Sunday, October 11, 2009

Do-It-Yourself Scarecrow

We have been going a mile a minute these days (hence no posts for 2 weeks)!  Last Sunday, for example, we had two different fall festivals that we attended with two different groups of people between the hours of 11am and 4pm!  Both were fun and both offered totally different activities, which worked out perfectly!  The first festival offered face painting and pony rides, and the second offered pumpkin picking and scarecrow making!  We paid $16 at Brown's Berry Patch to make ours ($14 without a hat), but this is something that could easily be done at home with the kids. 

You will need an old pair of pants, an old shirt, a pair of pantyhose, some straw (if you don't have this, you can usually get it at the farm market for $5 or under) and twine, heavy string or even yarn.  We started by stuffing straw into the pants and then the shirt to make the scarecrow's body.  You can stuff it as tight as you want, although from previous experience we left ours a little loose so that we could bend his legs to make him sit on a chair (ok, lean casually...).  Take the twine (string, yarn) and tie the shirt closed at the "wrists" and tie the pants closed down by the "ankles."  This will keep the straw from coming out.  Do you have an old pair of boots or gloves?  Tuck the bottoms of the pant legs in the boots and the arms into the old gloves to give your scarecrow a little more style!

Set the top and bottom of your scarecrow aside and take the pantyhose and stuff the top part of the pantyhose with straw -- this is his (her) head -- leaving the long legs empty.  Tie a know in the waistband of the pantyhose to keep the straw from coming out of the head.  To put the body together, set the head on top of the shirt collar.  Take one of the empty pantyhose legs and tuck it into the back of the shirt (between the inside of the shirt and the straw) and pull it down as tight as possible and tie it to the back of the pants (belt loop works best!).  Now do the same with the other leg, pulling down in the same manner through the front of the shirt and tie this leg to the front of the pants (again, use a belt loop if your pants have them!).  You may need to tuck some more straw into the "belly" of your scarecrow and tuck his (her) shirt into the pants to complete the body.

Top your scarecrow off with an old hat if you have one, and let the kids take some acrylic paint and paint a face to really give your scarecrow some personality!  This whole process (minus the painting) took us no more than 20 minutes at Brown's -- my 8-year-old and I did a lot of the stuffing, she and I chose the clothes, and we decided to bring it home to paint the face (to save the interior of the van from getting a fresh coat of paint!).  The last time we made one of these my girl was about 4 years old -- it was well before her little sister was born -- and she painted the face all on her own and did a great job!

This is a great way to recycle some old clothes that might otherwise end up in the trash.  The other day I was throwing away an old, ripped pair of my daughter's jeans and I thought, "Hey, we could use these to make our own scarecrow!"  This is really so easy to do and my kids just loved it -- I'm sure yours will too!  It's great to add to the outdoor fall decorations!  (My girl is taking after me with the decorating flair -- she arranged the pumpkins, including the one lying on it's side, and she added some fall leaves as a finishing touch!)


Kristin said...

Adorable! The scarecrow really made your entrance way look very festive. I especially loved those dark and rippled pumpkins.

How crazy cute is that picture from 4 years ago!

Deanna said...

Thank you! I don't know why, but I always seem to be able to get the outdoor decorating together for fall -- that's definitely when the front of my house looks best!

I know -- what a cutie!!