Scarecrows have been around for centuries originally as a means for farmers to protect their crops against attacks from harmful birds, such as crows. But scarecrows evolved and are no longer just for scaring off the birds. Scarecrows can be whimsical and fun and can be used for adding interest to the garden, especially a child’s garden. Scarecrows are not hard or expensive to make. With simple items collected from around the house, you can help your kids create a silly scarecrow of their very own.
Look for an old long-sleeved shirt and pair of jeans or overalls. Of course, this is a silly scarecrow so the wackier the clothes, the better. An old pillowcase makes a great scarecrow head. If you want the scarecrow to have hair, yarn works well or even better, an old wig. For facial features, kids can use waterproof markers, or they can glue on buttons and similar items. Find a hat, a straw one if you have it. For additional interest, you can even use an old pair of shoes or boots for the feet. You’ll also need some leaves, rags, hay or straw for the stuffing and something to stake the scarecrow up with.
Use Your Imagination
First, stuff the pillowcase and tie the bottom up with string. Let the kids add a silly-looking face while you get the rest of the scarecrow’s body together. Button the shirt up and tie off the bottom and wrists. Fill the shirt with stuffing and carefully run it through the stake, leaving just enough poking from the top for placement of the head. Secure this by tying a length of twine around the bottom. Next, tie off the bottoms of the jeans or overalls and stuff each leg up to the waist. Run a belt or twine through the loops of the jeans to attach it to the stake and shirt. Overalls can easily be slid over and attached to the shirt by its straps. Then pull the open-ended pillowcase head over the top portion of the stake, securing it with twine. Top it off with hair or a hat if you want. The silly scarecrow can be mounted to a nearby fence, propped against a hay bale, or placed in a lawn chair. For a good laugh, you can position the scarecrow in all sorts of funny poses as well.
Other Silly Scarecrow Ideas
Create a miniature scarecrow using some of the kid’s old clothing. Nearly any long-sleeved shirt will work; however, overalls work best for the bottoms. A small pillowcase or large piece of fabric should be used for the head, which will be stuffed with crumpled newspaper and tied off. Next, send the kids off to find two large sticks to support the scarecrow. Fasten the sticks together with twine into a T-shape. Slide the shirt onto the top of the support (with arms spread out) and tie off the bottom and wrists. Let the kids crumple up some newspaper and help them stuff it into the shirt. Tie the bottoms of the overalls and then let the kids fill the legs with newspaper. Place the support into the overalls, securing with the straps and using a belt or twine around the waist. Place the head on top of the support and tie it on as well. Give the kids some markers and let them create a funny face. Add a hat and place your silly scarecrow in the garden.
Another way to create a silly scarecrow is by making one pop out of a flowerpot. For this project, you will need a six-inch Styrofoam ball, some paint (any color), raffia or yarn, a child-sized hat to fit onto the ball, two wooden dowels or sticks, some wire and glue, an infant or toddler-sized shirt, and some embellishments (buttons, pieces of foam board, etc.) for the face. Piece the two wooden dowels together in the form of a cross and secure with wire. Paint the foam ball and allow it to dry. Once the foam ball is dry, push the short end of the cross into the bottom. Place the shirt over the horizontal portion of the cross. Tie a piece of raffia or yarn around the waist of the shirt. Cut some raffia or yarn lengthwise to create hair and glue this on top of the foam ball, placing the hat over top. Next, use your chosen embellishments to create a face and glue them to the ball. Stick the remaining portion of the cross into a medium to large-sized flowerpot (filled with plants, of course) and place it on the porch or patio.
Were you aware that scarecrows have also been referred to as Scarebirds or Jacks-of-straw?