How to Make a Homemade Scarecrow for the Garden

Scarecrows can be made to look as plain or decorative as you want them.
Scarecrows can be made to look as plain or decorative as you want them. (Image: Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

A scarecrow, as the name implies, is intended to scare crows and other animals such as deer, rabbits, groundhogs and squirrels away from your garden to ensure crops and other plants grow to their full potential. Making a homemade scarecrow requires only a set of old clothes, stuffing material and a few hours. Make as many scarecrows as you want for a large or small garden either on your own or with family and friends.

Things You'll Need

  • Old pillowcase
  • Newspaper or straw
  • String
  • Permanent marker, if desired
  • 2 garden stakes, 2 by 2 inches, 6 feet long
  • Old clothes (including button up long-sleeve shirt, pants, gloves and hat)
  • Drill
  • Galvanized screw
  • Staple gun

Open an old pillowcase and stuff it full of straw or balled up newspaper until it is about as large around as a basketball. Draw a face along one side of the case, if desired.

Lay one of the garden stakes on a flat surface. Slip an end of the stake into the pillowcase until it reaches the top of the “head.” Use a length of string to tie the end of the case closed to hold the stuffing inside and hold it to the stake.

Unbutton the shirt and run the other garden stake through the sleeves to hold the arms outstretched. Slip the shirted stake perpendicular to and under the stake with the pillowcase attached to it. Bring the neckline of the shirt up to the string holding the pillowcase.

Adjust the shirt stake as needed to ensure the middle of it is crossing the other stake. Insert a screw through the intersection of the two stakes to attach them together.

Button the shirt to conceal the stakes. Use a staple gun to secure the collar and sleeve cuffs to the stakes where they come into contact. Stuff the shirt through the opening in the bottom to fill the arms and body as full as desired.

Slip one of the legs of the pants up the vertical stake until the waistline reaches the bottom edge of the shirt. Adjust the pants so the inside edge of the pant leg is set against the stake. Staple the pants to the stake every 6 to 8 inches.

Tie strings around each of the bottom cuffs of the pants to hold them closed. Stuff the pants full of newspaper or straw from the top down. Tuck the shirt into the pants and staple the two together around the waistline.

Raise the scarecrow and place the bottom of the vertical stake into the ground 8 to 10 inches deep. Place a hat over the top of the pillowcase and gloves over the raw ends of the horizontal stake. Staple the hat and gloves in place.

Tips & Warnings

  • Children often enjoy balling up newspaper and stuffing the clothing full.
  • Adding large amounts of brushed dog hair during stuffing can deter some scavenging garden animals by scent alone.

Related Searches


  • "Vegetable Gardening: Your Ultimate Guide"; Robert J. Dolezal; 2000
  • "Creative Scarecrows"; Marcianne Miller, Merry Miller; 2004
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