Preserve ornamental gourds through a process of washing and drying over an extended period of time. The process requires turning the gourds over every couple of days and preventing mold and decay.
To transform gourds into ornamental pieces, pick them from their vines when the vine and stem are fully brown and dry. Take extra care to not dent or nick the gourd's surface, as dents and nicks can lead to mold and decay.
Wash the gourd in warm water with soap to remove any dirt on the gourd's surface. Then, rinse the gourd in a solution of 1/4 cup of Borax and two quarts of warm water to kill any bacteria that are on the gourd's surface.
After washing and rinsing the gourd to remove dirt and bacteria, place the gourd on newspaper in a dark, dry area. Ensure that there is space around the gourd to allow for proper ventilation. Turn the gourd every couple of days until the gourd is dry and makes a hollow sound when tapped on. This process can take from one to six months depending on the gourd's size.
When the gourd is dry, wash the gourd with mild soap and water to remove any dust that collected during the drying process.