Historic Columbia is accepting submissions for its annual Scarecrows in the Garden contest through Sept. 29. Individuals, businesses, groups and families can make their own take on the traditional farm friend, using any material that will last a month outside. Here are four tips to creating a unique submission.
1. Get creative with materials. Past submissions have been made of all recyclable materials, kitchen pots and computer supplies in addition to the traditional straw and old clothes, according to Sarah Blackwell, director of programs for Historic Columbia.
“The best scarecrows come from people’s imagination,” Blackwell said.
2. Get inspired. Many impressive submissions over the years have been based on celebrities or popular characters in pop culture. “Scary Poppins” has hung from a tree in the garden at the Robert Mills House, where the submissions are displayed in October. One of last year’s winning submissions was “Edward Scarecrowhands,” a takeoff on Tim Burton’s “Edward Scissorhands.” The scarecrow garden has also seen a “Scarilyn Monroe” and “Scary Potter’ in recent years.
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3. Make sure your materials can last the “wear and tear of October.” Scarecrows will be displayed outdoors for a month, so no submissions will be accepted if they have perishable or otherwise easily deteriorating materials. When the contest began five years ago, some scarecrow artists incorporated carved pumpkins into their creations, which rotted by the end of the month, Blackwell said.
4. Have fun. Whether you work by yourself, with your kids or with a group of co-workers, the key to a good scarecrow is to be creative and enjoy the process, Blackwell said.
“The best scarecrows are the ones that people work hard on and bring out from their imaginations,” she said.