Friday, September 19, 2014

How I Made my Shecrow

I purchased some used clothing on Etsy and eBay over two years ago. My plan was to create an elegant scarecrow, a "Shecrow", in fact. Unfortunately,  I made the mistake of mentioning this plan to my engineer husband. Next thing I knew we were launched, or rather he launched into a discussion on how to rig a device so the whole thing wouldn't blow away in a strong wind. His discourse was so detailed that my head was spinning. All this to build a scarecrow? So many have survived in farm fields for years with only two crisscrossed wood stakes holding them up. I really appreciated my husband's input but it was a tad overwhelming.

So I waited until I finally had some time, and when said husband would be away on a business trip.

We had one too many Shepard's hooks for hanging plants in the backyard, and so I figured one could be used as part of a scarecrow armature. I selected the simplest one with only one hook. With two discarded wood stakes left over from last winter's snowstorm, and a couple of trips to the local hardware store for some U-bolts to securely hold the wood stakes to the shepard's hook, I got to work.

To the left you can see how I criscrossed the wood stakes. I nailed them together  after drilling a hole for nail, in the center, then used u-bolts to anchor the shepard's hook to the stakes in three places. I used pliers to really secure the screws of the U-bolts. I also wrapped some thick wire where the two stakes overlap the hook to really keep it secure.

I laid out the clothing, a stretchy turtle neck, denim jumper, flannel shirt, floaty scarf, garden gloves, vintage flour bag for head and straw hat. Fortunately the turtle neck stretched over each side of the horizontal wood stake. I thought it would look odd that the curve of the hook would make one shoulder of the Scarecrow higher than the other, but after donning the jumper-I had to cut the straps and re-pin them after getting the jumper over the armature then putting the flannel shirt on, one hardly noticed the arch on one side.

I stuffed the vintage flour sack with plastic bags and slid over the vertical wood stake, then secured with yellow scarf.

I prefer scarecrows not be stuffed, they're more elegant this way, they don't look like saggy people with sausage legs; and when a gentle breeze blows, my Shecrow's scarf will float gently in the air. The bottom of the Shepard's hook has two stakes that slide firmly into the ground. I still need to secure the gloves with twine, but I think she looks pretty neat. FYI, If you need one of those tall Shepard hooks for an armature-check Craigslist for some deals. Hardware stores usually sell those wooden stakes cheap, and select clothing that will float gently in the breeze for added elegance.

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