How to Make a Scarecrow
No Fall decorating is complete until you have a scarecrow. Originally used by farmers to keep birds away from important Fall crops, scarecrows have become a Halloween and Harvest decorating tradition. Scarecrows do not have to be expensive to make. You can make a fun and easy scarecrow with items you already have lying around the house, as crazy, spooky or silly as you like.
This is a set of instructions for a very easy to make scarecrow that requires no more complicated skill than cutting and tying. This Fall craft is a great outdoor activity to do with the kids on a crisp Fall day. Older children could craft this scarecrow with no adult assistance at all! It is so cheap and easy, you can have several going at the same time, making a whole freaky family!
You need only a few items to make your scarecrow. You will need a pair of nylons, an old shirt, an old pair of pants or jeans, scraps of fabric, a hat, glue (hot glue is best), optional yarn for hair and leaves or hay for stuffing. Get out the hand me downs or the clothes too far gone to give away, and get stuffing!
For scarecrows, the head is the hardest part. For this scarecrow, an old pair of tights or nylons makes it easy. Stuff only the top of a pair of nylons with hay or leaves (the belly and buttocks area). Do not stuff the legs. When the top is full, tie a knot in the top of the nylons. You will now have a large, round base for the head. Cut scraps of fabric or felt into shapes for the eyes, nose and mouth. Be fancy if you want to be, but simple triangles, circles, squares and diamonds work just as well. If you’ve had time to shop, large googly eyes and other supplies from the craft aisle come in handy. Glue the shapes to the face and set aside to dry. At this point, you can add hair made of long pieces of fabric or yarn if you like. Glue in place. (If you prefer, faces and hair can be glued on after the scarecrow is assembled. It may be easier to determine the front of the head that way.)
For the body, button the shirt closed up the belly and around the wrists. Starting first with the arms, stuff the shirt full with leaves or hay. If you are using hay, pull a bundle through the wrist opening to resemble hands. A similar effect can be achieved by tying the wrists of the shirt with twine. Fill the shirt as full as possible, but you will also need room to get your hands into the front and back of the shirt when you assemble the scarecrow.
Next, make the scarecrow’s legs by stuffing the jeans with leaves or hay. Button and zip closed, then fill from the ankles to the waist. Like the wrists, you can tie the pants closed at the bottom with twine or string, or let some hay hang out for feet. Leave the pants open at the top.
You now have all your pieces ready to assemble your scarecrow. Take the empty nylon legs of the head, and attach them to the body. To do this, run one leg through the neck of the shirt in the front, and the other through the back of the shirt neck. Pull the nylon legs all the way through to the bottom of the shirt. Tug firmly on the legs so the head sits snugly on the top of the shirt neck.
Add the legs to the scarecrow. Bring the filled pants up close to the assembled head and body. Tie one leg of the nylons to a belt loop in the front of the jeans, making sure to pull the nylon leg through the loop until it is taut. Do the same with the nylon leg in the back of the shirt and jeans.
Top your scarecrow off with a fun hat or cap. With that, your scarecrow is complete. If you did not add the facial features before, you can do it now. For display, run a long branch or dowel up the back of the scarecrow’s shirt, or mount to a fence with twine or wire. This scarecrow sits well for an easy display against a hay bale, on a lawn chair, bench or corner of a deck. Make a fun or spooky friend for every corner of your yard!