A Scary Good Project
Not since we made our life-sized “cocoon man” did we smile wider than this year – we scored high fives from a few neighbors for our scarecrow and making it was actually pretty simple! Let the haunting begin! 🎃
The material quantities below are approximations; you’ll want to adjust them to meet the needs of your own project and the size of your halloween cheer. My hallo-cheer is apparently XXL sized!
Make sure to secure your scarecrow into the ground – the Austin winds can sometimes be brutal. I just found a neighbor’s tombstone on my front porch this week!
To make the head we repurposed a latex halloween mask. We filled it with a few plastic bags to provide the support (plastic is rain-friendly vs. paper and also lets the light shine through). To add just the right amount of “creep factor” we inserted a strand of green battery powered LED lights – they are powered on a built-in timer and are outdoor friendly – perfect for a project like this!
We used wing nuts and bolts so at the end of the season we could un-tighten and rotate the arms for easy storage.
2 Pieces | 1″ x 2″ x 8′ Pressure Treated Wood (about $4 at Lowe’s) 2 | Wing Nut and Bolt Sets (about $2) 1-2 Bunches | Corn Stalks (about $38) 50′ Spool | 19 Gauge Steel Wire (about $3) To Decorate | Cape ($5 at my local Goodwill score. Whoops – store) 1 | Halloween Mask for the Head (ours was free) 1 | Small Strand of LED Lights (for the head – about $5 at Big Lots!) 2-4 | Stones About 4-6″ High (ours were free) Things To Have Handy | A Craft Table, Scissors or Saw, Electric Jigsaw, Mallet (or Hammer)
What To Do:
1. Score your materials.
This seems obvious. But finding corn stalks in Austin can be a little daunting. We found ours at the Red Barn Garden Center. At $17/bunch we later confidently shook our heads in the YES direction when we saw how amazing these turned out – you cannot replicate the authenticity of corn stalks for that perfect halloween feel!
2. Build Your Frame.
We decided to make our scarecrow Texas-sized because large only makes it all the creepier. We used my arms as a rough guide for the arm length for the 1″ x 2″ x 8′ boards and made the scarecrow the full 8 feet tall.
I used my jigsaw to saw a point into the end of the vertical post, which I would later pound into my garden with a mallet. I drilled two holes at the cross-juncture, leaving about a foot for the head, then inserted the wingnuts/bolts and tightened everything to form the middle ‘T‘ of the scarecrow.
3. Secure Your Stalks.
Time to cloak your scarecrow frame; I did this to help me measure how long to build the arms. Your craft table will help you assemble everything without being hunched over the ground.
To create the arms and hands, I started with the arms and used 5-7 stalks for each arm; I measured from the hands to the center pole then cut and removed the excess. Wrap the stalks with a piece of wire about 5 inches from both ends then affix to the cross beam. Repeat on the other side to complete the two arms. I inverted a bunch of stalks so the tops formed the feet then trimmed the excess to the desired height. Using the same wire-binding technique secure the stalks to themselves… then to the center pole. Make sure everything is secure so it doesn’t slide down the center pole.
4. Make Your Head See the crafting tip above to make your head. When the head is to your liking place it on top of the ‘crow body and set your LED timer (I set mine at dusk o’clock).
5. Mount Your ‘Crow. Choose the location for your scarecrow. Using a mallet or hammer pound the center stake into the ground, making sure to avoid sprinkler lines or known rocky areas. I braced the base of the pole with some leftover limestone rocks from when my house was built and secured the center pole from the top with an additional piece of wire tied to a small screw I set on my house.
Enjoy and please email me with any questions about this project! I’m happy to give you some tips!
Joe Paul Reider
Home Style Austin Founder
Keller Williams Realty