SCARECROWS AND HALLOWEEN!

Have you thought of crafting a Scarecrow, out of your easy-to-grab recycling?

But, will he be cute, or scary!!!

Let's reflect!

So what do we know about Scarecrows?

In what way are they connected to Halloween, and what’s their purpose?

In this post, we will look at Scarecrows and Halloween and see what connection Scarecrows have with the ritual of Halloween that is celebrated on the 31st of October in the UK.

HOW FAR BACK?

Let’s start from the beginning. Did you know that scarecrows go as far back as the Egyptians?

LET’S REWIND!

Firstly, let’s go back 3,000 years to Egyptian times, their interpretation of a Scarecrow was tunics on reeds to scare flocks of quail away from their wheat crops, along the river Nile.

Also, another version of a Scarecrow would be a wooden frame covered in netting.

ANCIENT GREEKS!

The ancient Greeks made an effigy in the likeness of the Greek fertility God Priapus, 

Myth has it that he lived near the vineyards and was very unattractive, (cursed by the goddess Hera who was jealous of his mother Aphrodite), and whenever he played in the fields he would scare the crows away!

JAPANESE!

Whereas the Japanese had a figure called Kakashis, which was composed of rotten fruit, veg and fish, and at the end of the agricultural season they would burn it, hence giving off an obscene smell that would keep the birds at bay. 

MIDDLE AGES!

During the Middle Ages in Europe, small children were the crow scarers. They would run in the fields banging blocks, clapping, and throwing stones at the birds scaring them away!

But due to the great plague of 1348, which took the lives of many children, that’s when Scarecrows came about.

As we know them today to be the likeness of a man, clothes stuffed with hay with pumpkin heads.

TRADITION OF A SCARECROW!

The use of Scarecrows was picked up by American colonists bringing the tradition from their countries, and German settlers were very influential in keeping up the idea of a Scarecrow alive in their new homes.

SCARECROWS LOST THEIR CREDIBILITY!

It seemed that Scarecrows lost their respect in getting rid of the birds, as not much was happening in that department, so farmers bought in pesticides to help fight off birds and other insect pests.

Even though it was thought that Scarecrows would help deter the birds from eating their crops, the birds were quite clever. Unless Scarecrows were moved about, giving the impression that this was a real man, funnily enough, they would simply perch on the frame of a Scarecrow. That defeats the object, right?

AFTER WWII

I love this animation, it depicts, in a funny sort of way, how a scarecrow has lost its purpose, hence the crow tease and the out-of-the-ordinary efforts this poor scarecrow tries to get it!

HARMFUL CHEMICALS!

More importantly, spraying pesticides over crops has been linked to being harmful to humans, when inhaled causing serious health risks.

Nonetheless, there are non-toxic formulas that farmers can use, that are regarded as a safer and alternative solution to humans.

Regardless of all this going on, Scarecrows are still being used today!

CUTE OR SCAREY?

It really depends on how you look at this. Are Scarecrows designed to frighten off the birds, or simply to scare off people?

In sum. Scarecrows are associated with autumn, the harvest season, and Halloween.

IS IT SYMBOLIC? 

In the same way, Jesus was nailed to the cross with arms outstretched, so is the Scarecrow symbolizing the crucifixion, then at the end of the harvest season the Scarecrow would be burnt and the ashes return to the earth, nourishing the soil, hence crops resurrection again!

HALLOWEEN AND SCARECROWS!

As harvesting is around the autumn season when Scarecrows adorn the fields, you have the harvesting of pumpkins, and then the lead up to the celebration of Halloween, where Scarecrows are there amongst them too!

HOW WE SEE THEM!

They are either depicted as a fun jolly character like the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz or taken out of context as a spook that would be featured amongst the monsters that are characteristic of Halloween, or as a scary villain in the Batman movies!

Here’s a reminder of the friendly clumsy scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz who wanted to have a brain!

What a lovable scarecrow, anyones friend!

MY INTENTION!

Which brings me to the purpose of this post. So as the subject is about Scarecrows and Halloween, I will show you how to make a simple Scarecrow from cardboard inner tubes and some old rags!

ARE YOU READY?

     RESOURCES!
  •  3 cardboard inner tubes 2 long 1 small.

  • Recycled fabrics, (for trousers & shirt).

  • Some hesian (for hat).

  • Stringy recycling wrap.

  • Some white off cut fabric.

  • Googly eyes. (your choice).

  • Scissors, large and small.

  • Glue stick/Elastic bands.

  • Ruler/White pencil.

  • Black broad and fine markers.

  • Large needle and thread.

  • Some orange and white. card.

I made this quick video on how to put together your Scarecrow. I will later follow it up with some comments which might address any queries you might have!

That was fun, wasn’t it, and all made with just three cardboard tubes and some odd resources!

SOME HELPFUL TIPS!

    MAKING THE ARMS!

  • When rolling up to make the long Scarecrow arm, use a broad felt-tip pen, and keep rolling the half inner tube until it decreases in size. Then secure it with elastic bands at both ends.
      INSERTING THE ARM.
  • Find a sharp tool, or scissors to help pierce another tube, a little way down and on opposite ends, then snip all the way around the holes and push through to expand the holes, then you can insert the long arm easily. Re-adjust the elastic bands if they move.
     THE HEAD.
  • I snipped all around the smaller tube to help bend it to one side as if a drooping head, although you can leave this bit out if you like.
     THE CLOTHES.
  • When making the trousers and shirt, whatever fabric you use, measure and cut enough to cover the top and bottom parts of the body, and remember to fold and make two layers, so when you cut out the trousers and shirt, you have a front and back.
  • Allow for wide sleeves and wide legs so after you stitch together it will be easy to pull over the Scarecrow parts. Remember to turn the clothes the right way around, so the stitching is inside.
     TO SECURE HEAD, HAT. AND SHIRT!
  • I used elastic bands, but you can use whatever you have to hold in place the white cloth over the head and keep the hat in place. I cut a long strand from one of the fabrics to use as a belt around the shirt.
     THE HANDS.
  • I collected lots of recycled stretchy packaging that has many uses. One of which has a texture that can be used in crafts, so I used some of this. Again you can use shredded paper, or fray some paper to insert into the ends of the arms, which look like hay.
     FACIAL FEATURES
  • CARROT NOSE.  Take a small piece of orange card cut it into a square and roll it to make a cone, stick it into place with a glue stick. For the bit that bends over at the end, you can apply glue and stick it to the face.

  • THE MOUTH.  Grab the white card and draw a smiley mouth, then cut it out and stick it under the carrot’s nose.

  • THE GOOGLY EYES. Take two googly eyes apply lots of glue and stick them above the nose holding them in place until they glue on.

  • TROUSERS. Once you have dressed the Scarecrow you can tuck the extra length of the trousers inside the tube, so they don’t get in the way and the Scarecrow will stand up better.
Below are five images, showing how to make a carrot nose, the smiley mouth and all positioned with the googly eyes in place using a glue stick.
Click on any image to enlarge.

Wow! you may think, that’s alot to take in, but just find what you need help with, and maybe the video may be just enough for you to work out or even follow whilst making your Scarecrow!

Hey there, when you click on links in this post and you make a purchase, I may earn a small commission that l can use towards resources (other than throw-outs) for project making within my website😀

(affliate disclosure)

So ifthere is a last-minuterush to find a Hallowen costume, then look no futher!

KIDLY UK, have an delightful selection of Halloween costumes! that are just a bit different!

KIDLY UK, has very tasteful and out-of-the-ordinary Halloween costumes. Magical and just enough sparkle to zap anyone who is mischievous!

These costumes are keepers too, and suitable for any occasion. So, how about jumping in and taking a peek and your kids will get to dazzle and add just that little bit of magic, wherever they go!

OR…..

Dive into BAKER ROSS, to find some super spooky activities!

Are you looking to keep your kids busy over Halloween?

BAKER ROSS is the place to visit!

You will find, Scarecrow, Witches, Vampire, Spooky-themed kits to entertain your kids, and more!

Maybe it’s a specter type of activity to do, or just to have a Monster of a Time crafting fun and unusual Halloween-themed projects? then BAKER ROSS can offer you just that!

They also offer, loads of resources, elements, embellishments, sparkles, and glitter that would add a magical finish to your work!

Are you tempted? then waste no more time as Halloween is soon upon us, and these delightful kits are just the ticket to craft away those dark Autumn nights!

LOOKING FOR A GOOD READ?

Check out their Halloween selection of books too!

But if it’s a fun Scarecrow story you would like, then may I recommend ‘The Scarecrow’s Wedding’ from Books and Pieces! A lovely story about how two Scarecrows Betty and Harry want to get married, but a wicked Scarecrow Reginald Rake, has plans to ruin it! Harry must act quickly! See what he does to save the day!

This is a recommendation. No commission is awarded if any purchases are made, with books and pieces.

TO CONCLUDE!

In this post, I demo how you can use some of your recycling, with some odd cuts of fabric and available resources to whip up a friendly Scarecrow!

Just imagine surrounding this Scarecrow with tea-lights and small pumpkins, that would look quite effective!

FRIENDLY OR SCARY?

If your choice is friendly, then stick with the project in hand in this post, but if you choose, Scary then simply dress him in dark colours and spook up his features!

ADDED NOTE!

This Scarecrow activity can be done not only for Halloween, but as a fun project to do with your kids at any time!

So what will you go for a friendly or a scary Scarecrow?

I know which one I would choose, which one would you choose?

Have a happy time crafting, and……… Happy Halloween!

Are you looking for some more Halloween inspiration? Then take a look at some previous posts with some more spooky activities that your kids might like to craft too!

6 thoughts on “SCARECROWS AND HALLOWEEN!”

  1. Hi Julia,
    Thank you for this fascinating exploration of the history and evolution of scarecrows, Julia. It’s intriguing to learn how these guardians of crops have transcended time and cultures. Your detailed account from the Egyptians to the Middle Ages and their role in modern Halloween celebrations is both educational and entertaining.

    As we approach Halloween, I can’t help but wonder, have you ever created a scarecrow with a unique twist for your own Halloween decor? Perhaps one that embodies the spirit of Halloween in a fun and creative way? I’d love to hear about any personal experiences or insights you have on crafting scarecrows for this spooky season

    1. Hi Chas, Haha, you have set me up for a challenge! You know, Scarecrows aren’t really within the listing
      of spooks, I mean if it were a take off from ‘Michael’ in Halloween movies, yeah he can be depicted in
      that way, but this is one for the kids!
      Do you remember back in the day in Britain late 60s-70s we had ‘Penny for the Guy’?
      Where kids would make a quick look a-like Scarecrow or the likeness of Guyfawks, out of Dads or any brothers, clothes, preferably rags, and sit him in a pram, on a street calling out ‘Penny for the Guy’ and whatever money kids collected was spent on fireworks!
      I personally never got caught up in that, but it was mainly children that had the nerve to do this! Almost a bit like ‘Trick or Treat now days!
      This got phased off, probably because its not safe for kids to be out on the streets at night, and it became unfashionable thereafter!
      Once again thanks for your comment, glad you enjoyed reading this too, and I will maybe have the kids in my Art-club come up with some of their own ideas in Scarecrow modelling and see what their interpretations are, and I could update my post showing some of these off!
      So here’s wishing you a Happy Halloween! 💀😱

  2. Hi Julia,

    I enjoyed your scarecrow activity! I’m thinking of trying it out on my kids this coming weekend. I have always loved scarecrows, they’re so interesting because they can be both spooky and cute/lovable looking. Also, I loved that you included the history behind scarecrows here. And the little animated scarecrow video is a nice touch! So fun!
    Thanks for sharing this activity!

    1. Hi Nikki, I am so glad you liked this Scarecrow activity and you are going to give it a try this weekend!
      Kids love the spooky side to Halloween, so I wonder if your kids version will be lovable, or scarey?
      Whichever, it will give your children a chance to be creative and have fun using recycling in a productive way!
      I am also glad you enjoyed the video I made, and maybe you can follow that to help in the making of the Scarecrow!
      So Happy crafting and Happy Halloween!👻🎃

  3. Hi Julia,

    I love this article and your website.

    I am going to study this a bit more and I’m going to share with my niece and her friend. They were talking about what to do for Halloween this week, and I’ve just found something that I could help them work on.

    I will let you know what they think and how they get on with working their scarecrows, and also looking at your other ideas.

    Thank you for sharing and keep up the amazing work.

    All the best,

    Tom

    1. That’s great Tom, I love that you can use the ideas I offer and entertain your niece and her friend, especially the Scarecrow activity for Halloween! But no rush, this can be done at leisure, during Halloween week!
      Heads up, you’ll need to keep hold of your cardboard inner tubes, long and small to help with this project and look out for old fabrics or t/shirts you can cut up and use! Oh, have you practiced your needlework?
      Failing that you can staple the shirt and trousers, or use sticky tape instead!
      So thanks for dropping by and I hope your niece and friend have a super time, making their Scarecrow, they’ll just have to decide whether it’s a friendly or scary Scarecrow!
      Happy Halloween!👻🎃

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