Having a scarecrow is an age-old trick that many farmers used to scare away unwanted visitors. They're also the quintessential fall decoration, desired by every keen Thanksgiving enthusiast to add just that ‘right' touch of the fall season to their decorations. And while it may seem like such a large project would be difficult to make, there really isn't much to it. Just follow these easy steps and you'll have your very own full-size scarecrow.
- Find a sturdy stake. It is important that the supports for the scarecrow be durable and sturdy. (No cardboard here, please!) Find a large piece of wood like a 2x4, or a plastic pipe (PVC). For a full-size scarecrow, at least 9 feet in length is suggested as part of it will be buried in the ground.
- Find some sturdy arms. Similar to the stake, the arms need to be sturdy and weather-proof. A piece of wood or even a thicket branch will do the trick.
- Add the shirt. An old long-sleeved shirt with buttons is ideal, but a jacket would work too. If you're looking for that old-fashioned feel, visit your local thrift store for a plaid-patterned shirt. They're usually a bit more worn-looking and definitely fit the ‘farmer' look. Thread the arms through the shirt holes and thread the stake through the neck hole. Next, nail the arms to the stake at an appropriate height, leaving room for the head. Button up the shirt and gather the shirt at the bottom with some twine. Stuff the shirt with straw, old plastic bags, or something that will stand up to the weather without losing its shape. Close the arms with twine at the wrists and for extra effect, add straw or an old pair of gloves for hands. Again, make sure that everything is securely attached to the stake.
- Put on some pants, please! Similar to the process of the shirt, attach the pants to the stake. Since you can't thread the stake through the pants, you'll have to attach them to the front of the stake with a staple gun or nails. A pair of old jeans will weather best, but overalls or a thicker pant will work too. (If you're really going for effect, add some patches to the pants before attaching them to the stake.) Stuff the pants, making sure that the waist meets up with the bottom of the shirt naturally. Close the waist and the ankles of the pants with twine, and add straw or boots for effect.
- Put a head on your shoulders. Find a burlap bag or a sturdy plastic bag and add a face to it. Buttons and patches weather much better than marker, so take the time to find the right facial features. Add an old straw hat and perhaps some hair and it'll bring your scarecrow to life.
In just a few short steps, you'll have your very own scarecrow. It's the best and cheapest labor you'll find to keep those birds away or to stand guard at the entrance of your home. Either way, a homemade scarecrow definitely brings a feeling of fall to wherever it's placed.