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Todwick Village

Building a Scarecrow

Sponsored by TSB (Todwick Scarecrow Builders Ltd)

Introduction

Scarecrows are Cheap! Use old junk and cast-offs and some imagination!

Have an idea before you start as this will affect the frame and positioning of attachments etc.

Frame

Two crossed poles, branches, sticks, broom-handles or curtain rails are fine. A mop has readymade hair! If your scarecrow has trousers or a skirt then 3 sticks as a cross of Lorraine will give you a place to hang trousers etc.

Clothes and Stuffing

Cast offs are great, odd accessories can be bought cheaply such as a Poundland hat or bow tie. Think about how they could be stuffed and what will contain the stuffing best, strappy dresses leave too much uncovered! Long sleeves are essential and shorts are tricky.

Stuffing can be rags, old clothes, old sheets or curtains, plastic bags, straw, bubble wrap even old carpet, but remember newspaper and card could go soggy if not protected from the weather. 2-litre plastic milk containers can be used to stuff legs. Hands can be stuffed old washing up gloves.

Head

The most important bit if your scarecrow is to have character. Junk materials work well. An old bucket, plant-pot, football, tied sack, 5 litre paint tin, biscuit tin, plastic box, ladies tights stuffed and tied at the top gives a ready-made hair topknot. Pillowcases can be filled and then cut strips at the bottom and tie them. Papier-mâché heads take more time but if you want a specific character work very well.

Face

A face can be added with felt tip markers, paint, insulation tape, stuck on bits of cloth, sewed on buttons or even a cut out of a celebrity. You would need to clear-varnish paper or card but one coat of PVC glue works just as well (£1 for 500 m in Poundland!) Hair can be drawn or painted on but a cheap wig (yes, I am sponsored by Poundland) wool, string, plastic straws, thin electric cable, (not live!) will work just as well. Strips of fabric or even sliced carrier bags can be glued on, single coloured ones are best.

Hats and Accessories

These need to be cheap as they are vulnerable to wind, rain and international gangs of scarecrow thieves. An old hat or junk materials such as plant pots or paint tins are fine. Extra accessories add humorous touches such as pipes, ties, glasses etc.

Shoes

Scarecrows don’t need shoes as they walk very infrequently. But you will need something to keep the trouser stuffing in, such as tied trouser legs or safety-pinned on socks.

Points to Consider

Safety

Although the scarecrow will be on your property it is wise to use safe materials especially in fastening it together. Binding sticks with string is preferable, nails should not be used at all. Sticky tape, string, insulation tape are good for binding. The PVC glue will stick material. Wood and plastics, (but not metal) Acetylene Welding is an extreme solution. (Only joking)

Weather

If you want to leave your scarecrow outside for more than a few days then think about the effect of wind, rain, storm, snow (In July ?) etc.

Thwarting GHOSTs (Gangs of Hinternational and Oriental Scarecrow Thieves)

It is rare for people to “borrow “items from scarecrows but not unknown. Don’t use valuable accessories such as real spades, gold watches or designer bikinis (you know what I mean). Things like spades can easily be made from card.

Fixing

Choose a site to put your scarecrow that will keep it upright. A fence, wall, garden seat, a gate, tree or trellis are all good steady fixing points. If you need to stake it to the ground you need to start with a longer stick! You might also consider attaching to a metal stake or even guide ropes and tent pegs.

Why make a Scarecrow?

It’s Fun! It’s upholding an old tradition. It’s creative! It’s inexpensive!

It makes people smile! It brightens up the village! It’s a great activity for kids to help with!

It’s a talking point. It keeps you off the streets! It’s good for the economy (well, Poundland shares)

It’s one of the few activities which does not involve a mobile phone.

Now let’s take up the great Worzel Gummidge’s advice and have “A cup of tea and a slice of cake!”