Stephanie is a student who enjoys accumulating books and recipes. She wants to be a Wizard when she grows up.
Scarecrows are fun for kids and adults.
Making a scarecrow is a fun activity for parents to do with kids or for adults to do together. You can even do this at a party. Invite some friends over and have everyone bring something funny or wacky to contribute to the scarecrow.
You can also make your scarecrow frightening, using fake blood or a coffin, or you can make it evoke the fall harvest with bales of hay, corn stalks, and pumpkins.
Scarecrows- One of Our Oldest Traditions
Scarecrows originated very far back in history and have been used all over the world for centuries. The oldest known mention of a scarecrow in historical texts was in Japan in the year 712.
They were set up in gardens and fields to scare the birds away. As autumn is traditionally a time of harvest and abundant plant production, the scarecrow has become synonymous with fall and Halloween. We aren't such big farmers any more, but we are still carrying on the traditions of our ancestors!
Suggested Scarecrow Materials for a Traditional Scarecrow
- Long-sleeved, button-up flannel shirt
- Long denim or corduroy pants, or a pair of overalls. Sew some patches into them with fun fabric.
- Old pair of boots- the muddier, the better!
- Leather gardening gloves
- Straw hat
- Lots of twine, yarn, or thick sturdy string
- Safety pins
- Burlap sack, pillowcase, or pumpkin for the head
- Newspapers, rags, or straw for stuffing
- Pencil, paint and markers for face
- A stake to stand him/her up, or a hay bale or rocking chair to set him/her on
Putting Your Scarecrow Together
- Tie up the bottoms of the sleeves of the shirt and foot holes of the pants and stuff them.
- Stuff the gloves and pin them into place.
- Tuck the ends of the pants into the boots, pin the boots into place if necessary.
- Tuck the shirt into the pants and pin it.
- The head:
- If you're using burlap or some type of cloth, draw on the facial features, stuff it, and pin it into place.
- If you're using a jack-o-lantern, you will probably need to use wire to keep it in place, or else you can just put it on last and balance it. Put an electric bulb into the jack-o-lantern, using an extension cord if the scarecrow is outside. Avoid using a real candle here, as it's a fire hazard on top of the scarecrow.
6. Finish with the hat, pinning it down so it doesn't blow away.
7. Fasten the scarecrow to a stake to stand him up, or just prop him against hay bales or in a chair.
8. Give him a good name.
9. At the end of fall, you can store him until next year, or you can throw him out and start anew.
Stephanie Das (author) from Miami, US on October 04, 2011:
Thank you! That is the beauty of a Scarecrow- you can make it however you want. If you want to make a witch scarecrow, it will be even more fun. It is interesting once you know the history. Somehow it makes me feel connected to the past.
Helen Murphy Howell from Fife, Scotland on October 04, 2011:
This is a great hub! Last Halloween my nieces and nephews had asked about having a scarecrow along with a witch and so on. Now that I know how to get started with one, I'll have a go.
This was really interesting and I didn't realise that scarecrows had such a long history and tradition?
Voted up + awesome. Many thanks for sharing!
Stephanie Das (author) from Miami, US on October 03, 2011:
I completely agree- Scarecrows from the store are no fun. You miss out on the fun of piecing something together with your friends or family, and you don't get the creativity or the satisfaction of making something. Thanks for the feedback.
Kristin Trapp from Illinois on October 03, 2011:
I cannot believe scarecrows go back as far as 712 - very interesting. I remember making scarecrows sometimes as a kid in the fall, just for something fun to do. I now see so many people with store-bought scarecrows, which in my opinion don't have near the charm as homemade ones. Voted up and interesting.