How to Make a Scarecrow Without Involving Any Money or Actual Skill.

October 12, 2010

The corn in our garden is starting to grow, so, one morning, I woke up irrationally determined that we needed a scarecrow. True, I’ve never actually seen a bird moving anywhere near this garden, but I firmly believe it could happen. Someday. Because these are the kinds of “ohmygodwhatifonedaythatthinghappened” things that I think about. Regularly.

I believe you can buy scarecrows, (right?) but that seemed silly, and wasteful, and really how hard could it be to make a straw man? I consulted Professor Google and found that yes, actually, it can be quite difficult. In fact, a variety of people have found a variety of ways to make it difficult…and then made videos of themselves showing you all the difficulty while explaining how easy it is.

So. Even though I don’t have an ounce of crafyskill (and also because I don’t have this ounce), I believed I could make one using items around the house, all the while not using any tools, glitter, or other technical things. Here’s what I did.

Step one. Find the stuff.

Here’s what I found and used:

1. A small bag that was holding other things. I found some burlap bags (pretty) and dumped out the other things. Then I took out the stitches (with scissors) to make the bags larger. I just made that sound waaay more difficult than it actually was. I’m the opposite of the scarecrow video people. Just find something (an old pillow case, T-shirt, shopping bag, whatever) that you can imagine stuffing to make look like a head. It’s not that hard.

2. Two old rake/shovel handles.

3. Old buttons + thread and a needle. Or hot glue. That’s between you and God.

4. Two T-shirts and a pair of jeans that were going to Goodwill (sorry, Goodwill)

5. An old hat.

6. Straw, hay, or other filler. I used hay that I “borrowed” from my dad.

7. Rope.

8. Safety pins.

That’s it.

Things you will not need:

N/A: Tools.

N/A: Tool accessories, like nails and screws and stuff.

N/A: Hot glue.

N/A: Electronics, instructions, or cords of any kind.

Step Two. Make the scarecrow.

First, I made the face. I took a burlap bag and sewed two buttons for eyes and a button for the nose. I don’t know how to sew. But you don’t have to know anything to sew a button. If you don’t believe me, Google it. I drew the smile on the face instead of making it with buttons because I got tired of “sewing.”

Then I tied two sticks together to look like a cross.

Yeah, I’m no Boy Scout, but the knots worked fine. Deal with it, Boy Scouts.

Then I put the clothes on the cross and stuffed it with hay.

You can shape your Scarecrow man any way you’d like. You know what I’m talking about.

Ours looked muscular at first, but now it has a giant beer belly, because yes, time and gravity take their toll on everything.  Deal with it, Scarecrow.

And speaking of gravity….

There was a bit of a flaw in my engineering, so James, who actually has brain skills, cut a notch (with a knife) at the top of the pole and used mad rope knotting (any knots will work here) to reinforce the man’s neck and head to his pants. Insert joke here.

It was perfect and necessary. And hooray for engineers! They always have to fix things.

And while this Scarecrow will not fix my technical difficulties, it will spend its days guarding against imaginary birds. Just in case.

I feel safer already.

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  • Reply Dwight Silverman October 12, 2010 at 10:33 am

    Hey, that’s MY t-shirt!

  • Reply FreeRange Pamela October 12, 2010 at 10:36 am

    OMG, what beautiful corn! And are those pumpkins growing below? Or squash? Lovely… and, of course, the scarecrow, too. :-)

  • Reply Helen Jane October 12, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Brilliant! I love it!
    (That t-shirt is popular in our home as well.)

  • Reply Neil October 12, 2010 at 10:59 am

    That is so cool. Just start worrying if it start singing and dancing and calling you dorothy.

  • Reply James October 13, 2010 at 9:25 am

    I thought for sure that she was mocking me somehow when she insisted on using my shirt and jeans like that. I’m still not sure she isn’t.

  • Reply Whitey October 13, 2010 at 11:11 am

    “Ours looked muscular at first, but now it has a giant beer belly, because yes, time and gravity take their toll on everything.” Sounds just like your husband.

  • Reply Judy October 14, 2010 at 7:26 am

    With outstretched arms, he’s (guess no name yet) saying “Bwala, my garden.” Love the hat.

  • Reply Fenster Preise January 7, 2011 at 3:36 am

    Hallöle, stimmt es dass alte Fenster weniger Energie verlieren je älter sie sind? Also wenn ich zb. morgen neue Kunsustofffenster erwerbe, diese dann nach 7 Jahren nicht mehr so effizient sind?

  • Reply Debbie March 17, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    Thank you! I never thought I was going to find an easy way to put a scarecrow together. Not everyone wants to make every project a full out procedure. Its nice to know we don’t need to have the skill to have the goods.

  • Reply Viktorija May 6, 2011 at 11:59 am

    LMAO, LOVE this! You’re sooo right – everyone wants to make it difficult, but tell you its “soooo easy!” I’ve been searching online for “How to Make Scarecrows” and every one of them is ridiculous. Then I find yours and get a good laugh – thanks! This will be my first scarecrow (oooh, I sooo understand the “ohmygodwhatifonedaythatthinghappened” concept, I’m very guilty of it myself – thus the hunt for scarecrow making). I had already collected her clothes (mine will be a girl), but wasn’t sure where to progress from there. THANK YOU for the instructions and the humor! You made my day! :D

  • Reply Magdalena June 10, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    Thank you so much for taking the time to do this for us. You made it seem so simple. I think I can do it!

  • Reply MaggieGoan? :) June 15, 2011 at 8:45 am

    i am SO SO SO glad I found this!!
    Not only is it esy and practical, you are Hysterical!!
    You ave a great sense of humor,, you made my day.
    I will let yu know how it goes!!!
    LOl,, cant stop giggling….

  • Reply Andrea July 19, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    Thanks for the good ideas. Things eaten in my garden by blackbirds thus far (in a week): cantaloupe, tomatoes, butternut squash, sugar pumpkin (my saddest friend gone…) Operation scarecrow beginning today!

  • Reply Heidi August 8, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    OMG I loved this. Just yesterday I looked at my garden, similar looking to yours, and thought, hm, we may need a scarecrow now since our garden is looking kinda “real.” Then this morning a bunch of birds were attacking my corn so yup, we need a scarecrow! Your ‘s was the first one I looked at! No need to continue my search! Thanks!

  • Reply Fun things to do whilst you wait for biochar project. August 12, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    […] have the stuffing”. Here are old boots lets get to work and create Jack o Char… The Scare Crow.So we told jokes and made Jack because the day was to splendid to waste. Its not often we can just […]

  • Reply maureen October 17, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    i loved your instructions – thanks for the humour! my kids and i decided on a whim to make a scarecrow (or as they intend 5 to represent the entire family) today. now, i’ll be honest, i suggested the idea as a way to eliminate tons of work clearing their leaf piles but hey, whatever works right? anyway, i gathered the clothes to make 1 and realized i didn’t know how. i did a quick google search and yielded much the same results as your search did. the only difference was your directions are now available and the promise of no skill and money really hit home for me. we haven’t made him yet, we decided on a new whim of going for a fall hike at our favorite state park, but we are making 1 tomorrow and if the kids win – 1 each day this week until our scarecrow family is complete. thanks so much, really looking forward to the project.

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  • Reply suzen brasile October 23, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    You changed it back to being something easy & fun, thanks!

  • Reply Sue November 13, 2011 at 7:59 am

    Just lovely! I have a ton of packing peanuts that I saved for ….hmmm, what DID I save it for? Well now I know……a Scarecrow! And I’ve surely outgrown plenty of clothes …… and I know I have no skills! I am inspired!! :)

  • Reply Tracie April 9, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    He turned out adorable. Your advice (awesome) so I’m giving it a try, cause. Like you think my coenzyme needs one of these and I just planted corn. Only I don’t have access to hay?

  • Reply Ranch Mama April 22, 2012 at 10:39 am

    Thanks! this was perfect! My kids want to make a scarecrow today and started out in the yard without any materials. I needed to show them that I really do know what I’m talking about when I say you have to gather the stuff before you start. Thanks! I’ll link back to you when I blog about it!

  • Reply pippa moore May 21, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    Thanks I love your easy instructions as i’m no whizz with a drill or anything like that. Yours is definately the easiest way i’ve come across so i will be following your ideas. I can sew and do the rest (haha ) not that well though. I’m doing a stall to raise awareness for mental health issues and wanted to attract people to my stall. Also its a big arts festival sio i thought it would go down well. Thanks again and I cnnot wait to get started tommorow .

  • Reply Renate May 29, 2012 at 9:24 am

    this is just what i was looking for. I wanted a project to do with my grand kids and this fits the bill perfectly. We already hunted around the house and found just about everything we needed. We have to make three scarecrows and can’t wait to get started. thanks so much

  • Reply Darlene Sanders May 30, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    Thanks for the encouragement! I want to build a Mr. and a Mrs. this weekend. Only mine are going to be “Scaredeers” amd propped up against the fence they jump. These deer don’t appear to be afraid of humans.

  • Reply Nobody July 11, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    wow, you really made it easy and adorable…. i love the t shirt and hat…. sewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww CUTEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeee

  • Reply sstich August 7, 2012 at 7:50 am

    Thanks for the info, I just started a project for our church and this will help a lot.
    I was looking for just such info. WE were thinking way to hard about it. Thanks again

  • Reply Ron September 3, 2012 at 9:24 am

    Awesome! I’m going to make a Slenderman scarecrow and put it in my neighbors yard at night.

  • Reply Lauren September 11, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    Oh I can’t wait to begin my scarecrow, I didnt want to have to ask for Tons of help from my hubs! I think my zebra shirt scarecrow for my front porch will be easy. Thanks for not even making my search hard!

  • Reply Dawn September 24, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Awesome, easy idea! My kids want a scare croe in our fall hay bail seen. We r going to use little girl size 3t clothes. Hope she is cute!

  • Reply Rue How-To: Haunt Out Your Home | Rue La La October 3, 2012 at 9:00 am

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  • Reply Renee Hartman October 9, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    Soo Cute!!! Your instruction was documented very well! I am creating 3 for a contest and wanted to see what was out there! Very cute!

  • Reply Shirley October 10, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    Where the hell do I buy hay? Love that shirt. Made me laugh so hard I woke up my husband.

  • Reply Kerry Sanders April 3, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    I am the coordinator of the Tamborine Mountain Scarecrow Festival and was trawling how to explain to people how to make a scarecrow (something I thought people were instinctively able to do in various imaginative ways)and your site is simply marvellous! You have a way with words and life attitude. Ha ha I think I’ve got my humour back.

  • Reply harri April 8, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    this just made me laugh out loud!! my 3 year old is desperate to make one thanks to you i will be attempting it!!!

  • Reply Renae April 23, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    Thank you, these instructions made me smile, as well as convinced me that I will be able to build a scare crow without having to borrow any of my husbands power tools… Which somehow always turns into husband stealing my project and being one of those other scare crow makers that make things look way more difficult than they need to be!

  • Reply roy May 23, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    I love your sense of humour. Oh yes, and well done on the scarecrow.

  • Reply Charlie May 25, 2013 at 8:37 am

    Very easy instructions! My girls and I will have a blast making one of these! Thank you for the help! -the Mason’s

  • Reply Linda Botha May 29, 2013 at 8:00 am

    I thought this girl’s version of how to make a scarecrow was just brilliant! I had a good giggle and can’t wait for my granddaughters to get here so that we can have some inexpensive fun! Thanks Laura Mays. I love your sense of humour!

  • Reply Yasmin Asante June 18, 2013 at 11:17 am

    I had to make this for my school project and i thought it was gonna be like DEAD HARD! but after i found this website i was like “oh my DAZE……’dis is BARE EASY!” thanks whoever made this u made this real easy for me.

  • Reply Teresa Carson July 10, 2013 at 6:57 am

    I am inspired!! Now tearing up the house looking for that goodwill bag… can tell I’m organized! (NOT). Even an old scarecrow like me can put this dude together! Hooray!

  • Reply Barbara Kermeen July 30, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    Useful information,but HOW DID IT WORK???

    • Reply Laura July 31, 2013 at 6:02 am

      Barbara, It worked great!

  • Reply Kathy August 13, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Halloween is coming up and I am SO using your instructions to make some scarecrows for the front yard. With a few bales of hay and some pumpkins scattered around, it will be smashing! I will start now weeding out some clothes from my closet for my “girls”!

  • Reply Joni August 17, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    I solved the pants problem by using overalls on mine. They won’t fall down!

  • Reply Debra mellish September 29, 2013 at 7:50 am

    Here’s more ideas: we do these every year at our towns fall festival.
    1) use crumpled newspaper inside plastic grocery bags for stuffing head, legs, chest, arms.
    2) Use 3ft cross arm with 8ft stake, or 2 ft crossarm with 4 ft stake. We use 2X2 for the stake and 1X2s for the crossarms. Crossarm should be about 11in down on the small one, 14inches on the large one.
    3) Hang pants or leggings from crossarm using rope thru belt loops or holes cut in top. Stuff before putting on shirt(s). Tie off bottom of legs (straw bundle extending out addds the straw look: grab a handfull and fold in half to get a well behaved clump of of straw) Stuff bottom of legs with shaped bags of crumpled newspaper. A 2-liter soda bottle can fill the thigh.
    4) Tie or tape plastic bags of crumpled newspaper to top of the the crossarms before putting on T-shirt (long sleeved if nothing going over it, short sleeved if you will be adding layers). Add some stuffed bags close to center pole to form shoulder/neck transition. Tuck in T and stuff chest. This is your inner form: you can add shirt, jacket, ‘kerchief over it later.
    5) Make head. Start with newspaper stuff plastic bag, tie off leaving room to insert pole thru bottom (form cavity in newspaper filling). Tie off again to stake. Using a large white T (logo is fine) and rubber bands, band off arms and neck opening. Turn inside out (logo should end up on the inside, back of head) and put over bag-head. Tie off loosely to stake, tucking bottom into neck hole of T and adjusting stuffing around neck as needed.
    6) Pin or wire on a hat. Decorate face with whatever pleases you using pins, hot glue, wire to attach (leaves, pipe cleaners, foam shapes, fuzzy balls, markers etc. come in handy). We make hair using yarn made into tassels: one pinned on each side of face at the hat line is sufficient. You can also use grass heads, straw, …
    7) Add shirt/jacket/dress. Tuck straw into pockets, arms (inlieu of hands), around neck. Continue decorating.

  • Reply 7 Ways to Green Your Halloween | Non-toxic Kids October 1, 2013 at 2:08 pm

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  • Reply 7 Ways to Green Your Halloween | Non-toxic Kids October 13, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    […] old clothes, leaves, and your imagination! No plastic blow up yard ornaments needed. Here is a sweet post all about how to make a scarecrow without crafty intelligence.  5. Go trick or treating on foot. Head to a neighborhood and trick or treat for a few blocks. That […]

  • Reply chin chin chu December 19, 2013 at 9:02 am

    i tz cool

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