Making A Scarecrow

How to build a scarecrowCreating your own scarecrow is fun – and it's a great way to get your kids involved in the garden. Originally intended to keep birds out of the garden, a scarecrow may not deter the more persistent feathered friends. Today a scarecrow will generally add to your garden's appeal and individuality rather than defend your precious vegetables. So if you're ready to put your imagination to work it's time to build a scarecrow and create your vegetable garden mascot.

What is a scarecrow made up of?

Most of what you need will be found lying around your home and garden, but there are a few basics that your creation cannot do without. You will need the materials to make:

  • a frame
  • the head and face
  • the hands and feet
  • hair
  • clothes
  • stuffing
  • accessories

an example of a female scarecrowWhat you will need to make a scarecrow

Making the frame

You'll need something which is about two metres long, such as a wooden tomato stake, a broom or a rake handle or any other piece of wood that will act as the stake for the scarecrow. You'll need another stake or broom handle to create the arms and you'll need a small wooden or bamboo stake (about 12 inches) to form your scarecrow's waist. You'll need something to hold this all together so gather up a collection of nails, twine, a hammer and string. You need to make sure this is sturdy – its the frame for your creation.

Designing the head and face

Ready to give your scarecrow personality? You'll need an old pair of pantyhose, an old pillow slip or a calico bag to form the head. You'll need to decorate the head with permanent markers or acryllic paint and you'll need something to stuff it with – old toy stuffing, old pantyhose or straw will do the trick.

Creating the hands and feet

You'll need gloves, old shoes or boots, socks and something to stuff it with – old pantyhose, straw or toy fill will do the trick.

Scarecrow with a wheelbarrow - creative scarecrowDressing your scarecrow

Look around in your wardrobe, check out your local opportunity store or ask your nanna! This is the oportunity to really give your scarecrow his (or her!) own sense of fashion and style. After all, they are representing your vegetable garden and need to put their best booted foot forward.

Your scarecrow's coiffure … aka their hairdo

You'll need to provide your scarecrow with hair – unless you fancy one who is bald. You can use a wig, raffia, straw, wool, fabric or even lavender for a fragrant smelling scarecrow.

Accessories

Finish off your scarecrow with a hat, beads, scarf, glasses, imitation flowers, handbags, an old broom or rake, gardening tools, stuffed animals … the list is endless and lets you personalize your scarecrow top make him truly your own. Tiara anyone?

Putting Your Scarecrow Together

  1. Attach the middle length stake to the long stake creating your scarecrow's arms – make sure its secure. The stake needs to be attached approximately 12-15 inches from the top of the tall stake at a right angle.
  2. Securely attach the shortest stake about halfway down the long pole to form the scarecrow's hips. Use twine, nails or string to secure it.
  3. Attach the pants or skirt to the shortest stake with string, nails, tape or twine. If you are going to stuff your scarecrow's legs now is the time to tie off the ends of your scarecrow's pants and fill them full of your stuffing (straw, pantyhose, toy filler etc.)
  4. Add the scarecrow's shirt or blouse and once again tie off the arms and mid section and add the stuffing of choice.
  5. Having plenty of string or twine is a good idea at this point.
  6. Add your scarecrow's hands and feet – you should stuff the gloves and socks first before tieing them off and attaching them to your scarecrow. Sewing them on to the scarecrow's pants and shirt are a good way to secure them. Get creative and allow a bit of straw or lavender to hang out of the gloves and socks.
  7. scarecrow face made of calicoYour scarecrow's head should be a roughly round shape. Use a pillowcase or pantyhose with one leg chopped off and fill it with your stuffing. Once it's full, tie off or secure the end and paint your face onto the scarecrow's head. Leave it in the sun to dry.
  8. Secure the head to the body of the scarecrow – tie, tape, nail or twine is useful.
  9. Give your scarecrow hair – straw, strips of fabric, bunches of lavender or string – get creative. Sew or staple it to the head of your creation.
  10. Place a hat on your scarecrow's head – after all they are going to be out in the sun all day long!
  11. "Plant" your scarecrow. Make sure that your scarecrow has plenty of support – attach to a fence or put in an extra pole for extra support while standing. Make sure that you plant the base of your pole securely – you don't want him falling down.
  12. Accessorize! Dress your scarecrow up with bits and pieces to make him look individual. Put some gardening accessories around his garden spot and let him scare away the birds.

Other scarecrow ideas

  • Make a scarecrow family
  • Create a scarecrow in the shape of a cow or horse or other farmyard animal
  • Turn a mop upsidedown – hair and centre pole taken care of in one fell swoop!

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