In the past, a very familiar sight in most gardens and farms are scarecrows. Farmers used them to ‘guard’ crops and scare away creatures such as crows. These days, scarecrows are also used as decorative pieces in gardens as well as to prevent damage to crops by animals.
If you have a garden and have been wondering how to make a scarecrow for the garden, the good news is that it’s not hard or expensive to make one. You can easily make one from so many discarded items lying around the house or farm.
And because it is such a fun a rewarding project, the kids would also have fun watching and learning from you. You can even make one and plant in your garden as part of Halloween!
How To Make A Scarecrow For The Garden
First off, because the scarecrow would be out in the garden all the time, the materials used should be able to withstand strong winds, scorching heat, and heavy rains. But this doesn’t imply you’d need to spend much to construct one. As stated earlier, the items needed could be right under your nose.
For the simplest or basic scarecrow, you’ll need the following materials:
Scarecrow clothes – Long sleeve shirt, a pair of pants, hat, boots. Boots, work gloves, and other decorations such as scarves are optional. It depends on how elaborate you want it to be.
- Frame – two pieces of 1×2 wood measuring 5 feet (60′) and 1 foot (12″) respectively.
- Nails or screws
- Hammer or screwdriver
- Lots of straw
- Burlap or sack
- 2 pieces if red and black felt respectively
- Pair of scissors
Step By Step Guide on Making A Scarecrow
Gather your materials and take them to where you intend to place the scarecrow. This is necessary because it can be quite difficult to move the finished scarecrow.
- Nail or screw the pieces of 1×2 wood in the form of a cross. The shorter wood should be about three-quarters of the way up the length of the longer wood.
- Pull the shirt over the cross frame. The sleeves of the shirt should go over the sides of the horizontal wood. You can now button up the shirt living the last two holes unbuttoned.
- Next up, use a pair of scissors or sharp object to cut a hole in the seat of your pair of jeans. This vertical or longer section of the cross would go through this hole to act as support for the legs.
- Slide the jeans up the frame so that when erect, the hems of the jeans are about 8 inches from the ground. You could determine this by making sure the hems are about 16″ from the lower end of the wood.
- Stuff the cuffs of both jeans legs into the old pair of work boots or shoes. The boots, along with the gloves, give the scarecrow a more realistic look.
Use the Twine to secure the ‘feet’ to the structure.
- Now, screw or nail the top part of the jeans to the wood to keep it in place. Make sure to centralize it by situating the nail or screw at the center of the jeans’ waistband.
- Stuff straw in both legs of the jeans
- It’s time to set the structure upright.
You could first of all dig a hole about 8″ inches deep to bury the bottom part of the wood inside. This should leave the pants hanging 8 inches from the ground.
To keep it from toppling over, fill the hole with concrete, and stabilize it with stones until the concrete dries up.
If you don’t have cement and gravel/sand to make concrete, you could improvise with other methods to keep the structure upright. Some folks simply pound the top of the wood until it sinks into the ground. But if the ground is hard, this wouldn’t be an option.
The main point is to get it standing upright so it can’t be pushed over by wind or small animals bumping into it.
- Next, tuck the shirt into the jeans. Then nail the raised collar of the shirt to the wood to keep the shirt stable.
- You can now stuff more straw into the shirt. Include the sleeves too. Button up the shirt fully now.
- It’s time to give your scarecrow a pair of hands.
Use the straw or any available stuffing to fill in the old work or gardening gloves. This is to give it the requisite shape.
Then stuff each sleeve into a glove and secure the gloves with twine.
- Making the head
You would be shown how to make a simple scarecrow head using a burlap bag. The are other scarecrow head ideas you could try out. We would discuss a couple or three later.
– Stuff the straw into a burlap bag. Make sure the stuffed bag approximates the size of an average human head.
– Tie the top of the bag. But don’t make it to tight as you are going to force the top of the wood through the opening.
– Force the stuffed burlap onto the wood. Then tighten the twine at the base to secure it in place
– Cut the brown and red felts into small triangles with sides of about 1″. Make 2 brown triangles and 1 red triangle
– Then glue the brown angles to the burlap to act as the eyes. Repeat the same for the red felt triangle where the nose should be.
– Cut another strip of brown felt. The strip should be rectangular. Something like 4″x ¼” would be okay.
The dimensions and shape of the strip and would depend on how large the burlap head is and how you want your scarecrow to look. If you are a bit of an artist, you could choose to design a smiling, menacing, or grumpy-looking mouth.
– Finally, place the hat on the head. Use the glue to keep it in place. Better still, you can sew it in place with thread and needle.
- Now, you can stand back and admire your scarecrow!
3 Scarecrow Ideas For Garden (Head)
Almost anything can be used to make the head. Sometimes, what is available would determine your choice. Another determining factor is how long you want the scarecrow to remain outside.
Jack-o’-lantern scarecrow head
This type of head is created by carving facial features on a pumpkin. While pumpkin is commonly used, it is recommended that you use a hardshell gourd because pumpkins rot easily.
- Cut a hole at the top of the gourd where the stem is and scoop out the inside via this hole. You don’t have to seal it after you are done because the hat would cover it.
- Carve facial features on the gourd using a knife.
- Skewer or attach the gourd to the neck of the wood. Use glue or twine to secure it to the wood.
- Place the hat on the head.
Pillow Case Scarecrow head
A pillowcase is a very good alternative to a burlap bag. While it doesn’t have that earthy feeling of burlap, it is easy to design facial features on it by simply using a pen to draw them.
Making the head using a pillowcase follows the same procedure when using a burlap bag. You could also sew or glue in the eyes, nose, and mouth.
But you might decide to use a pen for the facial features if you are artistic. With a pen, the design options for the facial features are limitless.
Metal Jug Scarecrow Head
If you have a metal jug or pot lying around, this could be a more durable option for the head. Simply upend the jug or pot onto the neck of the scarecrow and secure it any way you deem fit.
To make it look nicer, simply paint the bucket to any color you want.
For the facial features, drawing them on with paint is one option. You could also design the features from a variety of materials and glue them on.
Some tips for effective Scarecrow in the garden
Having just the one scarecrow might work very well initially. But after a while, it might not be too effective especially against crows.
One way to ensure that the scarecrow continues to do its job is to attach noisemakers or chimes to it. This could be items such as old aluminum pie pans, metal rattlers, old CDs strung together, or anything that could raise a racket even with a slight gust of wind.
Shiny ribbons and Mylar balloons that easily blow and glint in the wind can be very effecting when attached to the structure.
Having a scarecrow in the garden is not a bad idea. This could be a simple, environmentally friendly way of keeping away unwanted animals and crows from your garden. While you could just head to a store and get one, that would be missing out on the fun of a simple and exciting hands-on craft project the whole family can be part of.
A decent and fully functional one can be made using several items lying around the house. One doesn’t have to spend more than a few bucks to make one. And depending on your creativity, you could easily make an amazing scarecrow that would be the envy of your neighbors.