Make a scarecrow – for children of all ages. Decorating your garden with a scarecrow adds a bit of your own personality and flair to a space. I got online and begin to search for images to get ideas on how we could make him. I recommend not googling images of scarecrows with kids; there are some scary scarecrow images out there. Our scarecrow won’t be scaring the crows or rabbits away but I love how cute he looks. He adds a bit of ambiance and fun to our garden. Here are a few books you can read with your kids about scarecrows: Scarecrow by Cynthia Rylant, Scarecrow Pete by Marc Kimball Moulton, The Lonely Scarecrow by Tim Preston, The Scarecrow’s Dance by Jane Yolen, Otis and the Scarecrow by Loren Long.
- Old wood – 2 pieces measuring approximately 4ft by 5ft (old fence pieces work great and are often free) and screws
- Burlap sack, fabric, or pillowcase
- Pumpkin, old ball or something to stuff the fabric with to make a head
- Old button-down shirt and pants
- Straw, rags, leaves, pine needles or other stuffing materials (a trash bag to hold the materials is optional)
- Safety pins
- Twine or other string
- Buttons and embroidery thread (or markers or paint) to make your face
- Glue sticks and glue gun
- Hats, shoes, gloves, bandannas, pitchfork or rake and other accessories
- Go shopping for an outfit. We found a pair of jean overalls for $1.00 on one of our treasure-hunting (yard-saleing) escapades. I bought the flannel plaid shirt at the thrift-store and a cowboy hat at the Dollar Store.
- Build a cross out of wood by screwing two pieces of wood together measuring approximately 4ft by 5ft (we cut the size to fit the shirt and pants and allowing a little room at the bottom to stake the scarecrow into the ground).
- Dress the cross in the shirt and overalls. We ended up putting the bottom part of the cross into one of the legs, but you can also cut a hole in the crotch and have it come through the middle.
- Stuff the clothes with an old hay-bale. We stuffed and we stuffed and we stuffed until he was as full as we wanted him. You can stuff with pine needles or other soft substance placed inside a trash bag as well. You can also tie the ends of the wrists and ankles with twine so the stuffing doesn’t come out.
- Make a head out of a pumpkin or burlap and an old ball.
- Make a face. I used a hot glue gun to attach buttons for his eyes and glued on embroidery thread for his smile. But you could even draw it on with a marker.
- Secure his head to the wooden cross. You can cut a hole in the bottom of the pumpkin and push it through the top of the cross. If you are using a ball and fabric you can use a staple gun.
- Secure his hat to his head using hot glue or safety pins.
- Put extra straw coming out of his hands and feet.
- Add any accessories such as a bandanna or pitchfork.
- Give him/her a name.
- Take a picture or draw a picture of your scarecrow and add it to your garden journal.
Did you ever see a scarecrow
Standing, ragged and forlorn,
Guarding crops that soon are coming
Through the earth, as though just born?
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, “The Scarecrow” (1940s)
And there you have it. Meet our scarecrow, Mr. McGregor.