How to Make a Scarecrow

Three Methods:Making the BodyMaking the HeadFinishing Touches

Scarecrows were a familiar sight in farming areas of years gone by, but now they are coming back as a Halloween and fall-themed decoration. With a few old clothes and some straw, you can easily build your own scarecrow. Stick it in your garden or position it on your front porch when you're finished. Whether you use it to scare birds or just as decoration, your scarecrow will be sure to attract attention.

Method 1
Making the Body

  1. Image titled Make a Scarecrow Step 1
    Build the frame. Begin by centering a 5 foot (1.5 m) stick near the top of a 6 to 8 foot (1.8 to 2.4 m) stick, rake handle or garden pole. This creates the shoulders of the scarecrow. Fasten the shorter stick in place using a screwdriver and screw, some twine, or hot glue.[1]
  2. Image titled Make a Scarecrow Step 2
    Put the shirt on. Dress your scarecrow with an old plaid shirt, using the horizontal stick for his arms. Button the shirt up the front, then tie the arm ends and bottom of the shirt using twine or wire.
  3. Image titled Make a Scarecrow Step 3
    Stuff the shirt. Strategically stuff the shirt to fill out your scarecrow. Straw, hay, leaves, grass clippings, wood chips and rags are all acceptable stuffing materials.[2]
    • Try to avoid using newspaper to stuff your scarecrow, however, as rainfall may cause it to become soggy and shapeless.[2]
    • Use extra stuffing to give your scarecrow a potbelly if desired.
  4. Image titled Make a Scarecrow Step 4
    Put the overalls on. Make a hole in the seat of the overalls for the vertical stick to pass through. Put the overalls on the scarecrow, placing the straps on the shoulders. Tie the cuffs with twine or wire. Fill out the legs of the overalls using the same stuffing as you used for the shirt.
  5. Image titled Make a Scarecrow Step 5
    Give him hands. Old fashioned scarecrows had straw sticking out the cuffs of the shirt sleeves, but to make a more realistic human form, you can use old work gloves or gardening gloves. Fill the gloves with enough stuffing to keep them in shape, tuck in the ends of the shirt sleeves, then secure with wire or twine.
  6. Image titled Make a Scarecrow Step 6
    Give him feet. Stick the cuffs of the pants into the tops of some old work boots, or other shoes. Secure using either string sewn into each component, or hot melt glue.
    • Alternatively, try using double sided tape, such as carpet tape, to attach the boots.
    • Whatever method you use, make sure the attachment is secure, or your scarecrow will lose his feet.

Method 2
Making the Head

  1. Image titled Make a Scarecrow Step 7
    Using burlap. A burlap sack, used to protect trees, or carry potatoes and coffee beans, is perfect for making a scarecrow head. To make a burlap head:
    • Stuff one plastic grocery bag full of other plastic bags until you have the right size for a head.
    • Place the bag in the center of a piece of burlap then cut a wide circle around it. There is no need to measure it or cut a perfect circle.
    • Gather the burlap around the plastic bag, and place on top of the vertical pole (the scarecrow's neck) before tying tightly with twine or wire.
  2. Image titled Make a Scarecrow Step 8
    Using a pumpkin. Use a jack o' lantern to make a seasonal scarecrow head. First, choose a nice, round pumpkin. Cut a large, round hole on the top of the pumpkin (around the stem) and scoop out the insides. Use a sharp knife to cut out the facial features of your scarecrow. Skewer the bottom of the pumpkin onto the scarecrows neck and secure with glue or tape if necessary.
    • Do not place a candle inside the pumpkin as you normally do with jack o' lanterns. The rest of the material used to make your scarecrow is flammable.
    • Other vegetables, such as gourds and turnips, could also be used for this purpose.
    • Be aware that pumpkins and other vegetables will eventually rot, so if you want your scarecrow head to last longer, consider using an alternative method.
  3. Image titled Make a Scarecrow Step 9
    Using a pillowcase. A pillowcase is another option for making a scarecrow head and is something which you are likely to have around the house. To make your scarecrow head with a pillowcase:
    • Half fill the pillowcase with straw or the stuffing material of your choice.
    • Pin the pillowcase with safety pins to prevent the stuffing from falling out the bottom, but don't close the bottom up entirely.
    • Insert your scarecrow head onto the vertical pole (neck of the scarecrow).
    • Push until the top of the pole is at the top of the pillowcase, right through the straw.
    • Secure the pillowcase to the pole using twine or wire, then cut off the excess material and remove the safety pins.
  4. Image titled Make a Scarecrow Step 10
    Using other household items. The are any number of possibilities when it comes to making your scarecrow's head. If you're trying to keep the cost of building your scarecrow down to a minimum, just use whatever items you have lying around. Here are some ideas:
    • Pantyhose. Select a natural skin tone pair of pantyhose. Cut the upper part of the leg off on one side, tie a knot in it, and fill it with stuffing, letting it taper to a "neck" before tying the other (lower) end onto the vertical pole.
    • Bucket. Impale a bucket filled with dirt right-side-up on the scarecrow's neck, for an unconventional yet functional head.[2]
    • Milk jugs. One-gallon plastic milk jugs are another great choice for scarecrow heads. Their smooth surface is perfect for drawing facial features on and is waterproof. You're also sure to have one or two lying around the house. Again, just impale on the vertical pole, and secure with glue or tape if necessary. [2]

Method 3
Finishing Touches

  1. Image titled Make a Scarecrow Step 11
    Give your scarecrow facial features. You can give your scarecrow facial features using an endless array of materials. Decide whether you want him to look smiling and happy or grumpy and menacing. Here are some ideas:
    • Draw on his eyes, nose and mouth using a black magic marker.
    • Cut out triangular shapes from pieces of colored felt for eyes and nose. You can sew them on or attach with hot glue.
    • Use different sized or colored buttons for eyes, nose and mouth. Sew on or attach with hot glue.
    • Use bits of black plastic or pipe cleaner to make eyebrows. Slant them downwards to make an angry scarecrow.
  2. Image titled Make a Scarecrow Step 12
    Give your scarecrow some hair. Glue some straw to your scarecrows head to give the effect of hair. Don't worry about making it look neat, he's supposed to look scary, after all! Alternatively, glue an old wig to his head or use an old mop.
  3. Image titled Make a Scarecrow Step 13
    Accessorize. You can personalize your scarecrow by accessorizing it any way you like. His most important accessory, however, is a straw hat. Use any old hat you have lying around and secure to his head with hot glue. Here are some other (optional) accessorizing ideas:
    • Tie a red bandana around his color, or leave a bright handkerchief peeking out of his pocket.
    • Jazz up his hat using some brightly colored plastic flowers.
    • Stick an old pipe in his mouth.
    • Tie reflective or shiny ribbon to your scarecrow to add movement and reflect light.[2]
  4. Image titled Make a Scarecrow Step 14


  • Do not try too hard for realism, it isn't the purpose of a scarecrow.
  • Make the scarecrow's features according to its purpose, scary, funny, or anywhere in between.
  • To make the scarecrow have a scary face, sew or draw a jagged line for a smile.
  • Old plastic bags can also be used to fill the scarecrow...they are light and can handle the weather very well.
  • You can hot melt glue, use safety pins, or sew the "joints" of your scarecrow together, just make sure it is attached tightly enough to support itself.
  • Use the lightest stuffing you can find, since you will have to position your creation to display it once it is built. Scarecrows were traditionally stuffed with hay straw, not commonly available as it once was.
  • Look in the local Thrift Store or resale shop if you don't have old clothes around.


  • Scarecrows can frighten small children.
  • Scarecrows are flammable, don't use candles or lanterns nearby.

Things You'll Need

  • 6 to 8 foot (1.8 to 2.4 m) stick or garden stake
  • 5 foot (1.5 m) stick (for the shoulders)
  • Screws
  • Burlap sack
  • Hot glue
  • Needle and thread
  • Old clothes and accessories: overalls, plaid shirt, straw hat, gloves, etc
  • Straw, newspaper, plastic bags, or other stuffing material.
  • Electric drill, screwdriver, scissors, pliers, and hammer

Article Info

Featured Article

Categories: Featured Articles | Halloween Decorations