DIY / How To – Building a Scarecrow


I built my first ever scarecrow when I was about 8 years old for my parents’ vegetable garden. Looking back on that experience it was a great weekend activity and a fun addition to the garden. Over the weekend I decided to re-live that childhood memory and create a scarecrow for my current veggie patch. If I can say so myself, I think he turned out to be quite the charming scarecrow.


The overall construction is very easy, the only step that may be a little bit difficult is sewing the hessian to create the head. However, there are alternatives which I will mention a little bit later on. Here is a list of what you will need to build your garden buddy.


Items and tools needed:

  • Wooden Stakes x 2
  • Rope/Tie
  • Hessian Material
  • Old Top/Shirt
  • Old Pants
  • Straw
  • Nails/Hammer
  • Sewing Machine
  • Old Stocking x 2

Step 1: Making the Head

I visited my local craft store to buy a 1 meter length of hessian material, to craft the head. I folded the material in half, used a mixing bowl with a diameter of 25cm (10″inches) as a stencil, traced the bowl outline onto the hessian as a guide. Once the outline was to my liking, I added a rectangle to the base of the circle, this is so we have room to tie and secure the stuffing later on. When you have your final outline, pin the material, this way it won’t separate. Cut it out, sew the two together. Once finished, cut off any excess material and fold inside out.


You should end up with something similar to this:


If you are not too keen on sewing there are other methods for creating a scarecrow head. You can use old hessian bags and tie the base once you have filled it with straw. Otherwise, sand bags are a great option if you are able to find some.

Step 2: Construction

Take your wooden stakes and create a cross, nail or tie the wooden pieces together. When the wood is secure start adding the clothing. Take the pants and cut a hole at the base of the zip. Slide the pants onto the stake. Guide the top section of the cross through the shirt’s sleeves and tuck the bottom of the shirt into the top of the pants. Tie the end of each pant leg with the rope, once that is done you can start stuffing the pants with straw. When the pants are finished start stuffing the top and sleeves.


I used the rope to create suspenders to help keep the pants and shirt intact with one another, it also gave my scarecrow a little bit more character.


Step 3: Making the hands

Grab a bundle of straw and use some old ankle stockings to secure it and then get your rope and tie the bundle to ensure the straw won’t fall out of place. Add the hands to the ends of the sleeves.


Step 4: Finding the right home 

Before adding the head, find where you want to position your scarecrow in the garden. Once you have found the spot use a hammer to hit the stake into the soil until your scarecrow can support itself.


Step 5: Adding the cherry on top (Adding the Head)

Once you have your scarecrow in position and stable in the ground, grab the head that you made and fill with it with straw. Measure and mark on the stake where you want your scarecrows head to sit, then cut off the excess timber. After that you can add the topping to the cake…well the head.


If you have an old hat lying around, throw it on top and you will have yourself one charming looking scarecrow.


By Bonnie-Marie Hibbs


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