Farmers have been creating scarecrows for decades as a way to ward off unwanted birds and animals from their crops. Scarecrows work equally well as a practical item in a garden or as a fall lawn decoration. Instead of buying new supplies for this project, give used materials new life by recycling them. Making a recycled scarecrow is an easy project the entire family can enjoy while emphasising the importance of reusing goods and protecting the environment.
Hammer together old fence posts or broomsticks in a cross shape to make the frame for the scarecrow's body and outstretched arms. Add a few extra inches to the bottom of the cross when considering the height, to account for the portion that will be staked in the ground.
Dress the scarecrow with discarded clothes, including a long-sleeve button-up shirt and trousers. Cover any holes or tears with pieces of scrap fabric. Pull one of the pant legs through the bottom stick of the scarecrow frame. The other will hang naturally next to it, making it appear that the scarecrow is standing. Drape the shirt over the cross wood piece, with the stick going through each sleeve. Button the shirt up the front, and safety pin the shirt to the trousers.
Stuff the scarecrow with plush materials -- anything from bunched-up plastic bags to crumpled pieces of office paper or newspaper. Make sure the scarecrow bulges with stuffing. Tie off the ends of the trousers with rubber bands or string. Place a pair of mittens or gloves on each end of the sleeves.
Create a head from a recycled item such as a plastic milk jug or soda bottle. Or stuff a pillowcase, pantyhose or plastic bag into a circular shape and mount it on top of the body. Draw a scarecrow face on the item. Tuck the end of the head into the shirt collar and hold it in place with tape or safety pins.
Make hair by cutting plastic bags into slices, shredding fabric or cutting strips of yarn. Tape the pieces on the top of the scarecrow's head.
Place a hat on the scarecrow. Choose a baseball, straw hat or fishing hat, or make one from materials such as a plastic funnel or plastic milk jug.
Build the scarecrow's body with other recycled materials instead of shaping it with old clothing and stuffing. Flatten shoe boxes or other small cardboard boxes and cut them into the shape of a shirt and trousers. Make outstretched arms from plastic soda bottles, painting them whatever colour you choose before securing them to the scarecrow frame.
Tips and warnings
- Build the scarecrow's body with other recycled materials instead of shaping it with old clothing and stuffing. Flatten shoe boxes or other small cardboard boxes and cut them into the shape of a shirt and trousers. Make outstretched arms from plastic soda bottles, painting them whatever colour you choose before securing them to the scarecrow frame.
Things you need
- Scrap wood
- Mittens or gloves
- Safety pins
- Containers or pillowcase
- Plastic bags