Take a look around your home and yard. You have potential “body” parts — scarecrow body parts, that is! Scarecrows were used since ancient times to scare troublesome birds away from crops. But they also make terrific fall decorations for your yard or garden.
Making one is easy, just look around your home and use your imagination. Scarecrows were traditionally made from used items around the home. These used items really make the best scarecrows. They create the best personalities. So if you or your children are thinking about participating in the Recycled Scarecrow Contest on Oct. 13 at the Liberty County Fall Festival check and see what you have to work with.
Let’s talk scarecrow part by part:
Backbone: The first thing a scarecrow needs is a backbone. A broom, a mop, or a wooden dowel makes a good start. Yes, I have seen scarecrows made without this pole as a structure, but they have a distinct case of the limps. They have a hard time sitting upright on a hay bale and staying in place. Any self-respecting scarecrow needs a good backbone.
Arms: Use shorter pole or dowel tied off or wired against the broom or backbone pole in the form of a cross. You could even nail them together but binding them with wire or some type of cord or even duct tape is sufficient.
Head: Several items make good heads. A canvas bag stuffed with straw, a small pumpkin, a gourd, and even a plastic container, like a laundry detergent bottle or milk jug can be secured to the broom or pole. Even an old pillowcase can make a good head. If a broom is used, the bristle part can actually be decorated as the face. Some people use the body part of a pair of tights stuffed with straw to give the head fullness. The legs are tied off and then tucked into the shirt later to help keep the body securely pulled together.
Face: The facial features can be added with permanent markers, paint pens, glued-on felt ‘eyes’, etc. Craft items like wiggly eyes can be used. Even Halloween masks can be incorporated to give some real personality. The choices are endless. Use your imagination.
Body: Scarecrows can be stuffed or casual (a term used in scarecrow world meaning little or no stuffing is used so the clothing hangs freely from the pole body). So either add the shirt, pants, or even dress and add stuffing, like straw, if you want a full look. String or wire can be used to tie off arms, legs and waists to keep stuffing in place. When you add the pants, consider using a belt or rope around the waist including the pole to hold the lower body in place. Gloves can be stuffed and tied on to the arms of the shirt.
Clothing: It is true, clothes make the scarecrow. So think out of the box. Traditional scarecrows with plaid shirts and jeans are nice, but scarecrows can be so much more. What about a scary ghost scarecrow from a flowing white sheet, or a formal ’crow in a tux and top hat? Although my husband would never admit it, he has a tux that no longer fits that would be perfect. I am sure it must have shrunk at the dry cleaners. And whoever said a scarecrow had to be male? There must be Mrs. ’Crows too.
Accessories: Once you decide who your scarecrow will be, the clothes and accessories; hats, hair, gloves and shoes, will make your ’crow come to life. I’m hoping someone will make a Paris Hilton scarecrow. I am sure that she would say, “that’s hot!” I will be working on a sample scarecrow this weekend based on my favorite college football team, so I challenge anyone out there who may not be a Dawg fan to show your team colors on the 13th by making your scarecrow fan.
Whatever you choose to do, it will be fun with a purpose. The point of the contest is to remind us all that many everyday objects can be reused for different purposes, if we just give it some thought rather than automatically tossing old items out. We will have a number of items for use at the festival as well as straw, dowels, floral wire, tape, glue, string, markers, etc. However, bring your special items if you want to one-of-a-kind scarecrow.
Dates to remember
Oct. 13, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Recycled Scarecrows Contest at the Community Fall Festival at the YMCA
Oct. 20, 8:45 a.m. Rivers Alive cleanups at several locations in Liberty County. On foot volunteers, kayakers and small boats needed. Sponsored by SNF Chemtall and Coastal Courier.
For more information on Keep Liberty County Beautiful, contact me at 368-4888 or email@example.com