Homemade Scarecrow Ideas

Written by stanley goff
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Homemade Scarecrow Ideas
A very basic scarecrow (FPG/Retrofile/Getty Images)

Scarecrows are not much use in agriculture anymore. They are useful, however, to deter birds from your berry bushes and a scarecrow makes a cute garden feature. Moreover, every year as the temperature dips and the leaves begin to change, autumn resurrects the scarecrow as a decorative symbol of harvest time, often nested among piles of pumpkins, bales of straw and dried corn stalks.

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Basic

The basic scarecrow starts with a wooden cross. Use sturdy boughs at least 1-inch thick or 1-by-1-inch boards. Dig a post hole at least 18 inches deep, drop in the base of the cross, toss in a few stones to wedge the base, then backfill the hole. Now all you have to do put on a head and dress it. Tie an old T-shirt around a head-sized wad of straw and push it onto the top of the cross. That is your scarecrow's head. Decorate the face and put on a hat, securing it with safety pins. Put an old coat on over the "arms." Button the coat and you have your basic scarecrow.

Characters

Some people like to dress up the scarecrow and make him a character. You still start with the cross as the frame but to dress-up it you need extra straw. That's what will fill the clothes. Trousers can be secured to the vertical post by fastening the waistband around the post and tacking the waistband to the post with a small nail after you stuff the trousers with straw. Twine and rags bind your straw into columns for "limbs." Safety pins fasten the column bindings to the inside of the clothes. Themes can include a business suit, complete with briefcase; a wedding dress; a nurse or doctor.

Sculptures

Scarecrows need not look like humans. The idea of a scarecrow is that it has an unnatural posture (to a bird) and that something flaps or moves on it to alarm birds before they can settle in too comfortably with your raspberries. If you have welding skills, you can make a scarecrow out of junk metal. It can look human or not. It can just be a strange bit of metal statuary, with attachments for pennants and pinwheels that flutter and snap with the wind.

Mechanical Scarecrows

If you have fan blades and some mechanical know-how, you can construct a small windmill. If you can construct a small windmill, you can make a mechanical, wind-powered scarecrow. Attach pulleys to bands or a bicycle chain to rotate any bearing or axle mechanism and that mechanism can move pieces up and down, bang things together or even play music, depending on what kinds of gadgets you'd like to attach.

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