Scarecrows have been fascinating features of kitchen gardens and fields for hundreds of years. With the rise in popularity of grow your own, they have become even more popular and as well as their functional appeal, they are a bit of fun and decorative additions to the garden.
Making a Traditional Scarecrow
If you are looking for a Worzel Gummidge style scarecrow, it’s ever so easy with just a few simple materials. Start by gathering together the clothes for the scarecrow. You can use either sex and it can be adult or child sized.
Start by selecting two sticks that are suitable for the frame of your scarecrow and attaching them with string into a T-bar shape. This will support the head and the two outstretched arms.
Start by stuffing a pillowcase with a suitable packing material. You could try straw, newspaper, grass clippings or garden cuttings. Tie the bottom of the pillowcase so you have a nice round head to start with.
Get the children to mark a face onto the head with thick permanent markers.
Continue to build up the body of the scarecrow with a stuffed shirt and pair of trousers. Attach to the head and the frame with some sturdy rope.
Quite a lot of adult assistance is needed with this craft activity but children can be totally absorbed by decorating the clothes with little flourishes like floral buttonholes, decorated hats and intricate hairdos made from twigs and foliage.
A Miniature Scarecrow
Make this miniature scarecrow to preside over a small patch of garden or even just for a bit of indoor fun.
Start with a simple wooden spoon, a cheap easy to find base for the scarecrow. Fasten a lollipop stick, across the back of the spoon to form the ‘arms’. This can be done with a mixture of strong glue and plenty of string.
Fold a rectangular square of material in half and make a hole at the top end so you can poke the spoon head through. Pinch and gather the wrists and waist of the scarecrow outfit together by tying off the fabric with small lengths of ribbon.
Children can now have great fun adding a face to the spoon and using plenty of PVA glue on the spoon to add strands of woollen hair. If you wish to make the scarecrow more authentic, push strands of hay into the grips of the wrists or at the waist band.
Scarecrows can be made from all sorts of different materials and don’t necessarily need to take on a human form. They might just be decorative or act purely as bird scarers. Try these ideas:
- Thread lots of small plastic plant pots together to make a scarecrow shape. Stacking the pots one inside the other make neat limbs and up- ending them bottom to bottom make heads, necks and torsos. Once the pots are in place, the children can be as creative as they like with stick-on embellishments and paints to make a fabulous scarecrow.
- Use pieces of bamboo cane with rubber bands wrapped around the top as the starting point for some great bird scarers. The rubber band will create a non-slip place to tie string in place. From the string, suspend items like blanks CDs, strings of silver foil shapes, flashy, bright beads or coloured ribbons and streamers. The children can have a totally free range with their creativity for this project.
Scarecrows are not just for farmers, use them as exciting crafts projects and watch your children use their imagination to scare those birds away.