Long before The Wizard of Oz made scarecrows famous, these simple-yet-effective creations had been keeping crows out of gardens and farm fields for centuries.
Today, most of the straw-stuffed loafers propped on porches, patios and lawns are ornaments of Halloween décor rather than necessity, but that doesn’t make designing your own scarecrow any less fun. Here are a few expert tips to help you get started.
Don’t limit yourself to the homespun look of flannel shirts and overalls. Make your scarecrow stand out from the crowd with unexpected details— repurposed household objects, flowerpots, sports memorabilia or even a theme that represents your family’s interests. “Their attire is limited only by your fashion sense and your imagination,” says Jason Pawlowski of the top-rated Scarecrow Fest in St. Charles, Ill.
Involve the Kids
Building a scarecrow can be as simple or elaborate a project as you choose. Encourage children and teens to make one-of-a-kind scarecrows by adding a favorite fashion accessory or items from their own wardrobes. “Display their scarecrow in all its unique glory in a prominent location in your yard or home,” Pawlowski says.
Dress for Success
Scarecrows are clotheshorses. Bandannas, belts and boots are just the tip of the fashion iceberg. Consider adding sunglasses, gloves, scarves and other layers to support your theme or creative vision. But keep in mind that jackets and elaborate costumes get heavy when soaked by rain. Make sure your scarecrow is sturdy, secure and can withstand inclement weather.
Decide whether you plan to keep your creation for more than one season before you prop your scarecrow on the front lawn for the neighbors to admire. “If you want to keep your scarecrow, display it in an area that is covered and protected from the elements— like a covered porch or inside your home,” Pawlowski says.