Carved pumpkins and scarecrows are two of the most common symbols of Halloween. A scarecrow with a grinning pumpkin for a head makes a great Halloween decoration. Assembling the scarecrow itself is straightforward; the tricky part is making sure that the pumpkin head fits onto the body securely. Once you've done this, you'll be able to frighten neighbourhood children with a spooky scarecrow. For a reusable prop, you can use an artificial pumpkin for the head.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Old clothes
- Measuring tape
- Wooden posts
- Wood screws
- Pumpkin or substitute
- Marker pen
- Carving knife
- Bin liners
- Filler material
- Safety pins
- Wire, string or twine
- Shovel or trowel
- Glow stick
Collect some old clothes to dress your scarecrow in. At the very least, you will need a pair of trousers and an old jacket or shirt. Lay them out on the floor and measure them from the collar of the shirt to the cuffs of the trousers.
Cut two wooden posts to size using a saw. One should be about 45 to 50 cm (about 18 inches) longer than the combined length of the shirt and trousers, while the other should be the length of the clothes. Place the posts at right angles to one another so that they form a cross; the shorter one should form the crosspiece, about 15 cm (6 inches) below the top of the longer one. Drill two holes where the posts meet and affix the two pieces together with wood screws.
Choose a pumpkin for your scarecrow's head. A foam or plastic pumpkin will be lighter and reusable, but might not have the same effect. Carve the face as you would a normal pumpkin, but cut an extra hole in the bottom for the wooden upright to fit through.
Fill three bin liners with filler material. Traditionally this is supposed to be straw, but you can also use fallen leaves, crunched-up newspapers or whatever you happen to have to hand. Your goal here is to make a torso and two legs for the scarecrow.
Slide the arms of the shirt over the wooden arms of the cross and the upright through the neck hole. You will find this easier if the shirt buttons up the front or is a little stretchy. Place a bin liner full of filler material against the back of the shirt and button it up around it. Pin the bottom of the shirt closed with safety pins to prevent the bag falling out. For added stability, staple the fabric of the shirt to the post.
Push a smaller bag full of filler material into each leg of the trousers. Close the cuffs off with safety pins or by wrapping them in wire or twine. Fasten the trousers to the shirt with safety pins; again, you can staple the seat to the upright if you want to make the scarecrow more secure.
Add detail to the scarecrow. For instance, you could use gloves or old shoes to give your creation hands and feet.
Dig a small hole in the earth where you plan to put the scarecrow up. Sink the upright post into the ground and pack the earth back around it firmly.
Place the pumpkin atop the upright to form a head. You can add a hat for a finishing touch.
Activate a glow stick and drop it into the pumpkin if you've chosen a hollow head design. This will give the head an eerie glow without the risk of fire.
Tips and warnings
- Be careful when using saws, drills or carving knives. Never allow a child to use one unsupervised.
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