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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

* How We Make a Scare Crow

I try to do most things the easiest way possible and I think that scarecrows are a pretty easy thing to make. The first time I made one I used real straw; it looked great but it was really heavy and soaked up the water when it rained. It also was super messy and though the kids loved playing in the straw they left straw debris every where and itched where it got on their skin. Now we make our scarecrows from plastic shopping bags and wow does it work great. 

Of course you could use poly fill for stuffing, but the plastics bags are free, and they can be recycled when you are done with your scarecrow. If you use plastic shopping bags for stuffing, start saving them now and ask friends to save for you also, it takes a LOT of bags! We make our scarecrows sized to a child’s clothing size 8-10, size yours any way you like, and I order adhesive faces from Oriental Trading, $7 for a dozen face applications. Let me show you how we make one.
The first scare crow head I made I simply stuffed a plastic shopping bag, wrapped it with an old white t shirt pinning in the back and tucking the excess at the throat into the shirt. We used permanent markers for the face. Now I sew heads* for everyone to use out of muslin. You could also paint a milk jug or even buy a Styrofoam head to use. (Hobby Lobby has them for about $5 ) You can use any fabric or burlap square placed over a stuffed bag and tied at the bottom, hot glue or sew on a face made from felt or anything you can think up.
·         Clothing and head
·         Inner structure,  6 feet of ½ inch pvc pipe and a T connector
·         Stuffing
·         Duct tape, large safety pins
·         Twine or rope or raffia, or even rubber bands (oriental trading faces comes with little bits of raffia)
·         Stand for your scare crow

    The first thing you will need is an inner structure to hold your scarecrow up. We like to use pvc pipe, it cuts easy and is inexpensive. There are four pieces of ½ inch pvc pipe, the head pipe and the arms are about 7 inches and the body is four foot long. Its easy to cut, if you find its too long after you are finished making it, you can easily remove a few inches. The pieces for the arms stop at the shoulder; you could make them long enough that it stops at the elbows or at the wrist. These four pieces are put together with a T connector. You can use glue here but we don’t so the structure can be taken apart if desired to store and use again.
Stuff and attach the head for your scarecrow onto the pipe wrapping it tightly using duct tape; use wire if you are using a milk jug through the handle and down to the arms. In my photo you will see my beloved blue tape. Don't use that kind unless your scarecrow will be inside. I simply could not find the duct tape for this tutorial!
Next, put on the shirt you have chosen, button and stuff it; how tightly you want it stuffed is up to you. Wrap and tie the ends of the arms closed, you can use  twine, rope, or raffia. (We like to use safety pins at the shirt neck and into the head material to help keep the head on)
Insert the pvc pipe into one leg of your pants or overalls, tie leg openings closed and stuff with the plastic bags. Pin or sew the shirt to the pants to keep them from falling down. On my scarecrow in the pic above, I used a large shirt, stuffed it and tied the ends. Then the overalls went on without stuffing them. Hmmm....his legs look a little short.
That is suppose to be hair just under the hat. I think we have it upside down :) 
Now comes the fun part, the accessorizing! Put the face on the scare crow making sure you put the face low enough that the hat doesn’t cover it.  Add a hat, bandanna, scarves, gloves, shoes, belt……. the sky is the limit!  We used safety pins to hold the hat on, and tied a bandanna around the neck.
We use a piece of 3/8 inch rebar 18 to 24 inches long (available at home improvement stores cut to length) and hammer it into the ground half way. The pvc pipe slips onto the rebar and holds the scarecrow up right. The scarecrow can lean against a wall or fence too.

That was easy! Isn’t he cute?

*I make the head by cutting two pieces of fabric 14 inches in diameter (by drawing around a plate) with the neck section about eight inches wide and eight inches long. I take three tucks in each piece; one at the top, and one just above where the ears would be. The two pieces are sewn together with the bottom open, and turned inside out. This gives the head a three dimensional look.

First published at Family Home and Life. Copyright © 2013 by Hill House Homestead ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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