13 Best DIY Garden Scarecrow Ideas and Tutorials (step-by-step)

Today we’re looking at 13 DIY garden scarecrows that will keep unwanted pests out of your lawn! Have you ever had this happen to you? You’ve worked hard on your garden all year round, tending to your plants, weeding, watering and spraying, only for some pesky birds to swoop in and devour the fruits of your labor before you even get a chance to pick the first tomato?

Well, here at Fresh Patio, we know that feeling all too well and that’s why we’ve decided to give you some simple, affordable options to help you rid your garden of unwelcome critters this year. Most of these designs can be assembled in an afternoon and are sure to be effective at keeping birds, rodents and nosy neighbors away from your plants! In fact, most of these DIY ideas are so easy to construct, you can involve the whole family.

Looking for something fun to do with the kids, that makes them feel like they’re contributing? Have them run through the house and collect items to decorate your scarecrow or better still, task them with stuffing it full of hay! Your children will be so excited by the prospect of creating a fun friend for the garden and they will love to see the results of their hard work out in the yard everyday.

Scarecrows are also a great way to add some personality to your garden. If you prefer a traditional looking design we have provided some basic options that will work perfectly to keep your crops healthy and safe from dining wildlife, but if you prefer a scarecrow with some flair, we have included some creative ideas for inspiration. You can swap out a traditional head for a Jack-O-Lantern face, create an ethereal garden maiden to tend to your plants, or recreate a member of the family in miniature form.

No matter what your preference, you’re sure to find something on this list that will serve as a handy guideline for how to build a scarecrow for your garden. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

13 DIY Designs

Build realistic, fun, cute and artistic scarecrows! Even make them move and chime!

1. Making a Scarecrow Step by Step Tutorial

Making a Scarecrow

This traditional looking scarecrow is easy to assemble and can be installed in one afternoon. Start by building a cross-shaped frame, using wood or any spare material that is sturdy enough to support some weight and stand up straight. Once you’ve assembled the frame, hammer it into the ground. Now you can start having some fun creating and stuffing the body!

It’s important to remember to build your scarecrow facing the direction of your garden. Put a shirt over the horizontal segment of the frame and secure the waistline and arms with twine, rope or string. You can then stuff the body with straw to build a realistic body shape. Repeat this process for the legs using an old pair of jeans or corduroy pants and finish off with some boots.

In this example a pillowcase is used to shape the head, but you could easily use a sack or sew a custom head shape. Draw or paint on a menacing face and your DIY project is complete!


2. Cute DIY Garden Scarecrow Idea

DIY Garden Scarecrow Ideas

This cute scarecrow was assembled using some materials that were hanging around the house and a $2 straw hat from a thrift store. A perfect creation for keeping the crows out of the pumpkin patch, this design is a great project to assemble with your kids!

This particular project used an old pair of overalls, but you could easily use some old jeans, a dress or apron, the possibilities are endless.  Simply gather up some scrap wood from around your property or pick up some 2 x 4’s from the hardware store and you’re set to go.

We love the strips of fabric decoratively strung across the arms for an added touch of flair. Do you have some old clothes or playful fabrics laying around the house? Consider using them to put together a scarecrow that looks pretty while keeping pests out of your crops.


3. Garden DIY Scarecrow Design for Fall

Garden DIY Scarecrow Design for Fall

If you’ve ever wondered how to build a scarecrow that’s perfect for the autumn months, this pumpkin headed design may be just what you’re looking for. Foam Jack-O-Lantern heads can be easily purchased at most dollar stores for a few bucks and give your design a creative and fun look!

If you don’t have an outfit for your scarecrow, you can drop by a thrift store and find some clothes at a reasonable price before starting your project. This idea from creativehomemaking.com uses a frame shape that will give your scarecrow a realistic shape and height. You may choose to stuff your DIY creation with straw or leave it as is, either way it will be an effective deterrent for keeping crows and critters away from your plants.

All you need for this project is an outfit, some 2 x 4’s, a saw, drill and screws, and a pumpkin (or mannequin) head!


4. Making a Garden Scarecrow with Kids

Making a Garden Scarecrow with Kids

The thing we love most about this DIY scarecrow is its simplistic design! Though it may look like an elaborate project, this guy requires some very basic assembly and can be easily styled even if you’re not the most creative person.

The frame is constructed in a typical cross-shape, with the horizontal wood placed slightly higher to create a crucifix shape. A thicker wooden block is then attached to form the shape of the legs and pants are added and stuffed to bring the legs to life. Once the legs have been formed, pierce boots with the leg stakes to ensure they stay attached and you can start working on the upper body.  A hessian bag stuffed with straw was used to form the torso and head.

After you give your scarecrow some button eyes and a straw hat, it is ready to be perched in the garden. Simply hammer the legs into the ground and your sturdy design is ready to get to work!


5. DIY Dancing Scarecrow Design

DIY Dancing Scarecrow Design

You can bring your DIY creation to life by giving its arms and legs some movement. Most designs are formed by using a T-shape, but you can have your very own dancing scarecrow like this one by using a little ingenuity!

Typically, when people build scarecrows they opt for wood or 2 x 4’s, but you could use poles for a durable construction that can stand upright all year long.  To construct a dancing scarecrow, simply cut the arm and leg segments and secure them at different angles in the areas where knee and elbow joints would be.  Pop on a milk jug or pillowcase head and you’ll instantly transform your design into a dancing sensation full of fanciful fun!


6. Garden Maiden Scarecrow DIY

Garden Maiden Scarecrow DIY

This unique idea comes from ourfairfieldhomeandgarden.com and is a clever take on standard design.  If you’ve been pondering how to make a garden scarecrow that is still pleasing to the eye, consider making your project a garden maiden instead!

The idea is generally the same as making any DIY scarecrow – assemble a frame, find a cute head and style it as you like. The frame for this maiden was created to be strong enough to support a flower pot head and accessories like a flower basket. A floral dress and straw hat make this design a delightful sight in the yard, while still protecting your plants.

Consider creating your design in the form of a garden maiden, if you don’t think a traditional style suits your decor.


7. Seated Scarecrow Design and Tutorial

Seated Scarecrow Design Idea

This handy tutorial from Home Depot is a fun project the whole family can partake in! Constructing a seated scarecrow requires less carpentry skills than building a free-standing version and is perfect for porches or garden spaces.

Begin by building the shoulder support and dressing your scarecrow. Once dressed, it can be stuffed with straw or old plastic grocery bags. This idea includes a pumpkin basket used for collecting Halloween candy as its head.

Once your scarecrow is fully assembled you can seat him on a crate, Muskoka chair or bail of straw and start building a display around it! You can use pumpkins, flowers, wicker baskets, brooms, signs to fill in the space around your creation for an eye-catching display.


8. How to Make a Mini Garden Scarecrow

How to Make a Mini Garden Scarecrow

Not all scarecrows have to be scary! This miniature creature is an adorable project your kids will love to participate in and it requires no drilling or fastening tools.

Make the limbs first, by bundling straw with elastic bands, twine or craft wire and stuffing into clothing. By cutting burlap into small strips and placing it in an X shape, you can easily create a head by placing straw in the middle and folding the burlap pieces over and securing them with an elastic band.  Yarn was used in this example to make hair, but you can get creative and use whatever supplies you have laying around for a kitschy look.

Make multiple miniatures to form an entire scarecrow family or just display one in your window on Halloween night to welcome trick-or-treaters to your home!


9. Garden Scarecrow that Resembles Your Dad

A Garden Scarecrow that Resembles Your Dad

A scarecrow can be more than just a means of keeping unwanted pests out of your garden. If you get creative a DIY scarecrow can become a design element in your yard and a nod to your personality when fashioned after someone in your household!

Why not use some of dad’s old clothes to create a scarecrow version of him to watch over your yard? Once you’ve built your frame and secured it into the ground, you can dress it in the latest fashion’s from dad’s closet and stuff it with straw to create a rounded shape. To make a head, simply use some burlap and straw to form a shape and add some felt details for facial features.

Neighbors will do a double-take whenever they pass by, wondering how long the man of the house has been standing out back protecting the garden!


10. Decorative DIY Garden Scarecrow Idea

Decorative DIY Garden Scarecrow Ideas

Here is another example of a decorative DIY scarecrow that adds to the design of the yard. This adorable idea was brought to life using scrap lumber and an old picket fence post that fell over.

Few tools are required to assemble this design.  A saw was used to cut the round face and the cross shaped frame can be built using a hammer and nails or drywall screws.  You can use creative liberty with materials you already have to keep this project inexpensive and finish off the design with some old clothes you have.  If you don’t have a suitable outfit, Goodwill and The Salvation Army are a great place to find affordable donations that you won’t feel bad about exposing to the elements.

With any project, the key is to have fun and create something that you enjoy looking at! This project is a cute, but still functional addition to your garden that will keep snacking birds and animals away from your plants while putting a smile on your face.


11. Charming Artistic Scarecrow Design

Charming Artistic Scarecrow Design

This colorful DIY scarecrow is perfect for artistic types who want to add a pop of color everywhere they go! If you’re looking to keep animals out of your vegetables without scaring off your children, this charming design and fabric banner is a wonderful solution.

The wood dimensions used for this project are one 2×4 and one 1×2 piece to create the arms and torso.  No legs or stuffing is required to assemble this scarecrow, which means the entire project can be completed in less than an hour. Just use some screws to fasten the frame and keep some thumbtacks handy for attaching the clothing and voila!

The detailed tutorial from redeemyourground.com covers everything you need to know in order to recreate this delightful idea and fabric banner of your own. Sure to be loved by everyone in your family and feared by everyone in your grass!


12. A Very Realistic Scarecrow DIY Tutorial

A Very Realistic Scarecrow DIY Tutorial

We love the amount of effort that went into creating this DIY design. From the custom sewn head to the anklet stockings stuffed with straw, this is a sturdy and consistent scarecrow who is frighteningly realistic!

Like with all of the other projects on this list, the frame construction is very straight forward and easy to assemble.  Two wooden stakes were used to form the cross shape and the rest of the construction was built around that. If you’re not a strong sewer the head is what will likely be the most challenging, but the creators at Gardener’s Notebook offered ways around that in the tutorial.

This is the type of scarecrow that gets results, but still looks great in your garden. You will definitely protect your plants from pesky birds and animals with this idea.


13. Make a Scarecrow that Moves and Chimes!

Making a Scarecrow that Moves and Chimes

We can’t get enough of this precious scarecrow who’s hilarious expression will confuse and perplex visiting critters and amuse and entertain friends and family. This project is a little more complex than most of the other DIY ideas on our list, but for good reason…. This version of a scarecrow for your yard, moves and chimes!

It’s made of PVC and metal pipe fittings, plywood and woven wire actually turns with the wind to give those crows an extra scary warning to stay away.  To assemble the body you will need a drill, but no other power tools are required to build this masterpiece. The face and details can be constructed with old pantyhose, buttons and clothing from around the house. Though the project requires a little extra effort, the results are well worth it so grab your partner and tackle this project together.

In the end, you will have a design that is lightweight and easy to transport, but that is sturdy and reliable and won’t blow over in the breeze. You garden will be protected from all angles with this moving scarecrow that will delight your senses, while keeping unwanted pests away.


About Joe Hats 177 Articles
Joe Hats is the founder of FreshPatio.com. Joe has been remodeling homes since 1997 when he bought his first fixer-upper. He has built many pieces of indoor and outdoor furniture with his own hands and has every DIY woodworking tool in his possession. Coming from an engineering background, he has designed and built many patio fixture plans. Following his wife's lead, he is also very passionate about home decor and together they keep track of the latest trends. When he is not remodeling or trying a new woodworking tool, he is busy gardening or designing a new outdoor plan.