Though scarecrows were originally made to scare birds away from desirable crops, today’s scarecrows are a sign of autumn and are often see as lawn decorations. People have been stepping away from the traditional flannel-wearing scarecrow and have made the symbol their own by making uniquely dressed people-like scarecrows in the image of athletes, celebrities, and family members. Some areas even make scarecrows an integral part of Halloween festivities, such as the annually-appearing personalized scarecrows outside of most businesses in Port Jefferson during the month of October, or the themed scarecrow exhibits across the grounds of the Bayard Cutting Arboretum. Here are some tips for making your own one-of-a-kind scarecrow that will make your lawn the talk of the town:
For the body of your scarecrow, try using leaf bags or garbage bags stuffed with leaves, straw, packing peanuts, or some other packing material or soft material that you have in large quantities. To make your scarecrow stand or sit upright, put a t-shaped beam (using PVC pipe or sticks, if available) in the bag, or tie the bag to the beam, with the cross section for the scarecrow’s shoulders. Be sure to fill out the arms evenly, and to fill the chest and stomach, as well as the legs so that it is full and plump.
While the head can also be made using a bag of leaves, packing peanuts, or a similar packing material, you can also get creative and use a real or plastic pumpkin and paint a face on it to use as your scarecrow’s head. Your scarecrow’s head can even be made using old sports equipment, such as a soccer ball, basketball, or dodgeball. To help it look more realistic, add a hat and make it your own! Maybe you will have a baseball player scarecrow with an old baseball cap on, or a gardener scarecrow with a floppy hat. Feel free to get creative and improvise with old items from around the house, such as using a broom, mop, or rake as a spine/head, and add some eyes and color the ends as spikey hair! If you really want to think outside the box, turn your scare crow into your favorite animal, and give it a cute cat or dog face with ears and whiskers!
Here is where you can really carry out a Halloween theme: What will your scarecrow wear? You can have a more traditional scarecrow in a flannel shirt and jeans, or make a scarecrow version of yourself or the kids in their old clothes. Dig through any old t-shirts, or go to a thrift store if you want to get a special outfit to make your scarecrow uniquely you. You can also give your scarecrow gloves if you want it to have a more humanlike body and appearance. Think style as well – is your scarecrow from a certain era? Do you have any clothes that are no longer in style, but could make an interesting scarecrow theme? Let your personality – and your childrens’ personalities – shine through these final touches!