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  • Writer's pictureKate

Activity of the Day: Make a simple scarecrow

Dig out old clothes or fancy dress to make a very simple scarecrow who can end up wearing anything you like!

This versatile scarecrow frame won't win awards from Madame Tussaud's but can be used to make a very effective scarecrow- at least, the crows may not be bothered, but you'll keep thinking there's someone in your garden!

Another great thing is that when you've had enough of the clothes the scarecrow is wearing, you can always change it into something else (especially if you use the no-damage option for the trousers, or put it in a skirt or dress).

To build the scarecrow following the picture gallery above you will need:

  • Some old clothes

  • Twine or string

  • A vegetable peeler or knife

  • A permanent marker to draw a face, if you wish


  1. Work out about how long and wide the clothes you plan to put it into are- basically, this is just determining whether you are making an adult or a child sized scarecrow.

  2. Cut two sturdy sticks, one to about the width of the scarecrow's arms, one long enough to include the scarecrow's head, body, legs and an extra bit for sticking into the ground.

  3. Use your peeler or knife to cut notches into the sticks where they need to cross in the middle of the scarecrow's back. This will stop them from slipping once they're tied together. Using a knife is easier if you're confident with knives- using a peeler is easier otherwise. And neat notches aren't necessary- just flattening a patch on each stick will really help them tie together tightly.

  4. With the notches turned together, lash the sticks together tightly. The knot shown is a Japanese square lashing- I really recommend this knot because it's easy- for instructions, see here:

  5. Then dress your scarecrow! Trousers or skirts will need tying to the central pole underneath the top the scarecrow is wearing. If you don't mean to change the clothes the scarecrow is wearing, you can cut a hole in the bottom of old trousers for the stick to poke through. Otherwise, push the pole through one of the legs or simply tie the trousers in front of the pole.

To add a very simple head, hands and feet see below (personally I think it looks more effective with just the clothes but I was overruled):

  1. Find four old socks and a piece of cloth or an old T-shirt the colour you'd like your scarecrow's head to be.

  2. Stuff the socks with scrap fabric to the heels.

  3. Tie inside the wrists and ankles of your scarecrow's clothes to make hands and feet.

  4. Spread out the head fabric and pile on scraps.

  5. Tie the edges together with string over the scraps to make a round-ish head

  6. Draw a face onto the head

  7. Push the head onto the top of the scarecrow's pole until it is secure. You may find you need to loosen the tying string to get the head onto the pole, then tighten it again to secure.

Either push your scarecrow pole securely into the ground, or pop it into an outdoor umbrella base or similar heavy pole holder. It's possible that your scarecrow will keep birds off crops- it will DEFINITELY startle you when you see it out of the corner of your eye!

Mr Scare is now very happy to be helping keep the strawberries safe from pigeons!

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