Make a full-sized, straw scarecrow to place in the yard to add to fall decorations. Create a decorative autumn scene around the scarecrow by adding corn stalks and hay bales topped with pumpkins and gourds. Hang the scarecrow from a stake so he stands free to scare away birds, or sit him in a chair or on an old wooden bench on the porch. Be creative when making your scarecrow. Make him cute and inviting, or make him scary by painting a wicked expression on his face and using dark colors of clothing.
Things You'll Need
Long-sleeved, button-up shirt
Old pair of jeans
30-inch square natural muslin fabric
Black acrylic paint
Red acrylic paint
Craft paint brush
Scraps of fabric
Hot glue gun
2 wooden dowels
Stuff an old button-up shirt with straw. Purchase a hay bale or look for smaller, chopped bundles of straw at local garden centers. Stuff the straw to fill the shirt and sleeves. Make hands by stuffing the straw so it comes out of the sleeves, and tie a piece of twine tightly around the cuff to secure the straw.
Stuff an old pair of jeans with straw. Push some straw out of the cuffs of the pants to make feet. Tie a piece of twine around the bottom cuff to secure the straw.
Tuck the bottom of the shirt into the waist of the jeans. Pin safety pins around the inside of the waist of the jeans and to the shirt to assemble them together.
Cut a 30-inch square piece of natural-colored muslin fabric to make the head. Crumple newspaper into a ball and place in the center of the muslin fabric. Pull the fabric up and around the ball of newspaper, gather it, and tie it with twine. Make the head large enough to accommodate the size of your scarecrow.
Paint a scarecrow face onto the head using acrylic craft paints. Paint the eyes realistically, or paint two simple black oval eyes. Paint a red triangle nose. Paint a smile in black paint with a dashed line, using small vertical lines along the smile to look like stitching. Allow the paint to dry for one hour.
Stuff the gathered fabric at the bottom of the head into the collar of the shirt. Pin safety pins around the inside of the collar and the gathered fabric of the head to assemble them. Tie an old scarf or a piece of fabric around the neck of the scarecrow. This extra fabric will help support the head and prevent it from flopping.
Cut 3-inch squares of scrap fabric to make patches. Pull out threads along the edge of the cut fabric to make the edges look ragged. Glue the patches in random areas of the shirt and pants using hot glue.
Cut a handful of straw, at least 36 to 44-inches long, to create the hair. Glue the straw to the inside of the straw hat using hot glue, leaving long pieces hanging down as hair.
Add hot glue to the inside of the hat and place it over the top of the head.
Add final touches to the scarecrow. Add fabric patches to the straw hat. Stuff straw coming out of the collar of the shirt and add more straw coming out of the sleeves and pant legs.
Create a cross-shaped stake to hang the scarecrow from using wooden dowels. Purchase a dowel to accommodate the height and arm length of the scarecrow. Create a cross shape with the dowels and wrap the twine string around the dowels where they intersect. Wrap the twine around in every direction several times. Push the stake into the ground and tie the scarecrow onto the stake by tying twine around the arms, body and legs.
Wear a pair of garden gloves when assembling to avoid scratching from the straw.
Large wooden dowels are available at hardware stores.
Stuff the shirt and pants with newspaper as an alternative to straw.