How to Make a Scarecrow With Newspaper Instead of Straw

Scarecrows are not just for gardens anymore. They are showing up at Halloween parties and community contests. Scarecrows can be seen at haunted houses and school dances. They can be male, female, adult size or tiny tot. They are one of the most recognizable autumn decorations, next to pumpkins. You can make a scarecrow with newspaper instead of straw and other items you have on hand. Keep the paper from breaking down in the elements by placing it into protective plastic bags.

Things You'll Need

  • Pillowcase or cloth sack
  • Paint and ½-inch-wide square brush
  • Plastic bags of various sizes
  • Newspaper
  • Old overalls or jeans
  • Hay twine
  • Gardening or muslin gloves
  • Needle and thread
  • Old flannel or denim shirt
  • Hat

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Making the Scarecrow

Paint eyes, nose and mouth on the center of the cloth sack or pillowcase with paint and brush. Set aside to dry.

Fill two garbage bags with rolled-up newspapers for the legs. Tie the bags closed and stuff into the pant legs. Set pant leg bottoms into a pair of boots or leave as is. Tie each leg closed with hay twine. Knot well and tie a shoelace bow to finish.

Fill the fingers and palms of the gloves with crumpled-up plastic grocery bags. Use large needle and heavy thread to sew the cuffs of the gloves to the cuff of each sleeve of the shirt.

Roll newspaper to fit into each of the sleeves. Place each roll into a plastic grocery or kitchen waste bag. Slide a bag into each sleeve.

Fill a large garbage bag with crumpled newspaper pages. Set the bag into the waistband of the pants.

Wrap the shirt around the garbage bag. Button the shirt around the bag and tuck the shirttail into the pants.

Crumple two or three newspaper pages into a ball shape. Continue adding papers until the ball is the size of a scarecrow head. Place into a plastic grocery bag and tie it shut.

Place the ball-shaped bag into the pillowcase or sack with the face painted on it.

Hand-sew the hat firmly to the top of the cloth head with needle and thread.

Set the head onto the neck opening of the shirt. Sew it in place.

Ideas for Scarecrow Support

Sit the scarecrow in a chair or on a hay bale with two stacked hay bales for support behind the back.

Stand the scarecrow up against a fence post. Nail the back of the clothing to the post for support.

Tie the scarecrow to a flagpole at the waist and neck.

Tips & Warnings

  • Run a piece of heavy wire through the arms and across the shoulders to make the elbows bendable for poses. The scarecrow can wave or stand with hands on its hips.
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