First you'll need a gourd. I got mine from Tomer's aunt who grows them and dries them herself.
Pick one that shakes well.
Now you have to clean it up using steel wool and a lot of muscle.
The yellow external scrapes off leaving a brownish-orange color.
The top isn't so important cause you'll be cutting it off in just a minute.
Wear protective head gear against the dust and mold that's about to come out (or just do it to make your wife laugh).
Slice off the top.
All this internal dried up white stuff has to go.
Some of it just falls out.
But the rest you'll have to scrape away. Use any tool you can find, even a spaghetti serving spoon.
So you've scraped the neck of the gourd. But what about the inside?
For that you need a delicate lady with small delicate hands that fit in there.
This isn't easy and will take a long time.
Wipe it wet, sand it dry, dig with a spoon, dig with your fingernails.
Delicate hands are all scraped up by now.
Now it's time to cover the inside with a sealer. Anything that's good for wood, is good for gourd.
I used a spoon and just let the sealer slide down from the rim to the inside.
Place it down to dry (in a well ventilated place).
Wait at least 24 hours and add another coat (I repeated it three times)
The sealer gives good resonance.
And prevents from further dust to flake out.
For even better wood protection and a glossy look, add a coat of lack on the inside.
It will be impossible to reach all inner corners with a paint brush. Just let the lack slide down the spots you can't get to.
Time to stain the outside. This is optional since the gourd has a great color as it is, but I already bought the stainer, so why not use it?
In the crafts store they call this black wood stain "Betun".
Pour some on a cotton cloth.
And rub it all over the outside of the gourd.
Keep going till the outside it fully covered.
Then, with a pair of clean gloves and a new cotton cloth, rub some tunk oil over the external.
The oil is absorbed after a few days and the shiny effect wears off, so I ended up covering the outside with lack.
I bought my beads online. You can use wooden beads, glass beads or plastic, like me. Just make sure the holes are wide enough for your string.
Start by making a knotted braid.
This will be the top ring of the shekere.
Make a plan of your bead design.
Make sure you have enough beads. I think I used over 500.
Connect to the top ring some doubled over strands according to the amount of beads per row from your design plan. (notice I decided to use a brown string instead of the white one)
Now you'll begin your bead mesh. You need to thread beads on the right string of each pair, and use the left string of the next pair to tie a knot below.
It's a lot simpler than it sounds.
Before you know it, you already have some rows done.