how to make a scarecrow

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					                         Scarecrow Ideas Sheet
                              Part of the ‘Country Matters’ Exhibition at The Green Tree Gallery.
                                                   Saturday 4th October – Sunday 2nd November
                                                                 Open: Tues - Sun, 10am – 5pm

Traditional scarecrows were (and in some cases still are) used by farmers to keep birds
off their crops. Although they are still seen from time to time the traditional scarecrow is
really a thing of the past. However in recent times scarecrows have been making a
comeback, and scarecrow festivals seem to be all the rage, popping up regularly across
the country. Entrants to these often take on a more modern or themed approach to their
scarecrows – competition is usually very high!

Making a scarecrow:
Scarecrows are actually fairly easy to make. Of course you can elaborate on the basic
style and make yours as complicated or elaborate as you wish, but that is up to you!
They are also cheap to make, requiring nothing more expensive than an old broom
handle or stake, a few old clothes and some newspaper or straw.

Eco scarecrows:
Scarecrows can also be very eco friendly. Re-use old clothes that are worn beyond
wearing or rags that would otherwise end up as dusters! Fillings can be found in all sorts
of places too, from the traditional straw or hay, to recycled newspapers, rags or even
paper shreddings.

Use your imagination!:
Traditional scarecrows are often dressed in old denim and checked shirts but you can be
as crazy or adventurous as you like. Props can make an interesting addition to your
scarecrow, or a theme can help to make it more fun. Size is another factor to consider –
if you don’t want to be too adventurous you could use old kids clothes and make a
smaller one. There are also numerous websites with photos and ideas, try googling
scarecrows and see what comes up!

Some ideas are:
Base your scarecrow on a famous person
Use a prop : waking stick/wheelbarrow/hat/handbag/ seat/bike/animal…
Theme it on a favourite thing: fairy/dancer/policeman/fireman/clown

Some things you could use:
Old clothes (if you want something specific check out charity shops and jumble sales)
Last years unwanted Christmas jumper…
Tights (very useful for heads!)
Hay/straw/wool/ newspaper/shreddings
Broom handle/garden canes/sticks

               The Green Tree Gallery . Borde Hill . Haywards Heath . RH16 1XP
                        01444 456560 .
How to make a Scarecrow.
These are simple guidelines, which we worked out when we made our own scarecrows - feel free
to modify them for a better result! Start with an idea of what you want your scarecrow to look
like. If you are going on a theme or particular character, list the specific things you will need
before you start!
If you wish your scarecrow to be vaguely weatherproof you can line each part of the body with a
bin liner or carrier bag before filling.

Start with a pole (broom handle/cane etc) and an old t-shirt to make the head. Thread the pole
through the head hole of the t-shirt. Feed it through about 10” (depending on how big your T-shirt
is!) Using string or wire, tie the t-shirt just below the arms around the pole to secure. Now fill the
remaining space with filling (straw/newspaper etc) and then tie at the top. You should now have a
head on a pole!
Another method you can try is to use an old pair of tights, follow the same method as above
keeping the legs of the tights at the bottom – these can then be threaded through the body to
create extra strength.

Use an old long sleeved t-shirt and a shirt if possible.
You can give your scarecrow more strength by adding a cross bar (use a garden cane) to make
the arms. This is not essential though!
The simplest way to make the body is to use an old long sleeved t-shirt as the main part of the
body. Thread your t-shirt through the central bar and if using a cross bar thread the arms through
too (yes this can be tricky, it’s not just you….) Pull the main pole down so that the head rests on
the top of the t-shirt. Tie the top of the t-shirt to the pole at this point.
Tie up the t-shirt around the end of each arm. Then fill the t-shirt and arms with filling. Tie around
the bottom of the t-shirt when done. If you are using trousers, to cover the tied bottom of the t-
shirt, put an old shirt over the top of the body and do up the buttons . The bottom of the shirt can
be left loose to hang over the ’waist’.

If you have become fed up by this point, turn your scarecrow into a girl and simply tie a skirt at
the waist around the pole and let it hang down – you are now finished!
However if you wish to use trousers…
Make a small hole at the crotch area of the trousers and thread the pole through this. Tie
underneath to secure the trousers in place. Tie the bottom of each trouser leg and then fill the
legs and up to the waist. Tie tightly around the waist to secure the legs to the pole. If you are
using trousers with belt loops, use these to thread your string or wire through.

If you are still going you can add shoes/wellies/gloves to your scarecrow for feet and hands. For
hands, fill the gloves first and tie onto the end of the poles or arms. For feet, fill the bottom of the
shoes/wellies with filling and then push them on to the end of the legs. Tie to secure if you need

Finish the head with straw or wool for hair or even use an old wig!.
For the facial features you can stick on shapes/draw or paint on with a magic marker/ etc. You
can even cut out a face from a magazine and pin this on (laminate first for weatherproofing!) or
add a mask.

Finishing touches:
If you want to spruce up your scarecrow you can be clever and cover unsightly joins with a
belt/scarf/hat etc. Accessories can be added to finish it off – eg: bag/flowers/basket etc – the sky
is the limit! Lastly, don’t forget to give your scarecrow a name!

Good luck and we look forward to seeing your scarecrows at the gallery…

                   The Green Tree Gallery . Borde Hill . Haywards Heath . RH16 1XP
                            01444 456560 .

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