How to Make a Scarecrow to Frighten Unwanted Critters From Your Garden

Build a simple scarecrow of your own design using wooden garden stakes, some old clothes and shoes, a hammer and a little imagination.

August 31, 2020

Scarecrows are great for frightening unwanted critters from your garden or adding some festive decor to your yard for fall, Halloween or Thanksgiving. And a simple scarecrow is surprisingly easy to build. Here's how to do it.

It's easy to create a simple scarecrow for Halloween or to frighten critters out of your garden.

Tools + Materials

  • hammer
  • scissors
  • old clothes
  • boots
  • twine
  • nails
  • straw or dried grass
  • pillowcase
  • (2) 1x2 6' garden stakes

1. Set Up the Scarecrow Frame

Start by buttoning all but the top four buttons of the scarecrow's shirt, and then inserting a 6-foot stake through both of the shirt sleeves, making sure it's centered evenly through the garment (Image 1). This stake will act as your horizontal support.

Lay the horizontal stake at a 90-degree angle over the vertical stake that you'll later drive into the ground, and about 12 inches from the end of the vertical stake (you'll later use that length to support the scarecrow's head). Drive two nails into the wood and through the shirt where the pieces overlap. This will join the frame members together and clamp the shirt fabric between them (Image 2).

Making sure the scarecrow's body faces the direction you want, carefully press the vertical stake into the ground. You may need to use a hammer to drive it firmly into place (Image 3).

2. Create the Top Half

Using a small length of twine, tie off the bottom of the shirt at the waistline. Leave the top three or four buttons undone because you'll need access for stuffing (Image 1). Tie both of the sleeves shut using pieces of garden twine. If you'd like to add gloves to your scarecrow, this is a good time to do that (Image 2). Using handfuls of straw or dried grass, stuff the chest cavity of your scarecrow. Make sure that you stuff it enough to give it a good solid shape (Image 3).

3. Create the Bottom Half

You'll need to stuff the pants before attaching them. Tie off both pant legs and firmly stuff the pants with whatever material you've chosen (Image 1). To attach the pants, use twine to create a pair of suspenders for your scarecrow. We used the belt loops to secure the twine and brought it over the shoulders and secured the suspenders to the rear of the scarecrow (Image 2). You'll want to stuff the legs into a pair of shoes or boots (Image 3). If they're old boots you won't be reusing, drill a drainage hole in the bottom so they won't fill with water when it rains.

4. Add Finishing Touches

Use an old pillowcase to form the head of the scarecrow. Stuff it with filling and then pull it down over the top of the frame. Tie the neck to the vertical stake and begin forming the shape of the head (Image 1). Add a face, some hair or even a hat to make your scarecrow look menacing enough to ward off any potential garden invaders (Image 2).

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