A home-made scarecrow isn’t just a nice seasonal decoration for the fall garden, it also gives birds a comfy place to sit.
I was inspired to craft an old-fashioned scarecrow after I saw the pitiful quality of scarecrows for sale at one of the big-box retailers. Instead of buying one, I thought it would be more fun to create my own and recycle at the same time.
Ever since the first gardener started gardening, growers around the world have used scarecrows to protect their fields and gardens from flocks of hungry birds and other animals.
The most effective scarecrows are those capable of some kind of motion, like moving around a pole in the wind or having parts that flap in a breeze.
Loud noises also work to scare birds away, if only temporarily.
But, if you’re like me, having a scarecrow in the fall garden is more about decorating for Halloween and Thanksgiving than keeping the critters away.
Here are the basic steps for building a scarecrow of your own:
Two pieces of recycled lumber, like an old fence plank or pieces of 2×4 boards; 1 length about 6-7 feet long and 1 length about 3-4 feet long.
Hammer and nails
Length of rope
Straw, newspaper or other stuffing material
Old clothing like jeans, long-sleeved shirt, skirt, dress, gloves, hat, etc.
Ribbons, cloth streamers, bells, tin pie plates, chimes or other noise makers
- Build a simple scarecrow frame by placing the long piece of lumber on the ground.
- Place the shorter piece of lumber across the first, about 1/3 of the way down the first piece to create “arms.”
- Secure the two pieces of wood together with nails .
- Dress the scarecrow. If using pants, put the long piece of lumber through one leg, stuff both legs with straw or other stuffing and tie the waistband to the board.
- Place the scarecrow in its garden spot and pound the frame into the ground.
- Finish dressing the scarecrow by putting on its shirt and stuffing the arms.
- Fill the pillowcase with straw for the head and slip it over the top of the board; tuck the pillowcase end into the shirt and use rope to secure the head to the frame.
- Add finishing touches, like a face, hat, gloves etc.
- Place ribbons streamers, bells, pie plates or chimes so they’ll move when the wind blows, if desired.