Monday, October 4, 2010

How to Make a Scarecrow

Want to make a scarecrow for the HarvestFest Scarecrow Stroll but feel as though you lack the technical know-how? If so, you're not alone. Building a scarecrow that stands up against the elements - or even just stands up - is not as easy as it looks. Thankfully, Rockport's resident scarecrow expert, Meredyth Impey, gave Sue Andersen (Rockport PTO board member as well as Rockport Festivals Committee member) a tutorial last year on the art of crafting a basic scarecrow, and now Sue is sharing Meredyth's tips with the rest of us. (Meredyth is the manager of the Rockport clothing store Willoughby's, which just so happens to be the site of some of the best scarecrows ever seen on the on the eastern seaboard).

The following is from Sue Andersen:
Two years ago the Rockport PTO participated in its first Scarecrow Stroll. Suffice to say that it was fortunate that we were placed in an area that didn’t see many visitors. Last year we participate once again but decide to guarantee that our scarecrow was believable by asking several students to play the part of a human scarecrow much like the human statues that can be seen at Faneuil Hall.

After hearing me mention my inability to make a competitive scarecrow, Meredyth Impey, the creator of many People’s Choice Award-winning scarecrows, gave me a lesson. Together we created the scarecrow that greeted visitors on their way into Rockport. The instructions are as follows:

You will need:

1 turtleneck type shirt

1 pair of tights or leggings

2 large shoeboxes

Many safety pins

Many, many plastic grocery bags (or some sort of filler)

1 plastic milk jug or pumpkin

5’ to 6’ stake

Clothing to dress your scarecrow. Don’t forget hat, gloves and shoes or boots.

Stuff the tights and turtleneck with plastic bags. Use one of the shoeboxes vertically to act as the rib cage. The second shoebox should be placed in the top half of the tights horizontally to act as the hips. Pin the bottom of the shirt to the top of the tights. (be liberal with the pins.) Stuff more bags in to fill out the form. Tie the cuffs with twine. Dress the torso and legs with your scarecrow's clothing.

Using your 5’ to 6’ foot stake, feed it through the back of the clothing. The milk jug or pumpkin will be the head. Push the mouth of the milk jug over the stake. Use a piece of burlap or fabric and drape it over the jug and tie at the neck.

Use your imagination to create the face, based on a theme if you'd like. (Meredyth covered her milk jug with shredded money that had been taken out of circulation, decoupaging her scarecrow's head to create a banker scarecrow.) Tie on the gloves, place scarecrow in the shoes or boots and top with a hat. Decorate with straw or silk leaves. Voila! You have a scarecrow worthy of competing!