Monday, September 27, 2010
The Family Scarecrow | Family Economics
Soon enough the leaves will fall from the trees, pumpkins will grow big and plump and harvest time will begin. Fall is my favorite time of year, when the crisp air cools the warm sunshine and the colors of the vineyards all around us begin to change and the hills turn golden. This all means one very important thing to my family—time to bring out the scarecrow!
Homemade scarecrows are such silly fun. We made ours many years ago and continue year after year to drag him out of the barn, roll him down the long driveway in the rusty red wagon and prop him up by tying him to our mailbox post. At this point, no doubt, his stuffing needs shifting and his boots reattaching and the wire in his arms a bit of re-bending.
He was made using an old pair of overalls that I no longer wore. We had a long section of foam rubber left over from a cushion project in our motor home and bent in two; it made the perfect set of legs for stuffing into the pant legs. His torso is an orange life-vest filled wool shirt that once belonged to my husband. I wrapped the pillow with long, sturdy, but bendable wire that then ran the length of the inside of each sleeve. At the cuffs, old stuffed leather work gloves were cinched at the wrist to the wire cuffs. A salvaged broomstick acts as the spine and neck for attaching the head. His head is simply another small pillow tucked into an old white pillowcase. I sewed old coat buttons on for the eyes and an actual baby carrot on for the nose. Year after year that carrot is still there! I stitched on a straw hat and drew on a bit of a sideways smile with a permanent marker.
Our scarecrow's shoes are my husband’s old leather boots and tucked into his neck wrists and ankles are shreds of hay and straw from our sheep pen. Occasionally I will find colorful leaves to add to the shreds. Once he is secured to the post, I bend and position his arms, one to appear to be holding on to the post and the other waving at neighbors. Having only light-weight wire instead of stuffed arms keeps the arm swaying in the autumn breeze, a really funny effect.
A few years ago I found some wire footed crows on clearance after Halloween that I now attach to his hat and shoulder and place pumpkins and bushels at his feet. We live just over a hill, and he still startles me every time I crest the hill to come home.
The best thing about our scarecrow is that he isn’t just Halloween decor. He can go up weeks before Halloween and stay up for weeks after. He’s seen plenty of wind and rain over the years and is still as cute as ever.
Do you have a scarecrow? Tell us all about it!