Dangly Scarecrow

The basic method for building a scarecrow can be adapted to create variations with different characters and styles. Finished scarecrows can be used as story-telling puppets or displayed in the garden or in a window box.

Skill Level

Intermediate

Time to Make

1 - 1.5 hours + drying time for paint

Adult Supervision Needed

Yes

How to Make

  1. For the body, paint 7 short bamboo sticks. For the arms paint 4 sticks (2 for each arm). For the legs, paint 4 sticks (2 for each leg). Leave to dry.
  2. To assemble the body, cover 1 painted bamboo stick with glue, then press the remaining 6 sticks around it, so the first stick stays in the middle. Hold the pieces together with an elastic band while the glue dries.
  3. To make the head, cut a 40cm length of twine. Thread it through the middle bamboo section on the body, then back up through one of the side sections and tie a knot at the top. Thread another (unpainted) bamboo stick above the knot, brush with glue, then wrap a long strip of tissue paper around the stick into a ball, leaving 1cm at the top uncovered. If the head needs to be bigger, add more tissue paper strips to build it up. Paint the head and leave to dry.
  4. To attach an arm and leg onto the body, cut a 40cm piece of twine. Thread the twine through one of the outer body sections leaving an even length at the top and bottom. Thread 2 painted bamboo sticks onto the top piece of string with a double knot at the end. Thread 2 leg sections at the bottom with a double knot at the end. Repeat to make another arm and leg on the opposite side of the body.
  5. To make the brim of the hat, cut an 8cm diameter circle from hessian then cut a small hole in the centre and fray the edges. Add a blob of glue on top of the scarecrow’s head then press the hessian on top, so it fits over the top of the bamboo stick. Cut a thin hessian strip (approx. 3cm x 25cm), fray the edges, add glue to one end then wrap it around the bamboo stick. Glue the end and hold in place with an elastic band while it dries.
  6. Pull off some hessian threads and glue them under the brim of the hat for the scarecrow’s hair. Glue more threads inside the ends of the arms and legs. Use a cocktail stick to help push the threads into the sticks.
  7. Glue card circles onto the scarecrow’s head for the eyes and nose, glue a piece of coloured thread for the mouth. Add other details to the face with felt pens or paint. Decorate the scarecrow with felt flowers and tie a ribbon around the neck.

Top Tip

Painting the pieces for the body, legs and arms is easier they are threaded onto a thin bamboo skewers or garden sticks, so you can paint all the way round. Support the sticks while the paint is drying by resting the sticks across a mixing bowl or a box. The scarecrow’s arms can either dangle down by the body or be fixed outwards. To hold them out, push a cocktail stick between the tops of the arm sections across the back of the scarecrow’s neck. If you prefer to have the scarecrow on a stick so it can be pushed into a pot or flowerbed, cut the string above the hat leaving the knot in place, then push a garden stick up into one of the body sections.

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