How do you make a scarecrow as a project with children or just to protect your garden? Our easy 4-step guide shows you how to create a great ‘garden guard’.
Not only do we love fresh fruit. Birds also love it and like to make a feast of it. A scarecrow can scare them off and protect the harvest. And it is a fun craft project to do with children.
What grows in the beds of the passionate hobby gardener and on their trees attracts all kinds of birds almost magically. Berries and fruit in particular are popular prey for many birds and are stolen with enthusiasm. To protect their own harvest from feathered predators, many hobby gardeners continue to rely on a scarecrow.
Step 1: modeling the body
A self-made scarecrow is not only a cheap choice, it also offers the opportunity to let off steam creatively. It always starts with the body, which mainly consists of natural materials. The following materials are used for the body:
- 3 sturdy wooden slats
- Burlap (also called hessian) sack
- stable cord
First, the body of the scarecrow is built. For this, a long, slightly wider slat must be provided with a tip at the bottom so that it holds well in the ground. Then a second crossbar is attached in the upper quarter. It can be shorter and narrower because it marks the shoulder area.
In the next step, the much shorter hip bar is attached to the body bar as physically as possible. Screws are used to mount hip and shoulder slats.
TIP: Alternatively, you can switch to nails. However, these must be bent down at the back, otherwise there is a risk of injury.
So that the body is not flat, but has a certain volume, the jute bag is filled with straw. The natural material is pleasantly light and can be shaped well, so that, for example, a round belly can be created. The well-filled jute sack should be closed with a sturdy cord. Then he is attached to the body slat with a cord directly between the shoulders and hip.
Step 2: attach head
The head of the scarecrow is made from the following materials:
- Burlap sack
- Willow ball in any diameter
- Jute cord
First, the selected willow ball is filled with straw. It then specifies the basic head shape. The willow ball then ends up in the burlap sack together with the straw. The jute sack is tied directly under the ball so that the head and neck separate visually. A little straw is also poured in here in order to shape the neck spatially. Now the neck is tied off in a few simple steps. A stable jute cord is available for tying the head and neck and is available in different lengths and thicknesses.
The jute sack that is still in place is slipped over the shoulder slat in a few simple steps so that it holds securely there. If the neck is not completely smooth and perfectly shaped, it can easily be hidden later with a cloth so that it is not noticeable.
Step 3: face for the scarecrow
In order for the scarecrow to stand out in the garden and to look as authentic as possible, the straw head naturally needs a face. There are various ways in which the face can be designed. The easiest way to do this is with color, so that the eyes, eyebrows and mouth are easily painted on. It is important that the paint is waterproof, otherwise it will be washed off when it rains again.
If you want to be on the safe side, use thick wool and sew on the face. As a result, rain and the like cannot harm the whole, but the workload is a bit higher. Every scarecrow also needs some hair. These can also be made from straw and hay. Hay tends to be easier to find in a braid.
Step 4: outfit for the scarecrow
The scarecrow needs the right clothes to get the birds to flee in wind and weather. As befits the garden and the field, it can also look a little more rustic.
IMPORTANT: The clothes for the scarecrow should not be too tight. Due to a wide cut, the clothing flutters beautifully in the wind, so that it has a particularly deterrent effect on the birds.
The following are ideal clothes:
- old jeans or a loose skirt
- a wide checked shirt, alternatively a sweatshirt
So that the arms don’t look too flat, the sleeves of the shirt or sweatshirts can be padded with straw. By the way, the braces are not only pretty to look at, they also ensure that the pants are not lost in the wind.
It is best to always use clothes for the scarecrow that are no longer worn anyway. But it is important to give the garden helper a new outfit every now and then, otherwise the birds will get used to it and the deterrent effect will be lost.
Gerhardt Richter is a writer and a trainer at trade technical colleges, specializing in carpentry, plumbing, mechanics and construction.