How to Make Unusual Homemade Scarecrows


The word "scarecrow" brings to mind the classic image of a straw man in a cornfield. Like the beloved "Wizard of Oz" character, traditional scarecrows have burlap bodies stuffed with hay and dressed in gingham shirts, denim overalls and straw hats. Scarecrows like these are common autumn decorations, but making a scarecrow in unconventional shapes or dressing it in unexpected outfits can add some flair to your holiday decor.

Things You'll Need

  • Hay or newspaper
  • Burlap potato sack or trash bags
  • 6-foot wooden pole
  • 3-foot wooden pole
  • Twine
  • Heavy-duty colored markers
  • Old clothes (trousers, shirts, dresses, skirts, hats)

Making a Basic Scarecrow

  • Drive a 6-foot wooden pole into the ground at desired outdoor location.

  • Feed 3-foot pole through armholes of shirt, then lift shirt and pole over the top of the 6-foot pole. Tie the poles together with twine at the neck hole of the shirt.

  • Make the torso. Stuff shirt with hay (you may need a second set of hands to hold hay in place until the torso is full and shirt can hold in the hay on its own) and tie hand holes with twine.

  • Lay pants flat and stuff with hay. Tie pant legs with twine.

  • Attach legs to torso. Feed twine through belt loops and tuck shirt into pants, then tightly tie twine to secure.

  • Make the head. Turn potato sack inside-out to hide any writing on the bag. Draw a face on one of the blank sides. Exaggerated features work best -- model scarecrow's face after a jack-o-lantern, with large circles for eyes, a triangle nose and jagged-line mouth.

  • Stuff potato sack with hay then fit sack over the tip of the 6-foot pole. Tuck ends of the sack into neck hole of the shirt then tie with twine to create a neck. Top the head with a hat.

Jazzing Up a Basic Scarecrow

  • Make a "green" scarecrow. Instead of purchasing materials, crumple discarded newspapers to create stuffing and use old shoelaces or rubber bands in place of twine. Reuse a plastic grocery bag for the scarecrow's head.

  • Make a female scarecrow. Traditional scarecrows often depict male farmers, so instead of using men's shirts and pants, stuff the torso of a long-sleeved dress with hay, and let the skirt hang loose. Give the lady scarecrow's face some makeup, like Raggedy Ann -- bright red lips and cheeks and long eyelashes. Line a bonnet with long pieces of hay to mimic hair and tie in place.

  • Design a scarecrow after a famous person, notable style, or someone you know. Use black pants, a black shirt, and big chain necklaces to create a punk-rock scarecrow, or a navy pantsuit with an American flag pin to create "Senator Scarecrow."

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  • Photo Credit scarecrow image by Andrew Kazmierski from
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