Scarecrows are often used as yard decorations as well as to deter pests such as crows and hawks. Making a scarecrow does not have to be complicated, in fact it can be a fun kids craft. Building a scarecrow only takes a few hours depending on what type of costume is used.
Things You'll Need
- Old clothes, shoes, gloves
- Scrap lumber or Plastic pipes and fittings
- Rope or string
- Plastic bags, rags
- Old large ball
Look for and gather the craft supplies that will be needed for making the scarecrow. The framework can be as simple as two boards nailed together in a cross like fashion. A piece of 2 x 4 approximately 6 to 8 ft. long and a 3 to 4 ft. long piece of 1 x 4 for the cross piece will work. If the upright is going to be stuck in the ground, it will need to be long enough so that some 6 foot of it extends above the ground. Pieces of plastic pipe can be used to make a frame if something that will not rot in the weather is wanted. For the head an old soccer ball or basket ball will work nicely as will a large gourd. Stuffing an old pillow case or plastic bag is another way to make a head and then paint on the face. Some old flannel shirt and jeans will look authentic as will some worn out boots and work gloves. Lastly don't forget a hat of some sort. Goodwill and Salvation Army stores are good places to search for old clothes. The costume for the scarecrow can be as simple or as showy as desired for its purpose.
Decide how to support the scarecrow and build the support. For making a scarecrow that will last all season, to guard the garden or chickens, it is good to make a support that can be moved around easily. Pieces of 3 inch diameter, plastic pipe can be placed in the ground, extending 3 ft. above it so the scarecrow frame pipe can be stuck into or over it. Another type of scarecrow support is to tie the frame to a fence post or hang it from a tree limb. It is also possible to take a 5 gallon plastic bucket, cut a hole in the bottom and turn it over to stick the frame pipe through into the ground. It will provide more support so the frame bottom doesn't have to go as far into the ground.
Make a scarecrow body frame. To make a wooden frame, nail the shorter board cross-wise to the longer one, about one foot from what will be the top of the scarecrow. The shorter piece will be the shoulders and arms of the scarecrow. Depending on the shirt and how long the board is, it may be necessary to put the scarecrow's shirt on first before nailing the short board to the long board. For a plastic pipe frame, one way to go is to use four pieces of pipe, two 2 ft. pieces, a 5 to 6 ft. piece, and a short 12 inch piece for the top. A double "T"/cross connection fitting or a "T" fitting will be needed to connect the pieces together. With a double "T" connector connect all four pipe pieces, with the two, 2 ft. arms to the sides and the short neck piece opposite the long bottom one. With a single "T" connector place the two scarecrow arms to the sides and the longer pipe to the bottom. Drill a hole in the top of the "T" big enough to insert a smaller pipe or stick into for the neck. The pipe or stick should fit snug. If the longer piece of pipe is of a large enough diameter, holes can be drilled through it large enough to stick a shorter single "arm" piece of pipe through. With this method no "T" connector is needed, only two pieces of pipe, one 4 ft. long, of 2 inch diameter pipe for the arms and one 5 to 7 ft. piece of 4 inch diameter, for the main upright are needed. Glue the pieces together if using a connector fitting but leave one arm piece unglued to be able to get the scarecrow shirt on if necessary.
Dress the scarecrow. Put the shirt on if using the plastic frame, glue the second arm on, and stuff the arms if needed to fill them out. Some things to use for stuffing are: old plastic bags, rags, pine straw, leaves, and of course hay. Cut a hole in the crotch of the pants to slide them up on the main support. Place a stick of some sort in the pants at the waist line crosswise, to hold the waist open. It should be slightly longer than the width of the pants so when the pants are zipped they will catch on it. Use some rope or string to make some "suspenders" for the scarecrow pants. Tie each side of the stick up to the arm pieces under the shirt so they hang at the right height. Stuff the pant legs if needed and tie a boot on each one, then tie the gloves onto the sleeves.
Make the scarecrow head. If using an old ball, cut a hole in the bottom to slide it over the top support and one in the top for the top support to stick out of, to hold the hat in place. If needed make two smaller holes near the top, on the ball's sides to tie the hat on the head, so it won't blow off. If using a stuffed bag, fill it and tie it to the support around the neck. Tie the hat down over the bag with the support pipe sticking through it. Paint on a face if one is wanted. Another good item to make a head out of is a plastic, pumpkin type, Halloween basket. That is all there is to it, now put the new family member to work out in the garden, yard, or chicken pen. Remember to get the kids help with this project as it can make for a great kids craft project. Check below under resources for some other craft articles. Please rate them and this article, thank you. All contents and photos copyrighted by Aupoet.
Tips & Warnings
- If only making a one time use scarecrow, use some old tree branches to make a support frame and tie them together.
- Make a sitting scarecrow and put him in a lawn chair or swing.
- If involving young children watch them when using cutting tools.
- When the time comes to throw your man away be aware there may be tenants such as rats and mice that have moved into his innards.
- Photo Credit All photos by Aupoet