My husband wanted a scarecrow for our garden, but not just any scarecrow–he wanted none other than Ray Bolger, from the Wizard of Oz. It sounded like a fun project, so I gave it a try. Starting with the basic mannequin mold head, and referring to Internet photos, I built up the face over a two day period. I worked pretty fast and without too much deliberating.
The hat was the most difficult part! I bought ticking, or stiff cotton canvas. Since I didn’t know where to begin making a hat that would fit him well, I first tried to follow a website on how to make a witch’s hat–I thought I would modify it, since pictures showed him wearing a hat with a rounded peak and a narrow brim–but the algebraic formulas proved too daunting. So I did what I always do: estimate. I ended up having to sew the brim twice, but I was happy with the result. I sewed wrinkles into the peak, so it would curve upward. Then I sprayed it with a leftover can of black spray paint.
Here he is in the back of the truck, on his way down to the garden. He’s got a pair of Rich’s old jeans, a worn-out pair of gloves, and a thrift-shop plaid shirt. His head is sprayed with several coats of poly-acrylic sealer, and is stuffed with bubble-wrap, so he won’t rot. This is the first time I’m putting a paper mache work outside to weather the elements, so I’ll be interested to see how well he holds up.
Adding his collar, and making final adjustments. I have built several life-size standing forms before, for Halloween, and my practice is to make a frame from PVC. This time, however, I had Rich pound in a 1″x 2″ with a crosspiece for the arms, because scarecrows are traditionally erected this way. I only wish I had some straw to stick here and there, so it looked as though he were stuffed with it (well, maybe next year).
And here he is, guarding our tomatoes!