Learn How to Build a Scarecrow

For Autumn Decorating Fun

Mary and I learned how to build a scarecrow and thought you might like to learn too! We, along with our grand kids, had lots of fun at a local garden store one Saturday afternoon.



Learning how to make a scarecrow is pretty easy and fun for all ages.

Scarecrows are ideal as fall decorating ideas and can add a festive feeling to your autumn porch.

the scarecrow we built for our porch
Learn how to build a scarecrow
If you love family activities, this is a fun outdoor activity for a nice autumn day. We built several scarecrows with our grandchildren. It would also be a nifty neighborhood project.

two adorable autumn decorating scarecrows

Not only will we show you how to build a scarecrow, we will also show you other scarecrow pictures to give you ideas for decorating your own scarecrow in different ways.

Scarecrows are easy and relatively inexpensive to make; you probably have most or all of the materials you need right in your own home. Just begin by collecting the materials you will need and let us show you how to make a scarecrow.

Safety first: Children should be supervised in this project. Please use the hot glue gun, scissors and tools in a safe manner.

Your scarecrow will turn out differently from ours as you can personalize it however you like. Our instructions were written with the intent to be accurate, but please use your best judgment when doing this project as we occasionally make mistakes.

See our disclaimer.



Scarecrow Materials You Will Need

  • Clothes: coveralls, flannel shirt, hat, scarf.

    We purchased overalls and flannel shirts at Goodwill. Be prepared to search through lots of clothes to find them.
  • dave and mary at Goodwill

    However, as you can see from our pictures below, you can use almost any pieces of clothing, from regular jeans to other clothing items as well. It is just a matter of securing the clothes in such a way as to hold the straw stuffing. Go crazy if you like!

  • Decorating items: We used eyes, colorful pipe cleaners for mustache, and permanent marker to make the mouth and eye brows, and colored cotton ball for the nose. You can also use yarn for hair.

    You might also like a few swatches of fabric to make "patches" on the scarecrow's overalls. They can be glued on.

  • materials for scarecrow

  • We used a straw hat but baseball caps work just as well, too.
  • Burlap: Use at least two 3 by 3 foot pieces for the head. You will double them up so that they generously cover the bucket / coffee can.
  • 1x2 wood: one piece at 60 inches (5 feet) and one at 12 inches. As you will see in step one below, you will attach the two pieces together to create the form.
  • Small bucket or very large coffee can: Use this as the form for the head

  • small bucket as form for scarecrow head

  • Twine: 6 pieces at 18 inches each
  • twine for scarecrow

  • Straw: Depending on the size of your scarecrow, one small bale should suffice
  • Newspapers: Used as stuffing for head; one medium size newspaper will suffice
  • Screws (2): to attach the 1x2's together
  • Screwdriver or drill with 1/16" drill bit and screwdriver bit (optional): to drill pilot holes for the screws

How to Build a Scarecrow Step-by-Step

Step 1: Build scarecrow form. The form consists of a approximately 5 foot (60 inches) vertical 1x2 and an approximately 12 inch 1x2.

1x2 scarecrow form

Attach the 12 inch piece horizontally approximately 10 inches from the top of the 5 foot piece with two screws as shown in the photo above. Recommend drilling pilot holes for the screws so you don't split the wood.

Step 2: Place the bucket on the floor. Lay the burlap over the top of the bucket; the bucket should be in the center under the burlap. Push the burlap down into the bucket.

putting burlap into bucket

Step 3: Make the scarecrow's head. Turn your 1x2 form upside down and insert into the center of the bucket. Wad individual sheets of newspaper and begin packing the bucket around your form.

Continue adding paper until the bucket is full and tightly packed.

NOTE: We used another stick to help pack the paper into the bucket and also used it in place of the actual form. We replaced it with the inverted form after we packed the bucket. We recommend; however, that you insert the form at the beginning and use a stick to help pack paper around it.

packing newspaper into bucket for scarecrows head

packing newspaper into bucket using stick to help pack newspaper into bucket

form inserted into bucket

Step 4: Pull the burlap up around the form taking care not to cover the horizontal piece.

pull and gather burlap pull burlap above cross piece

Use a piece of twine to tie the burlap just above the bucket. Tie it tight.

tie off burlap at bucket

Next, gather and tie the loose burlap together just above the horizontal piece. Take care not to cover the cross piece.

tie off burlap above cross piece

Step 5: Remove the form from the bucket and invert the form.

scarecrow head

Step 6: Place the shirt over the form and button (leave the top buttons unbuttoned). Use twine to tie the ends of the sleeves. Gather the bottom of the shirt and tie off with a piece of string. Begin filling the sleeves and remaining shirt with straw.

scarecrow shirt on form stuff straw into shirt

stuff straw into shirt

Step 7: Place the coveralls on the form. You may want to cut a hole in the crotch of the coveralls to fit over the vertical form 1x2.

cutting hole in seat of pants pulling pants on

Step 8: Tie pants legs and fill the coveralls with straw.

tie legs of pants stuff pants with straw

scarecrow stuffed with straw

Step 9: Decorate the scarecrow head with eyes, mouth, nose, etc., using markers or other items you may have. Attach items with the hot glue gun.

putting eyes on scarecrow pipe cleaner scarecrow mouth

finished scarecrow

the scarecrow we built for our porch
We like how our scarecrow turned out
Did these simple instructions help guide you on how to build a scarecrow? We sure hope they did.

More Scarecrow Pictures

We really enjoyed learning how to build a scarecrow, so we took a few photos of other scarecrows to give you more decorating ideas for fall.

grampa scarecrow
A Grandpa scarecrow

brother and sister scarecrows
Brother and sister

mr and mrs scarecrows
Mr. and Mrs. Scarecrow all decked out in fancy duds

Happy painter scarecrow
Happy "painter" ready for a party

Lovely gardener scarecrow
Lovely gardener with a cute straw hat

A pretty scarecrow
This pretty scarecrow will keep the crows away with her wide arms

scarecrow spectators
Charming scarecrow "spectators"- a twist on the typical scarecrows

traditional scarecrow man in jeans and plaid shirt
Traditional scarecrow "man" in jeans, plaid shirt and hat

An adorable scarecrow made from clay pots
Last but not least, a scarecrow made from clay pots (and look what he's holding)
We don't know exactly how this was put together, but we wanted to snap a picture of it for you as we thought it was super cute.

If you were wanting to learn how to build a scarecrow, we hope that our instructions plus the pictures we gathered for you, will inspire you to create something adorable.

Our "How to Build a Scarecrow" Final Results

Willard and Tom are best scarecrow friends
Willard and Tom
Add a scarecrow to your Halloween decor. See our fantastic Halloween Porch Decorating Section - fun and spooky!



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