How to make a scarecrow

My four year old has outgrown his 4T jeans and cooler weather clothing, and while the majority of them are going to find new homes at our church’s Mission Center, we decided to recycle of a few of them and make a new friend, a scarecrow! 

Scarecrows are old.  They have been around for thousands of years.  The Egyptians, Romans and Greeks all used them to protect their crops from hungry birds, although they have not always been made out of hay.  Even native Americans used them!  To read more about the history of scarecrows;

If you want to stand up your scarecrow, you will need to make a frame out of wood.  If you are going to sit him on a bench or hay bale, you can skip this part.  We purchased the wood at Home Depot for $.92.  Because I wanted a preschooler sized scarecrow, I measured my little boy.  He is 42 inches tall and he is 41 inches from finger tip to finger tip.  Since I am planning to “plant” the bottom 12″ of the frame, to make our scarecrow stand up, I need a stick that is 54″ tall and one 41″  to secure his arms.  I used a screw to secure the 2 sticks together. 

As we are leaving the home improvement store, I’m thinking how cute my little guy is, carrying the wood and telling everyone he is going to make himself a scarecrow and use the wood to “hang it”.  I think it’s so cute that I’m trying to get a picture, and thinking how I wish I had let him wear his little Bob the Builder yellow hard hat, when he quickly turns around, and in a move right out of The Three Stooges, hits me on the nose with that 8 foot long piece of wood.  Instantly, the orange smocks are flying as admirers of my boy are ducking and taking cover as he twirls around to see why I’m shreiking, sending the wood swishing through the air.  My nose is now bleeding and I’m trying to grab the wood, and him.  We are a circus act, a sad, pitiful circus.  Learn from my mistakes… 

Once we get home, and I get cleaned up, I gathered a pair of his favorite jeans and a button down shirt.  We aren’t really trying to scare away any crows, and I want it to look more like a scarecrow than a little boy. I like the way the hay looks sticking out of the holes of a button down shirt! 

We purchased a bale of straw at our local feed store for $8. Ask for straw instead of hay, because it’s less expensive, and your scarecrow will never know the difference!    Stuff the jeans and shirt.  Again, I want some of the hay to show, so I overstuffed and pulled some down the arms and legs of the jeans.  Then using twine, tie them off so it doesn’t fall out. Use tacks or a staple gun to secure the shirt and jeans to the frame.  I also used safety pins to attach the shirt to the jeans. 

The head is the most complicated part of the scarecrow.  The first jack-o-lanterns were made to adorn scarecrows.  You can also use a pumpkin and paint a face on it. (it will last much longer than if you carve it).
When I was a child, we had a scarecrow every year, and my mom would use a small, white pillowcase and paint a face onto it.  It’s lighter and will stay in place much longer.  I outlined the face, and since this is a project for my little one and he WANTED to paint, I let him fill in the eyes, etc.  I probably could have done a better job, but the project is about him, and for him, not me. 

Every good scarecrow needs a hat!  My little guy wasn’t about to share one of his baseball caps, but he was fine letting me use one of his brother’s knit hats.  Be sure and stuff a little extra straw under the hat for hair!