How to Make a Scarecrow with a Shovel

A scarecrow can not only be a colorful and interesting décor to add to your garden, it can also be an effective way to scare off unwanted birds and wild animals such as deer and elk that might want to eat your flowers or vegetable leaves. You'll find it surprisingly simple to make a colorful and effective scarecrow with very little more than a shovel, in just 5 easy steps.

Tools and material you'll need:

  • Long handled shovel
  • Brightly colored shirt
  • 3 bales of hay or straw
  • Woman's skirt
  • Apron
  • Two 16-inch wood dowels
  • Two  4-foot wood dowels (or rebar pieces)
  • Artificial or dried sunflowers
  • Gloves
  • Fine steel wool
  • Water base paint primer
  • Beige water base paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Permanent marker
  • Brimmed hat
  • Fishing line
  • Hammer
  • Nail

Step 1: Paint the Shovel Blade

On the convex (bottom) side of a shovel blade, if the surface is rusted, use steel wool to remove rust. This will leave a light covering of red dust from the rust. Rinse off this dust water and let the shovel blade dry. Apply a coat of primer paint that will adhere to metal, and let it dry. Finally, apply a coat beige colored paint and let it dry.

Step 2: Draw A Face On the Scarecrow

Using the permanent marker, draw features of a face, the eyes, nose, mouth and eyebrows. Make the lines broad enough that they can be seen from beyond your garden's edge.

Step 3: Make the Scarecrow Base

Lay a straw bale horizontally on the ground where the scarecrow will stand. Stand a second bale vertically on top of the horizontal bale, then stand a third bale vertically on top of the first verticle bale. Push the shovel handle down through the three bales of straw. This secure the vertical bales and keep them from falling.

Step 4: Creating the Scarecrow

Create the scarecrow's arms by using the hammer to pound dowels into opposite sides of the top bale. Slip the skirt down over the top bale and pull it down until it fits over the bottom vertical bale. Button the shirt and slip it over the top bale with the buttons facing the same direction as the scarecrow's face and the dowels protruding through the shirts' sleeves. Fill the shirt's sleeves with straw, fit the gloves onto the ends of the dowel that protrudes from the shirt's sleeves, and finally put the apron on the scarecrow.

Step 5: Attaching the Hat and Sunflowers

Fill the inside of the hat to give it bulk so it doesn't collapse, then place it on top of the shovel blade. Use the nail to make holes in the hat, thread fishing line through these holes, and tie it to the shovel to keep the hat from blowing off.

Finally, push the sunflowers stems into the holes you made in the hat, add more sunflowers into the waist and pants pockets of the scarecrow, and you have created your scarecrow.