give them a realistic look.