wikiHow to Make a Crop Circle

Four Parts:Scouting a LocationFlattening the CropCreating a PatternCovering Your Tracks

Crop circles (a generic term for the phenomenon of flattened plants) form in many areas of the world, with visual effects ranging from irregular shapes to amazing geometric patterns. If you've ever wanted to explore making crop circles as a skill and an art form, you're not alone! Gather some friends and the appropriate tools, and you'll be able to create your own crop circle and mystify your neighbors!

Part 1
Scouting a Location

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    Find a partner or a group. Making crop circles by yourself would be exceptionally difficult. Convince a friend or a group to join you - the process will be faster and more enjoyable. If you want to join an existing group, do a quick internet search to see if there are any in your area. For example, there is a popular crop circle “art team” called CircleMakers in England.
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    Pick a crop and a season. "Cereal artists," or the people who make crop circles as a hobby, generally prefer to work with three crops that correspond to different times of year: rapeseed in April and May, barley in May and June, and wheat from June to early September. These grains will fold down smoothly, and might be your best option for your first crop circle.
    • Give yourself plenty of time to plan, especially if it’s your first time making a crop circle. You’ll need a few months to get all of the details sorted out and you don’t want to be rushed!
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    Find a legal location for your crop circle. Obtain permission from the landowner before you start planning. Ideal choices include sloped fields that rise from public vantage points (a road, for instance) and an amphitheater-like valley. Never create a crop circle on someone’s land without permission – this can lead to hefty fines and trespassing charges!

Part 2
Flattening the Crop

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    Gather your materials. First, gather the materials to measure your crop circles. You can either use a surveyor’s reel or a 100-ft piece of rope. Next, you need a wooden rod to help you measure accurately. Lastly, buy your “crop flattener,” or a garden roller, at your local garden tools department store.
    • You can also create your own “crop flattener.” First, drill holes in each end of a light plank. The plank should measure 4 to 6 feet (1.2 to 2 meters) long and 3 or 4 feet (1 to 1.2 meters) wide. Tie both ends of a long piece of rope through the holes in the plank. You should be able to comfortably drag the plank behind you with the widest side of the plank flat on the ground.
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    Flatten the crops. Using your pattern as a guide, drag your crop flattener across the crops in the direction of your choosing. Have a partner come behind you and step on the plank as you drag it to help smooth everything out. This will bend the crops into the regular pattern associated with crop circles.
    • If you want to make a small but perfect circle, anchor one end of the plank onto the ground and turn the free end in a circle around it. This can be useful for incorporating smaller circles into your design.[1]
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    Consider the direction in which the crops will be flattened. Different angles of a flattened stalk will reflect light differently. If you’re a beginner, it might be best to flatten all the stalks in the same direction – clockwise or counterclockwise. However, if you’re more ambitious, consider alternating the direction in which the crops are flattened to create an interesting lighting effect.[2]
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    Get creative with flattening the crops. Flatten the crops with your feet for smaller lines or complicated designs. Step on the stems of the crop in a side-stepping motion, using the wide part of your foot to sweep the stalks in one direction. Similarly, you can create different sized crop flatteners out of different sizes of boards to create thicker or thinner lines in the crops. Just make sure the boards you use are strong enough to withstand being stepped on.
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    Give your crop circle "supernatural" touches. Add a hoax-like dimension to your work by making it appear as if aliens authored the crop circles. Create swirled nests in the flattened areas by cleverly weaving stalks. Alternately, melt some iron filings into droplets on-site and sprinkle them around the flattened area to leave "meteorite particles" and magnetized stalks.
    • Make sure to leave the scene by morning! If someone spots you making the crop circles, all of the work you put into creating something “supernatural” will be lost.

Part 3
Creating a Pattern

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    Plot your crop circle. Plan your design using a large-scale map or computer software to get the most accurate circles. Mark on the map the directions you will be flattening, to avoid visible signs of passage (inexperienced circle makers can spoil a design by leaving stripes like a lawnmower would). Initial access is normally through existing farm tracks and trails - scope these out and note their positions on your map before you begin designing.
    • Start simple. Consider making your first crop circle from an arrangement of discs in a geometric formation. More advanced curved lines can be created by overlapping partial circular arcs.
    • Some cereal artists spontaneously develop designs once they're in the field. If you do this, make sure everyone in your group understands what the final image will look like.
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    Create the center of the crop circle. Use your map to find the exact location of the exact center and stomp with one foot to create a small circle. This smaller circle will be the starting point for all of your measurements. Drive a wooden pole into the exact center of the smaller circle.[3] Make sure you drive it in deeply enough that the pole doesn't wiggle around while you're taking measurements!
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    Measure out your circle. Attach surveyors tape or a 100-ft rope to the wooden pole and stretch it out as far as you need it to go. This part of the circle is called the radius, or the measurement from the center of the circle to the edge. The surveyors tape (or rope) should be stretched out to a length equaling the radius.[4]
    • As a reminder, the perimeter of a circle is 2πr, where “π” is approximately equal to 3.14 and “r” is the radius of your circle. For example, if you wanted your circle to be 100 feet around, your radius would be 15.92 feet.
    • If your design needs them, make construction lines by laying rope outlines to shapes. Then flatten circles at the intersection points.

Part 4
Covering Your Tracks

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    Avoid detection. Enter the field on the tram line. If the field is active, there will be deep tram tracks, also called tractor tracks, crossing it at several points. Walk inside these tracks so as not to make footprints. When you've reached the location of your planned circle, walk off the tracks such that your crop circle will cover your footprints. Leave the same way.
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    Work under the cover of darkness. Avoid the use of flashlights, cell phones, or other prominent light sources. Make sure you know exactly what time the sun will rise so you won’t get caught making crop circles in daylight. Don’t worry about needing flashlights – once your eyes adjust to the darkness in the field it will be easy to see around you.
    • Consider purchasing a glow-in-the-dark watch as these watches don’t give off a lot of light.
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    Avoid detection by local crop-circle enthusiasts. Some groups, convinced that crop circles are made by UFOs or aliens, stake out certain fields on certain nights. If such a group is active in your area, see if you can find out where they'll be on the night of your planned crop circle event.
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    Wait for the media to spot the new formation. This may take several days, or you can speed the process by making an anonymous call. A good design will provide local newspapers with many column-inches of speculation. Furthermore, the better you hid your tracks, the more likely it will be that your crop circles will be blamed on aliens!


  • For best results you should probably spend more time planning the crop circle than actually making it. By carefully planning the design, working out what equipment is needed, and discarding ideas that will be difficult or impossible to achieve, you can reduce the scope for embarrassing errors.
  • Your eyes will adjust to the darkness in 20 minutes. By the time you reach the field, you should be able to see adequately.
  • Come back later in the morning to take a photo of your work before spectators start eroding it.
  • Stick to hard ground when walking towards your crop circles. You don’t want to give anyone any hints as to how the crop circle got there!
  • Ask local pilots if they can try to help your "research" by photographing your crop circle from the air.


  • The amount of crop flattened need not be excessive to make a strong impression of shape and form. In fact, you should not plan to flatten a larger area destructively, and it had better be beautiful or you can expect criticism and opposition.
  • The source of crop circle formation is surrounded by controversy. See How to Explain Crop Circles for more information.
  • Crop circle art is like graffiti for "cereologists," often undertaken without permission. Be careful, as not surprisingly, farmers do not want their property damaged. Always operate within the law.

Things You'll Need

  • A “crop flattener.” To make one, use a light plank that’s 4 to 6 feet (1.2 to 2 meters) long and 3 or 4 feet (1 to 1.2 meters) wide. Tie a rope that's 10 to 12 feet (3 to 3.6 meters) long, knotted through holes in each end of the plank. Alternatively, you may prefer to buy a light garden roller from a garden center.
  • Measuring equipment. It’s best to use a wooden pole and surveyor's reel measuring tape, which doesn't stretch. Rope or nylon can be used but may stretch and make wobbly-edged circles. The rope should be 100 feet (30 meters) long. You may need more ropes and poles, depending on the complexity of your design.
  • Protractor for measuring angles (optional).
  • Night-vision goggles (optional).
  • Laser-pointer to assist placing markers (optional).

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