Throughout history scarecrows have been used in many cultures to guard farmers’ crops. They have been fashioned to reflect various customs, cultures, belief systems, superstitions and religions. And they’ve gone by many names like hodmedods, murmets, Hay-man, Tattie bogle, bodach-rocais, kaktadua, straska and pugalo.
Today, scarecrows are more commonly used to decorate for fall than to protect the harvest. They are typically fashioned in flannel and overalls with straw hair and stuffing. And they are just called scarecrows.
Some are created to follow theme, mimic movie characters or stay true to cultural traditions. Some are creepy, while others are happy and inviting. Some are elaborate and some are plain. Some are made for use in a garden and some are just for decoration. No matter what kind of scarecrow you want to make, these tips can help you get started with simple instructions.
Making a simple scarecrow
- Safety pins
- Wire or twine
- Burlap sack or pillowcase
- Markers, paints or needle and thread
- Yarn or straw
- Old pair of gloves
- Leaves or straw
- Wire hanger
- 6-foot wooden post
- 4-foot wooden post
- Old pair of boots
- Old Hat
- Old clothes
- Wire cutters or scissors
- Nail the 4-foot wooden post to the top of the 6-foot wooden post, forming a T for your scarecrow to be attached to for display.
- Pound your T post about a foot into the ground to support the weight of your scarecrow, leaving about 5 feet of the 6-foot post above ground.
- Lay out your old clothing, so that it is displayed the way it will look on your scarecrow. Make sure to tuck the shirt into the pants or place it inside of the overalls. Then secure clothing together using safety pins – tops pinned to bottoms, gloves pinned to shirt sleeves and so forth. After all clothing items have been secured, tie off the bottoms of the pant legs with twine.
- Stuff your scarecrow’s body with straw or leaves, so that its body is mostly full.
- Use straw or leaves to stuff a pillow case or burlap sack for your scarecrow’s head.
- Draw, paint or stich a face onto the pillow case or sack you stuffed to make a face.
- Give your scarecrow hair by gluing yard or straw to its head.
- Insert the wire hanger into the top of your scarecrow’s chest, leaving the top of the hanger protruding where its neck would be to attach its head with wire or twine.
- Secure your scarecrow to your T post, using wire or twine to attach its arms to the 4-foot post and its body to the 6-foot post you pounded into the ground.
- Place bottom of your scarecrow’s legs in old boots.
- Secure a hat to the top of your scarecrow’s head.
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