104 Days of Summer Vacation: Scarecrows

Girl Scarecrows

Today’s theme is inspired by the Children’s Garden.  Every year we make the coolest scarecrows.  One year we made Titania, Queen of the Fairies.  Another year we made Heimlich from A Bug’s Life and last year we made the girls.  This year, it’s the girls again but a little bit different.

1. Create a scarecrow for your garden

Every great garden needs a scarecrow; preferably one that doesn’t go on an extended vacation looking for a brain.  The garden needs one to stay put and look after the garden when you are away.  There are a couple of ways to go about creating a scarecrow.  I learned how to make scarecrows from the fabulous Melissa (Dow Gardens Employee).

Material List for Scarecrows


  • Burlap Head
  • Twine
  • Straw
  • Frame (4 to 5 feet tall)
  • Yarn
  • Old Clothing
  • Farmers Hat
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Paint Brushes
  • Water Bucket
  • Extras
  • Mallet
  • Hot glue gun

Now that you have collected all your materials you are ready to make your scarecrow.

  1. Take the burlap head and paint a face on the front.  Use acrylic paint because your scarecrow will be in your garden rain or shine and you don’t the paint to fade.  When painting with acrylic be aware that this type of paint will not come out of your clothing.
  2. To make the hair, pick any color yarn.  This year we chose blue and rainbow colored yarn.  In the past, we have had pink.  Make the hair as long or as short as you would like.  When making your hair take seven to ten strands of yarn and knot them together in one knot.  The extra can be used as bangs.  To add the hair a simple way is to use a hot glue gun.  (Adult supervision is necessary for this tool.  I’ve even burnt myself and then the skin peeled off.  That was uncomfortable.  Place a dot at the top of the burlap and then the knot on top of the hot glue.
  3. Add any extras, such as flowers or anything else to the head.
  4. Take the frame (wooden “t” shaped frame) and add clothing.  Cut the ends shorter on the side of the “t” if you have trouble getting the clothing on the frame.  It is important to tie off the bottom of your scarecrow before you add hay.  Otherwise it will all fall out.  A double knot with twine does the trick.  You also need to think how heavy the straw will get when it rains.  Tie off the sleeves on the same way.  If you chose paints, you can take the pole up one leg and tie the paints with twine (think suspenders).
  5. Add straw until the scarecrow’s body is nice and fat.
  6. If you chose to add hands, fill gloves with hay and safety pin the shirt.  The feet are the same way.
  7. Find a spot for your scarecrow; think about the shadow it will create around your plants.  A mallet is a nice way to whack it into the ground.  Make sure it will not fall over in a storm.  Please don’t attach the scarecrow’s head yet, because you will give it such a headache.
  8. Fill the head with straw and then slide it onto the pole.  Tie the head to the pole with twine.  If you chose to add a hat, make sure it’s secure to your pole.
  9. Stand back and take a look at what your creation.

I have made a short video clip about creating a scarecrow.

2. Write a story for your scarecrow

Now that you have created your scarecrow create a wonderful story behind your creation. Give your scarecrow a name and how did your scarecrow come to be.  These are things that could be included in your story:


Where was the scarecrow born?

What does the scarecrow like to do in the winter months?

Who does the scarecrow like to hang out with?

What is the scarecrow afraid of?

3.Watch the short clip from the Wizard of Oz.

The Scarecrow is telling Dorothy what he would do if he had a brain.

4. Create a piece of artwork with the scarecrow as the theme.

Image from Artsonia

Texture is the main focus of the art lesson.  Afterwards students create an acrostic poem about Texture.  Madison’s (2nd grade) picture uses several elements and here is her poem:

Texture is
X-ray Vision
Raining Fields
Exploring Crows

Enjoy freighting crows away!

-Mrs. Berry


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