How to Make a Tin Can Scarecrow

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Scarecrows are a traditional symbol of the harvest and a practical way of deterring birds from feasting on garden plants. The scarecrow dates back more than 3,000 years. These human-shaped objects were found in ancient Egypt and ancient Greece. The Greeks carved their scarecrows from wood. Traditional Japanese scarecrows are formed by hanging clothing on two poles arranged in a cross shape. Today, scarecrows are mainly found in backyard gardens and holiday displays, while larger farming operations rely on more advanced methods to keep birds from eating crops.

Things You'll Need

  • Twine
  • Hot Glue Gun (Optional)
  • Razor Blade
  • Chair For Scarecrow
  • Aluminum Cans, Different Sizes
  • Pencil
  • Electric Drill Or Hammer And Screwdriver
  • Hat (Optional)
  • Paper
  • Tape
  • Recycled Metal -- Bottle Caps And Pie Plates

Arrange your cans and recycled metal objects in the rough shape of your scarecrow on a flat metal surface. Use smaller cans for the arms and legs and larger cans for the torso and head. If you have a pie tin available, try using it as a hat or place it between the torso and the legs. Metal caps can be used as facial features, toes or decoration. Attach any smaller metal pieces using a hot glue gun. When you are happy with how your scarecrow is laid out, sketch out your design on a piece of paper.

Drill holes in the center of the end of each can using an electric drill. If you do not have a drill available, holes can also be made by hammering a screw into the metal and then removing it.

Wrap a piece of tape around the end of a piece of twine to make a tapered end that will be easier to thread through the holes. Thread the twine through the torso and head, and knot the twine at the top of the head. The twine should be cut at the bottom of the torso, leaving a length of about 12 inches.

Wrap tape around another piece of twine and thread it through the cans that will form one of the arms. Knot the twine at the hand end of the arm and leave a length of about 12 inches loose at the shoulder end of the arm. Repeat this step with the second arm. Attach the arms to the body by knotting the shoulder pieces to the twine between the torso and head.

Thread the scarecrow's legs in the same fashion used for threading the arms. For the legs, the extra twine should extend from the hip end of the legs. Attach the legs to the body by knotting this extra twine to the extra twine that extends from the bottom of the torso.

Place a chair in the garden or area where your scarecrow will do the scaring and arrange your scarecrow on it. Use twine to tie the scarecrow to the chair at his neck and below the torso. You could also use sticks or stakes to brace it. If you do not have an extra chair or prefer your scarecrow in a standing position, add a loop of twine or a hook to the top of the scarecrow's head and hang it from a tree branch.


  • Use caution when working with metal cans. The edges of the cans can be very sharp, as can the edges of any holes drilled into the cans.