Farmers have been creating scarecrows for decades as a way to ward off unwanted birds and animals from their crops. Scarecrows work equally well as a practical item in a garden or as a fall lawn decoration. Instead of buying new supplies for this project, give used materials new life by recycling them. Making a recycled scarecrow is an easy project the entire family can enjoy while emphasizing the importance of re-using goods and protecting the environment.
Things You'll Need
- Scrap wood
- Mittens or gloves
- Safety pins
- Containers or pillowcase
- Plastic bags
Hammer together old fence posts or broomsticks in a cross shape to make the frame for the scarecrow's body and outstretched arms. Add a few extra inches to the bottom of the cross when considering the height, to account for the portion that will be staked in the ground.
Dress the scarecrow with discarded clothes, including a long-sleeve button-up shirt and pants. Cover any holes or tears with pieces of scrap fabric. Pull one of the pant legs through the bottom stick of the scarecrow frame. The other will hang naturally next to it, making it appear that the scarecrow is standing. Drape the shirt over the cross wood piece, with the stick going through each sleeve. Button the shirt up the front, and safety pin the shirt to the pants.
Stuff the scarecrow with plush materials -- anything from bunched-up plastic bags to crumpled pieces of office paper or newspaper. Make sure the scarecrow bulges with stuffing. Tie off the ends of the pants with rubber bands or string. Place a pair of mittens or gloves on each end of the sleeves.
Create a head from a recycled item such as a plastic milk jug or soda bottle. Or stuff a pillowcase, pantyhose or plastic bag into a circular shape and mount it on top of the body. Draw a scarecrow face on the item. Tuck the end of the head into the shirt collar and hold it in place with tape or safety pins.
Make hair by cutting plastic bags into slices, shredding fabric or cutting strips of yarn. Tape the pieces on the top of the scarecrow's head.
Place a hat on the scarecrow. Choose a baseball, straw hat or fishing hat, or make one from materials such as a plastic funnel or plastic milk jug.
Tips & Warnings
- Build the scarecrow's body with other recycled materials instead of shaping it with old clothing and stuffing. Flatten shoe boxes or other small cardboard boxes and cut them into the shape of a shirt and pants. Make outstretched arms from plastic soda bottles, painting them whatever color you choose before securing them to the scarecrow frame.
- Photo Credit Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
How to Make a Scarecrow
Make a scarecrow to scare off animals and birds from feasting on your garden, or use it for festive fall decor.