Scarecrow Season (October) will soon be upon us. Have you thought about making one this year? Last year over 350 of them were created to celebrate Weston’s 300th Birthday. At least that’s the number we were aware of, and we saw many that we didn’t know were going to be out there as well. This project has certainly grown in scope over its almost 10-year history, and now has visitors and tour busses driving through our town to see them.
For a variety of reasons, the Community League Garden Club will no longer be this project’s leaders, but that hasn’t stopped groups from organizing themselves. Starting this year, businesses are organizing businesses (thanks to Sweet Pea’s Amanda Rapp). Public School participation is being encouraged by Cheryl Maloney, Superintendent. Regis College’s Katya Rego is encouraging clubs to make and plant them at Regis. Faith Rand of Roxbury-Weston Pre-school said they will be making some and she will encourage other pre-schools to do the same. And Daina Selvig has just sent an email to a bevy of friends for the same reason since her family is into creating several as they did last year. Two other individuals, Paul Flack and Biz Paynter, have also expressed a willingness to plant theirs again in their neighborhoods. We hope many in town will join forces and contribute some for the enjoyment of all. And, of course, if someone wants to become this project’s over-all leader, that would be wonderful.
If you want to be a part of this new Weston Tradition, here is what you need to know (#6 is most important):
1. Gather stuff: old clothes, old uniforms, old Halloween or dance costumes, masks, scarves, hats, crowns, belts, capes, pants or tights for legs, and embellishments like jewelry, tools, computers, brooms, balls, books, flags, lawn furniture, chairs, desks, signs, anything that will work with your theme. Consider making several using a group theme: kids playing ball, a choir singing, friends gardening together, the whole family, etc. Be creative!
2. Get a 4’, 5’ or 6’ tall wood stake to support the body of each scarecrow, or a shorter stake if your scarecrow(s) will be sitting down. (Ogilvie’s carries stakes that are perfect for this. Ask Barry to show you what you’ll need.)
3. Attach a cross piece (a stick, tree branch, coat hanger, etc.) to the stake using tape, string, or nails, about shoulder high to support shirts, jackets, capes, etc., leaving enough of the stake available to support a “head”.
4. Slide clothing onto stake and cross piece. Using staple gun, staple back of clothing to wood cross piece or to stake directly. Stuff old newspapers wadded up, bubble wrap, or straw (not hay) into shirts and pants. Ogilvie’s, Home Depot, Christmas Tree Shop, A.C. Moore, and some grocery stores, often sell straw. A $3 – $5 small bale will make about 5 Scarecrows, or more.
5. For head: Stuff a small plastic bag or old pillow case with old newspapers or bubble wrap wadded up. Pull the stuffed bag over stake. Tape it tightly to the stake. A pillow or a pumpkin could also be used for the head. Decorate “face” with eyes, nose, mouth, etc., or use a Halloween mask for facial features. Tape hat, crown, or scarf to head, if desired.
6. Plant Scarecrows solidly in the ground using a hammer or mallet, at the beginning of October. Many poorly planted scarecrows fall over from wind or rain, so solidly planting them is a must. Check on them occasionally to make sure they’re still standing. If you wish to plant your Scarecrows on town land, you will need town permission. Contact the Town Manager’s office for details. And, if you are planting them on town land, they’ll need to be removed the day before Halloween to prevent vandalism.
Have fun making them! Have fun watching others admire them! And THANKS for being a part of this Weston Tradition!!!
Pat Gowdy, CLGC’s Scarecrow Lady