How to Make a Scarecrow
Building a scarecrow is fairly easy, and you probably already have most of what you need in your closet. See if you can find some old clothes that you don’t wear anymore, and it’s ok if they are dirty clothes that reek of human scent-- that might even work better to keep pests away!
- An old long-sleeved shirt, preferably a button-up, to use as the Torso
- Some pants, preferably with belt-loops, for the Legs. Overalls work great.
- A pillow case you can use as a scarecrow Head
- An old pair of shoes for the Feet
- And some gloves if you’ve got them for Hands
You’ll also need a few tools and materials to work with-
- 2 stakes, wood and close to 6ft long
- Twine, or some kind of string
- Stuffing-- straw works great, but recycling something like bubble wrap could work if you have enough
Run one of your stakes through one armhole and out the other arm, creating the horizontal support for your scarecrow.. Button the shirt up and insert the other stake through the neck and down through the waist. The two stakes should cross at 90degrees. Give yourself about a foot of stake to function as the neck and head, and nail the two pieces of wood together where they overlap. You can nail directly through the back of the shirt.
Now the skeleton has been constructed, and is wearing a shirt. Take the hammer and drive the vertical stake into the ground where you want it watching over your garden.
Take some twine and tightly bind the long sleeve wrist cuffs to the horizontal stake. Button the shirt up most of the way, but leave the top few unbuttoned to give yourself to room to stuff the torso. Take some more twine and bind the waistline of the shirt to the vertical stake. It’s important to take the time to make these bindings nice and tight-- you don’t want any openings for the stuffing to leak out. Once the cuffs and waist have been secured to the stakes, use the opening in the neck to stuff the sleeves and the torso cavity. If you have a spare pair of gloves, slide them over the ends of the horizontal post to give your scarecrow some hands!
It’s easier to stuff the pants before mounting them onto the vertical stake. Take some more twine and bind the ankle openings. Tuck the pant legs into old shoes or boots, and poke some holes in the bottom of them with a nail to prevent water from pooling. Mosquitos especially love stagnant water, and will turn any opportunity into a breeding ground. Now that your pant legs are ready, fill them up with stuffing, working your way up the pant legs, from the shoes towards the waist.
Once your pants are fairly stuffed, take some twine and run it like a belt through the belt loops, and tie it all together as securely as you can. Now we’re ready to give our scarecrow a lower body and mount it onto the stake.
Take the pants and some more twine and position them on the stake. Do you best to bind the pants to the stake as tightly and securely as possible, in the appropriate position. It’s likely that this won’t be enough to secure the pants to the post. Take some more twine and create some suspenders, running the twine from the belt loops, up the torso, over shoulder, and back down to the belt loops. Do this twice, once over each shoulder, to make sure the lower body is properly secured. If you're using overalls, this step should be easier, and if you're not, you can always find some old suspenders to make it easier.
Take the pillow case and place it over the stake that's protruding out the collar of the shirt. Stuff it with whatever stuffing you have left, and take some twine and bind it securely so the filling doesn’t fall out. You can draw a face on the pillowcase after you secure it to the stake, but you might prefer drawing a face on the pillowcase beforehand.
Building a scarecrow is a fun way to dress up and protect your garden, and although it's simple, it certainly does require some effort and coordination. You should be proud of your accomplishment, and there’s more you can do to personalize your scarecrow -- all sorts of additional accessories you can add-- like a hat, scarf, and some hair. Give your scarecrow a tool, like an old rake or shovel -- don't be afraid to get creative! Just be sure to have fun, and whether you’re doing this project alone or with friends and family, we would love it if you shared your creation with us! Send us a photo at firstname.lastname@example.org