I've been doing buckeye gourds for my husband and his family now and still owed our nephew Aaron one. I decided to use a gourd that was already cut and finished and to carve his instead of just woodburning and staining like the last one. I find the canteen gourds have a similar shape to the Ohio State Buckeye Tree fruit. I used Tandy stains, possibly oxblood, but it's been finished for so long now I'm not sure. The lid which was cut out is the natural color of the gourd. The inside is finished with Mod Podge. This keeps the dust from being a problem. I drew a buckeye leaf onto the gourd and then used a knife-edged blade to carve into the outline to make the rest of the carving easier and to give a stopping point when carving. A little at the time is the trick and I used some of the U-shaped wood-cutting tools to whittle. A word of advice: Use leather gloves when carving with these tools. If I had been able to find mine, I would have been wearing them when I slipped once and drew blood. But, all in all, I think it went fine. I used Master Gourd Satin finish to seal the outside after finishing. The inside is not food-safe as far as I know, but using a plastic bag or container if one plans to hold food should be fine.
This gourd now resides in Las Vegas with Aaron and he says he loves it which makes it all worthwhile.