Posted 7th Jun 2016
Scarecrows were originally used by farmers to stop hungry birds destroying their crops. Although nowadays sparrows and crows may not be so easily fooled, these cheeky chappies still make an eye-catching addition to your garden or veg plot
1. To make a scarecrow you will need: two rough-sawn lengths of wood, measuring 28x48x2000mm and 24x38x1000mm, a pencil, a saw, nails, a large hammer (preferably rubber), straw, twine, scissors, a piece of hessian (about 80x80cm), old clothes, 4m coir rope and an old hat.
2. Using a saw, cut the longer length of wood into a point at one end so that it can be hammered into the ground. Tip: Many DIY stores will saw the wood for you when you buy it.
3. Nail the two pieces of wood together in a cross (sharpened end facing down). The distance from cross to top should be about 30-40cm. Hammer the wooden cross into the ground to a depth of at least 30cm so that it is stable. If the ground is very hard, use a metal rod to make a pilot hole for the stake.
4. Make the scarecrow’s head by tying clumps of straw securely to the top of the vertical stake using twine. Build up the shape gradually. As soon as you have a good-sized head shape, cover with sacking and tie securely with twine.
5. To make braces, pull two pieces of coir rope through the belt loops on an old pair of trousers and knot. Next add a shirt and waistcoat. The looser the clothes, the easier it is to dress the scarecrow. Upper garments with buttons, such as old shirts and jackets, are ideal. Tie a rope round the waist instead of a belt.
6. Make hands out of straw. Stick a bunch into each sleeve and fix with twine.
7. Place a daisy or other wildflower in the buttonhole to add a pretty detail. Give your scarecrow a fresh flower every so often to keep him looking perky.
8. For the finishing touch top your scarecrow off with an old straw hat. Enjoy!