Introduction: Solar Fox-Scarer - Instructables From the Beach #1

About: Aiming to get a Show and tell maker fair going in March 2009. Anyone in UK or willing to travel, please let me know.

On our holidays on the Isle of May we always bring back loads of stuff from beachcombing. This instructable is based on a disgusting dead football. More instructables from the beachcombings to follow.

In this instructable I will show you how I made a solar powered fox-scarer using mainly stuff I found on the beach.

Old football
Two wire coathangers
Bin bag, or any plastic or cloth
Some zipties or bits of wire
Solar lamp (cost �ocal �
sharp knife

Why do I need this? I live in central Glasgow with a garden completely surrounded by quite a high wall, near a busy main road etc, but nevertheless my garden is regularly visited by foxes. They dig up my onions and potatoes and drive me mad. Or else they sit on my lawn in the sun and taunt me. This is an attempt to keep them away.

Step 1: Cutting the Ball to Make the Mouth

An old sewn football is ideal for this as it is quite stiff and holds its shape. A plastic ball would do but might not hold its shape so well.

Take a sharp knife, stanley knife, or craft knife, and gently run it along the join between two sections so you can feel it scoring and then cutting the stitches.

The aim is to cut a "mouth" that looks suitably scary. The ball I used had hexagon and pentagon shapes so I could cut a mouth that looked a bit like huge teeth.

At this point I realised the inside was really yucky so i had to rinse it out a bit.

Step 2: Cutting the Ball to Make the Eyes

In this step you will cut two shapes out to represent eyes. The eyes should be above the mouth and to the sides of the "head". I cut the eyes within the sections but you could cut out a whole section if you wanted.

Shape doesnt matter but straight lines are easiest so triangles or squares are good.

Step 3: Cutting the Ball for the Solar Panel

I used a solar lantern they were selling very cheap in one of the many �res in town. This is a solar lantern that charges in the daylight and comes on automatically when it gets dark.

I cut out one whole section in the top of the head so the solar panel could get to the light.

Step 4: Fitting the Solar Lantern

The lantern fits within the ball so that its solar panel is directly where the hole has been cut in the top of the ball. I secured the lantern in place by tying it with wires through smaller holes around the hole. The wires were tied around the lantern but you could drill holes in the lantern rim instead.

Step 5: Making the Body

The head is scary but it needs some sort of body. I fixed the ends of two wire coat hangers to the back of the head, with zipties, and taped the other ends of the hangers together. I draped a plastic bag over the top so it would flap in the breeze and look vaguely animated.

Step 6: Place the Scarer

I hung the fox-scarer on the side of the raised bed I need to protect. The wind catches the plastic bag and even surprises me. I am hoping that seeing the eyes light at night will also put the fox off a bit. I imagine it would work for other animals too.

I have also netted the beds and put bits of umbrella wire at fox height to be even more offputting.

I plan to move my fox-scarer around the garden. this is easy because I can just hang it anywhere that it will get enough light for the solar panel.