How to Make a Scarecrow that Moves and Chimes


action scarecrow front

Several years ago, when crows kept stealing the vegetable seedlings from our gardens before they even had a chance to grow, I asked my husband for a simple, no-kill solution. His remedy was centuries old, but just as effective as ever – a scarecrow.

When I heard the racket coming from his shop, however, I knew this bird-scarer would not be a couple of 2x4s hammered together. No, he came out smiling with a man-sized mannequin that would frighten the daylights out of any critter contemplating sprouts for dinner. Now, that’s how to make a scarecrow. Clothed and with his pantyhose head in place, our scarecrow took on a personality, which of course, warranted a name. We called him “Woody.” For years he kept the squirrels, rabbits and crows at bay. If you have never made a scarecrow, you will be surprised at the fun and how well they keep above-ground pests from pilfering your produce.

My inventive husband, always seeking ways to improve perfection, decided to remake Woody recently, adding more motion and sound. We now have “Woody the Action Scarecrow,” who rotates like a weather vane and dangles wind chimes to startle the stealthiest crop robbers.

Not only does Woody stand guard day and night looking ominous, he spins in the wind with a warning sign as a sail. Since we do actually like the furry and feathered creatures that surround us, the sign instructs them to simply stay outside our garden. For the critters that cannot read, owl eyes on the sign backside illustrate the message clearly. Swinging from Woody’s other hand, chimes made of electrical conduit ring like old school bells.

My husband used scrap PVC pipe and elbows, woven wire, plywood and metal pipe to fashion this new action scarecrow. Meanwhile, I assembled Woody’s head of pantyhose, pillow innards, buttons and three-tone yarn. Of course, a scarecrow can be made of any materials on hand. Even something as simple as a plastic bag tied to a stick will work – for a while. My husband’s version, though, has proven to last and keep deer and crows out of the garden for years. It is also lightweight and easy to move around the garden. Plus it’s an awfully cute addition to the backyard.

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