01 of 15
Scary Halloween Decoration
Ideas for Halloween Scarecrows
Pictures of scarecrows can get your creative juices flowing as you attempt to beautify your yard. Sick of displaying the same Halloween scarecrow every year? These pictures will give you fresh ideas for fall decorating themes.
Some of these pictures were shot at the Pick'n Patch in Stanley, NY, which decorated its grounds in the fall of 2011 with a Halloween scarecrow display. Combining scarecrows with wood cut-outs, they created an ensemble inspired by Mother... Goose nursery rhymes! Besides drawing customers, such Halloween scarecrow displays are a great source for decorating ideas to use in your own yard.
An array of decorating possibilities resides under the deceivingly simple banner, "scarecrow." You can create Halloween scarecrows to convey a range of emotions, from scary themes to the downright comic. The trick (or treat) often lies in how they're displayed, which gets us into the arena of props; I show examples in my pictures. View my Scarecrow Ideas gallery for more themes and see my tutorial on how to make a scarecrow once you're done browsing and are ready to get creative! Or for a scary variation, read my step-by-step instructions for making a life-sized Grim Reaper, a project I illustrate in pictures from beginning to end, including how to create the perfect background for your Halloween display.
As the name suggests, a scarecrow was originally used to scare crows. I don't know how crows feel about this decoration, but kids will find him plenty scary!
The scary scarecrow in the picture above is something of a cross between an executioner and Frankenstein. The head of this figure resembles an executioner's mask. Meanwhile, the scary scarecrow's hands say "Frankenstein." Either way, the hulking, ungainly posture and ragged clothes are fitting. Compare the figure with the scary scarecrow in the next photo, which uses a different theme but is equally blood-curdling....Continue to 2 of 15 below.
02 of 15
Skeleton + Wings = Angel of Death
The skeleton work on this scary scarecrow is well done. The skull and bones are painted on burlap -- appropriate, burlap being a traditional scarecrow material.
But the wings really "make" this scary scarecrow. The Angel of Death (or Grim Reaper) is a wonderful Halloween theme and sure to scare the neighborhood kids silly! Our decorations call attention to dying on Halloween as they do on no other holiday, a fact explained by the origins of Halloween.Continue to 3 of 15 below.
03 of 15
Scarecrow Picture: Jason Voorhees and a Halloween Spider
The scarecrow in the picture above wears a "Jason Voorhees" hockey mask. He's a scary scarecrow, but he seems to have his hands full with a Halloween spider....
Jason Voorhees is a famous horror character from the Friday the 13th series of films. As such, it is only fitting that he has joined older horror icons such as the Werewolf as an inspiration for current-day Halloween decorations, including scary scarecrows. If you wish to go back even further than that (much further!), you can... base your scarecrows and other Halloween decorations on characters from Greek mythology, such as Medusa.
Click the links below to access pumpkin stencils for Jason Voorhees, the Werewolf, and Medusa, respectively:Continue to 4 of 15 below.
04 of 15
Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater
As an indicator of the diversity of scarecrow decorations, with this photo we move from horror-inspired scarecrows to Halloween decor inspired by Mother Goose.
And surely there's not much about the Mother Goose nursery rhymes that's scary! Of all the Mother Goose nursery rhymes, "Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater" probably lends itself most to decorating with Halloween scarecrows, since it involves that fixture of Halloween, the pumpkin:
Peter, Peter, pumpkin eater,
Had a wife and... couldn't keep her.
He put her in a pumpkin shell,
And there he kept her very well.
Peter and his wife can be represented by simple scarecrows. The real work in setting up this Halloween display will be in the making of the wooden pumpkin cut-out.Continue to 5 of 15 below.
05 of 15
Scarecrow Pictures: Hey, Diddle, Diddle
It takes a lot of work to recreate the scene from the Mother Goose nursery rhyme, "Hey, Diddle, Diddle" because there are so many characters involved....
Hey, diddle, diddle,
The cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon.
The little dog laughed to see such sport,
And the dish ran away with the spoon.
The cat scarecrow in the picture above looks very stylish with its fiddle, while the dog scarecrow is clothed in a standard dog Halloween costume. The other characters in the Mother Goose... nursery rhyme are represented with painted wooden plaques.Continue to 6 of 15 below.
06 of 15
Little Miss Muffet Scarecrow
The closest a Mother Goose nursery rhyme comes to being scary -- especially if you're an arachnophobe -- is "Little Miss Muffet"....
That makes a Little Miss Muffet scarecrow appropriate for Halloween. Of course, what's Little Miss Muffet without her spider? Indeed, the spider is a rock star for this holiday with or without Little Miss Muffet, as evidenced by Halloween spider inflatables, for example.
Little Miss Muffet
Sat on a tuffet,
Eating her curds and whey;
Along came a spider,
Wh...o sat down beside her,
And frightened Miss Muffet away.
The spider in the picture above is represented by a simple cut-out. But the genius of the display is in the scarecrow. I love the way the artist conveyed Little Miss Muffet's sense of horror through the shape of the scarecrow's mouth.Continue to 7 of 15 below.
07 of 15
There Was an Old Woman
The old woman scarecrow and shoe cut-out shown in this picture are pretty straightforward....
Although the cut-out painting is a bit tricky: Use this picture as a model when drawing on the shoelaces.
What truly struck me as a stroke of genius in this Halloween scarecrow display was the way the old woman's children are represented: namely, by Jack-Be-Nimble gourds.
There was an old woman,
Who lived in a shoe;
She had so many children,
She didn't know what to do.
Any ornamental gourds would have... served the purpose; but by using Jack-Be-Nimble gourds, specifically, the artist nicely worked in an allusion to the "Jack Be Nimble" Mother Goose nursery rhyme!Continue to 8 of 15 below.
08 of 15
Scarecrow Picture: Mary Had a Little Lamb
The plaques are more crucial than the scarecrow in portraying this Mother Goose nursery rhyme, since the Mary character is nondescript without her lamb....
And even with her lamb, it would be difficult to distinguish her from Little Bo-Peep.
Mary had a little lamb,
It's fleece was white as snow;
And everywhere that Mary went,
The lamb was sure to go.
He followed her to school one day;
That was against the rule;
It made the children laugh and play
To see a lamb at school.
But because this scarecrow is... accompanied by plaques representing the school and the lamb, there can be no question that it's a Mary scarecrow.Continue to 9 of 15 below.
09 of 15
Simple Halloween Scarecrow
It doesn't take much to portray the character in "Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary" as a Halloween scarecrow....
Just stick a watering can in her hand! Unlike some of the other scenes included in this series of Halloween scarecrow displays based on the Mother Goose nursery rhymes, just a simple scarecrow suffices to convey "Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary."
Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockle shells
And pretty maids all in a row.Continue to 10 of 15 below.
10 of 15
Humpty Dumpty Pumpkin Face
To portray Humpty Dumpty, begin with a pumpkin and a wall. Cinder blocks are fine for the wall, as in this picture....
You can also provide the figure with legs and/or arms, if you wish. But what really makes the figure in the photo above say "Humpty Dumpty" is the simple yet brilliant art work that went into the pumpkin face. This is a pumpkin with an attitude, a sheepish pumpkin face that betrays the thought, "I'm in for a classic fall!"
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty... Dumpty had a great fall;
All the king's horses and all the king's men
Couldn't put Humpty Dumpty together again.
While this figure isn't really a scarecrow, there was a scarecrow in the scene, which you'll see in the next photo. He's one of "the king's men"....Continue to 11 of 15 below.
11 of 15
"All the king's horses and all the king's men"....
This scarecrow accompanied the Humpty Dumpty pumpkin in the prior photo. He's one of those men the king sent to try to put Humpty Dumpty together again. The identity of this scarecrow as a knight, specifically, is indicated by his coat of mail. A horse cut-out was included to represent the king's horses.
As with the other pictures shown in this collection, it should give the creative some ideas for making unusual scarecrows.Continue to 12 of 15 below.
12 of 15
Scarecrow Idea: Motorcycle Mama Scarecrow
I told you the world of scarecrows was diverse! With this picture we move from Mother Goose nursery rhymes to motorcycles....
Specifically, this photo gives you an idea as to how props from everyday life can convey your intended "scarecrow message." For while the wig and lipstick on the scarecrow effectively signal her gender, it's the bike that really makes her a "motorcycle mama" scarecrow.Continue to 13 of 15 below.
13 of 15
This picture shows another scarecrow woman, but one dressed for an activity far removed from the motorcycling of the prior photo....
This one is truly a "garden" scarecrow, ready to roll up her sleeves for gardening work. Her hat helps connect her with the more traditional scarecrow look, as straw hats are an old standby in scarecrow building.Continue to 14 of 15 below.
14 of 15
A Contradictory but Cute Halloween Scarecrow
Not only is this scarecrow not scary, it turns the traditional concept of a scarecrow on its head....
What did I say earlier -- that scarecrows, true to their name, were originally used to scare crows? The scarecrow in this photo won't be scaring any crows, because it is a crow! Notwithstanding the fact that "crow scarecrow" is something of a contradiction in terms, the figure in the picture above makes for an effective Halloween decoration. The patch-covered overalls, alone, would... scream "scarecrow," even if the figure weren't striking the classic scarecrow pose. I'll overlook the fact that he's a crow if you will....Continue to 15 of 15 below.
15 of 15
Tin Man Scarecrow
This garden scarecrow was skillfully crafted from recycled metal objects....
The result is a unique Tin Man scarecrow. You can also use recycled plastic pots when you make a garden scarecrow, as I show in a scarecrow picture in another photo gallery.
Of course, in addition to making scarecrows, there many other great ideas out there for recycling junk into items useful for your landscaping. You can find other examples in the following resources:
Want to learn more about making scarecrows? View my Scarecrow Ideas photo gallery for tips on everything from scarecrow face materials to giving your scarecrow "hair."