Pumpkin headed scarecrow.
I decided to make this scarecrow as a chance for my daughter and myself to have a weekend project. It is inspired by the scarecrow from the movie sleepy hollow, although I put my own twist on it because I like to try to be original.
Step 1: Materials
First gather up need materials.
Plaster 20lbs (2 ten lb buckets)
Cloth strips (I used old T-shirts cut up)
Bucket for mixing plaster
1-8’ 1-6’ and 1-18” piece of pipe ½” in diameter. Threaded on both ends.
1-four way pipe connector.
Something to use as a stand. (cinder blocks will work, I used an old homemade jack stand.)
Some long branches or twigs (for scary long fingers.)
Step 2: The Framework and Body.
I first started by placing the 8' section of pipe into the jack stand to hold it upright. Anything will work as a stand as long as it keeps the project from falling over. I then began designing a rib cage out of the chicken wire. Cut the chicken wire to desired length that will allow you to make a barrel shape in the desired diameter and length of the rib cage. After wiring the barrel shape together use pliers, or side cuts to cut out slots on opposite sides of the wire barrel to create spaces between the ribs. Wire the rib cage to the 8’ piece of pipe close to the top. Next do the same with a much narrower cylinder made from chicken wire and run it from about 6” inside the rib cage to the bottom of the pipe, this will be the trunk of the scarecrow.
Step 3: The Head.
I next decided to make the pumpkin head so that my daughter could work on that while I planned out the rest of the scarecrow. I cut a large square piece of chicken wire and formed it into a ball. Takes a little trimming and bending but eventually got the desired shape. Next I mixed some plaster and dipped the cloth strips into the plaster making sure to get a good coating on both sides. Then started laying the strips on the chicken wire ball keeping it as smooth as possible. (Don’t mix too much plaster at once, it sets up fast.)
Step 4: Back to the Body
While my daughter worked on the head I started doing the same with the rib cage. Once the rib cage was completed I then added roots to the bottom of the trunk to make it look more like a twisted vine for a body. I used more chicken wire and formed 3 cones and wired them to the bottom of the trunk at an angle to achieve this. Next I started applying the plaster strips to the trunk. Starting at the roots and wrapping them around and upward giving them a twisted look. I didn’t smooth these out but instead let them wrap with folds to give the trunk that vine look.
Step 5: The Arms and Hands.
Next its time to work on the arms. With the four way connector screwed securely to the top of the 8’ pipe I cut the 6’ pipe in two and bent both 3 foot sections. (my pipe bender is missing so I uses a sledge hammer and 2 large rocks). I then screwed the threaded ends into the four way connector. (be careful not to damage threads during bending process.) I tightened the arm pipes so that they would look like the scarecrow was reaching outward. I then wrapped the arms in the same manner as the trunk and balled the plaster strips up on the ends to make hands.
Next I cut 4 lengths of tree branches and wired them together. Then wired them to the top of the hand. Then wrapped the end with more plaster strips to hide the wire and make a better looking transition from finger to hand. Then I repeated the steps for the other hand.
Step 6: Putting It All Together.
By this time the head was dry and my daughter wanted to start painting something. So we took a break from plastering and started painting the trunk. We used a combination of green, grey, and black paint. We painted it in the same manner as I wrapped it, going in stripes around and upward to keep the vine look going.
Next it was time to give the pumpkin head a face. My daughter drew a face on the pumpkin and using a utility knife and side cuts I cut out the eyes and mouth. Then we attached the 18” piece of pipe to the tip of the four way connector, and cut a ½” hole in the top and bottom of the pumpkin head. We then slid the head on the 18” piece of pipe and painted it orange with some black to give it dimension. I then decided that I had made the ribcage too low so I added another rib at the top using chicken wire and plastering it to blend with the rest of the body. I took a piece of plaster strip and wrapped it around the part of the pipe sticking out of the top of the head to make a vine and painted it green and black. I then cut two 1” holes in the lower back part of the head and ran 2 small craft lights into the pumpkin.
Step 7: Moving Into Place.
We moved it around to the front of the house and plugged it in. It makes a creepy addition to the rest of the graveyard. It was rather heavy and awkward to move, I would suggest scaling it down if you don't have help to move it.