Turn your attention now to finishing off the head. We'll make a scarecrow face, supply some "hair" and adorn our figure with a hat.
8. Remember how we cut the excess at the bottom of the pillowcase into strips? Use them now as straps to secure the head a bit better to the pole. Aim for just a moderate tightness: I made the mistake, initially, of tying them too tight, which created excessive wrinkling in what would become the area where the scarecrow face goes. You want to end up with a relatively smooth scarecrow face so that you can more easily draw features on it.
9. Since pillowcases are rectangular, you have to work some to achieve a rounded head in this scarecrow project. I suggest pinning the corners down with safety pins.
Likewise, to take up some slack and achieve a more rounded look for the scarecrow face, do some pinning on the back of the head as necessary. The back doesn't matter so much because it will be covered with burlap "hair."
Since I was working with a turtleneck shirt, I pulled the neck up as high as it would go and pinned it to the bottom of the head.
10. Pin a piece of burlap on top of the head to make scarecrow "hair." Pin the hat on top of this hair. Then go back and trim the burlap to make it look more like hair -- sort of like giving a scarecrow a haircut! A scruffy look (uneven haircut) works well on a scarecrow. Provide bangs for the forehead by cutting the burlap so that some single strands hang down.
Draw the eyes, eyebrows, nose and mouth onto the scarecrow face with a black magic marker. I like to make a scarecrow face that's menacing, a look I tried to achieve here through the angle of the eyebrows and a downturned mouth.
11. Time for the finishing touches.
Cut out some burlap "patches" and glue-gun them onto the shirt.
Make the transition from neck to head seamless by wrapping the area in a burlap "scarf" and stuffing in a bit of extra straw. Likewise, make a scarecrow "belt" out of burlap to obscure any safety pins, etc. where shirt meets pants. Burlap can hide many an imperfection in this project!
Stuff a bit of straw part way under the hat, too, allowing some to remain sticking out; this adds to that raggedy look that's so desirable in a scarecrow!
12. Finally, stand back to take a good look at your scarecrow. Is the torso a bit lumpy on one side? Apply some pressure to mold the shape more to your liking. If, by contrast, an area appears caved in, loosen up the clothing just enough to allow you to insert some more straw.
Extra Tips for Making Scarecrows
Don't wish to make a scarecrow head by stuffing a pillowcase? Many people use carved pumpkins, instead. The drawback? They rot quickly. One alternative is to paint on a pumpkin face. However, if you secure such a pumpkin by inserting a pole through it, you're still introducing bacteria and inviting rot. A better alternative is to make a Halloween jack-o'-lantern from a gourd or to use an artificial jack-o'-lantern.
Can't get the crosspiece level, despite your best efforts? One possible solution is to insert a stone (for some weight) into a mesh bag and tie the bag onto the arm that's sticking up too high, to bring it down some. Tie it loosely, so that you can slide it along the arm as necessary in your quest for just the right position where balance is achieved. Once the sleeve is inserted over the crosspiece and stuffed, the mesh bag and rock will be hidden -- no one will know you "cheated."
Supplies for Making Scarecrows
Does making a scarecrow seem an easy enough project for you now? Then these are the materials you'll need:
- saw, tape measure, shovel
- 2 poles
- straw, hay or leaves
- shirt, pants, hat
- magic marker
- safety pins
- glue gun and sticks