How to Make an Easy DIY Scarecrow in 5 Steps

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I don’t know about you, but fall is my absolute favorite season to decorate for! My son loves to help, so it’s a tradition we do together every year! And this year, we decided to add our own DIY scarecrow to the festivities!

These are super simple to make, and you probably have most of the things you need already around the house! We were able to make do without buying a single thing. This meant making a mini DIY scarecrow since we ended up using some of my son’s old clothes that he’s grown out of rather than purchasing a new outfit. Although I’m sure the thrift store would have some great, affordable outfits!

These are also fun because they’re super versatile! You can create one without any sticks for support if you just want it to sit on a bench or hay bale. You can also prop them up with large sticks, fence posts, or dowels to make them stand. My son insisted that ours be able to stand so we could place it in our garden. Because that’s what scarecrows are for, of course!

If you and your littles are ready to make a fun DIY scarecrow this fall, here’s how to do so in five easy steps!

1. Gather supplies for your DIY scarecrow!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • old clothes (a flannel with overalls is is the most traditional choice.)
  • shoes (if your scarecrow will be sitting)
  • hat
  • plastic Jack-o-lantern
  • old fabric, plastic bags, burlap, etc (for stuffing your scarecrow)
  • hay (just enough for the arms, feet, neck, etc.)
  • safety pins
  • rubber bands
  • wire and/or small screws + screwdriver
  • 5-6 foot post (if you want a freestanding scarecrow)
  • yardstick or 3 foot piece of 1×1 lumber

2. Stuff clothes and pin top and bottom together.

To get your DIY scarecrow started, stuff the old clothes with fabric, plastic bags, or whatever you choose as your stuffing. You can, of course, go traditional and use hay all the way through. We chose old fabric because that’s one thing I have plenty of! Not to mention you’re avoiding the majority of the mess 😜.

Once the clothes are satisfactorily stuffed, use some safety pins to secure the bottom of the shirt to the top of the pants all the way around. This keeps your diy scarecrow in one piece and helps the stuffing stay in place. You can also choose to sew them together for extra security. (Of course, if you find overalls, this step wouldn’t be necessary.)

3. Insert posts (if making a standing scarecrow).

To make the scarecrow stand up, place the tallest post up through the back of the scarecrow’s shirt and out the neck hole. I initially used a 3 foot dowel, but that ended up being a bit too short and flimsy.

After the first post is through vertically, take the yardstick and place it through both sleeves of the shirt with some hanging out on each end. Use at least two screws to attach the post and yardstick together where they intersect in the middle. As you can see in the picture, I initially taped them together, but the arms eventually slid down the body of Mr. Scarecrow.

4. Cut a hole in bottom of jack-o-lantern and place onto post

Next, cut a hole into the bottom of the jack-o-lantern with an exacto knife and place it securely onto the top of the post that sticks out of the shirt’s neck hole.

5. Add finishing touches and display your scarecrow!

Next, it’s time to stuff hay into the neck and pockets of our scarecrow to make it look more authentic. We used straw that was leftover from seeding our lawn in the summer, but I wouldn’t recommend that as the pieces were very small and didn’t stay in place super well. In retrospect, I would use this craft straw as it would work much better and be a lot less messy.

For the arms and legs, we bundled some straw together, secured it with a rubber band, and placed it onto the end of the sticks for the arms and around the pant legs at the bottom.

closeup of a diy scarecrow with jack-o-lantern face and red flannel shirt

We added a few more touches to finish off our diy scarecrow, like some straw tucked into the hat, a flower tucked into the pocket, and an old hat that we glued to the jack-o-lantern head. Now he has a place in our garden and Finn promptly named him “Scary”.

For the next hour or so, Scary was like Frosty the Snowman come to life and Finn talked to him as if he was real, gave him hugs, and brought him food from the garden.

While I can tell you that this scarecrow will make an adorable addition to any garden or fall display, I can’t promise that it will keep the birds away . In fact, I actually feel like I’ve seen more birds than ever before since placing him in our garden 😂 . But what can you do?

If you enjoyed this post, check out these fall leaf crafts for kids and more fun fall ideas!

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