diy project: cardboard gourd place settings

It’s possible that we have done everything you could think to do with mini pumpkins and gourds in the name of a beautiful Thanksgiving table — glitter, spray paint, stencils, papier mâché, carving, drilling, stamping. There is hardly a tool or technique we haven’t applied to (or tried on) the squash family. We thought this would be a fun twist on the same theme, and because we always have a glut of cardboard boxes around, it was a fun way to recycle. — bbbcraft sisters

Read the full how-to after the jump!


  • old cardboard boxes
  • small sticks
  • scissors
  • needle
  • white twine
  • compass
  • pencil
  • awl (we used a 1/4”)


1. Use the compass to draw circles of varying sizes, so you have about 8 to 10 circles for each gourd in a variety of closely sized circles. The size of your circles depends on the size you’d like to make the gourds.

2. Cut out the circles.

3. Stack the circles to make the gourd shape, with small circles on the bottom, bigger and wider circles in the middle and the smallest circles on top.

4. Using an awl, make a central hole through all the circles.

5. Using the needle and white twine, sew through the hole and create the gourd’s “ribs” by wrapping the twine around the stack and through the hole again. Continue to sew and wrap until you have come full circle, leaving equal space between each wrap.

6. Push a small stick through the hole to create the gourd’s stem.

7. Tie a piece of paper or a ribbon to the top to create place settings (we used iron-on transfers to create our ribbon tags).

  1. holly says:

    oh punkin’, those are something sweet!

  2. Michelle says:

    Hmm. That is a lot of effort when a real gourd would look nicer. But I guess if you can’t find gourds and you really, really want them…

  3. JS says:

    These are adorable. Plus, I love that it is a no waste concept. You were planning on recycling that box and you still can when you are done with the pieces. Brilliant and cute.

  4. These turned out beautifully! I love this idea…so fresh and unexpected ;)

  5. Janie says:

    Would be nice to do with thin cookies (that’s what i thought they were when I first saw the pic…)

  6. Rose says:

    This is such a unique creative idea and so simple! You could customize this for different occasions.

  7. Julie says:

    Cute project, but you really missed an opportunity for a sweet “Cardgourd” pun. :p

  8. pixelhazard says:

    What a neat idea and your layout is lovely.I need an excuse to get placecards out now

    Bright Green Laces

  9. Jen says:

    Cute AND recycling – that’s my kind of project! There’s something about personalized name plates that really make a dinner special – and these would be adorable with names on the ribbon. Thanks for the idea!

  10. Kirah says:

    This is just too cute! I could already imagine all kinds of possibilities with these, might give these a go if I ever get a chance to.

  11. blythe says:

    how creative and I agree with Jen — love the recycling bonus!

  12. So creative- and adorable :)

  13. corinne says:

    excellent !

  14. What a great looking design. I am thinking a laser cutter could make some very cool objects from stacked cardboard…

  15. I loved this idea. It was beautiful. Congratulations.

  16. berta says:

    Really nice thing to do with kids.

  17. Lauren says:

    They’re so cute!

  18. Mariolonza says:

    What a delicious idea!

  19. connie says:

    Great idea! Can you tell me what kind and/or where you got the ribbon that you used to transfer the bon appetit printing on? Thank you!

  20. claire says:

    Creative use of old boxes! I love it!

  21. Just goes to show the best ideas are often the most simple! Nice work.

  22. Pam says:

    These would also make great christmas ornaments! Use colored twine (metallic even), and make them a little less gourdy.

  23. Lisa says:

    Love this so much! And I have a glut of white cardboard that I think could make great snowballs for Christmas! OR paint them black and make into lumps of coal! ha ha ha!!! :)

  24. Kim says:

    Love…can’t wait to try it with gingerbread cookies instead of cardboard!

  25. Rachael says:

    Loved it and plan to give it a try. The suggestions made by several readers are also great!

  26. Heather says:

    These are so stinking cute!

  27. What a great way to recycle old boxes! Love it :)

  28. Brooke says:

    Looking at that big stack of circles just makes my hands hurt! I think this is a cute idea, but the logistics of actually cutting all that cardboard seems a little crazy!

  29. these look adorable! You could also make these decorations for Christmas and new years – they look festive but are amazingly simple to make. Thanks

  30. Anastasia says:

    These are so pretty!

  31. Bee says:

    I always like to put something festive on the holiday table. These are outstanding because the are so unusual

  32. what a wonderful idea! Makes great use of the holiday online shopping boxes!

  33. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Them! Just wrote an article on DIY Thanksgiving place settings and this would’ve been a great addition!

  34. susy says:

    well, i know what i’ll be doing wednesday night, next week! : ) thanks!

  35. Marcia says:

    So, so pretty and creative!

  36. Fabulous and creative recycle! Love, love, love! Pinning :)

    <3 Christina at I Gotta Create!
    Wildly Original Linky party is open!

  37. diy project: cardboard gourd place settings | Design*Sponge

  38. Dana Decals says:

    Oh those are so cute! You could even switch up the strings and the color of the cardboard being used. There’s so much you can do with something like this, and love that it’s something that you can make with things that are likely just around the house.


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