Tis that time of year to outfit your home, yard and ceiling fan with creepy things that come crawling from the depths and into your life for the spooky fall season.

Voodoo Medusa/Art and photo by Ryn Gargulinski

Voodoo Medusa/Art and photo by Ryn Gargulinski

Add to this charm with a scarecrow.

Please meet my Voodoo Medusa a.k.a. Voodoo Chile, whom I hooked up for the Tucson Botanical Gardens scarecrow contest – Scarecrows in the Garden, which runs from Saturday, Oct. 17 through Nov. 30.

Featuring scarecrows created by local folks and businesses, the exhibit promises to scare the bejeebers out of you – so go. And please vote for Voodoo Medusa while you’re there so I can add “Scarecrow Contest winner” to my resume.

Then hook up a scarecrow for you own personal satisfaction with a few easy tips.

1. Get the base. The Gardens provided a T-shaped PVC base about 5 feet tall. Perfect. You can also wire together old curtain rods, broom sticks or anything else tall and solid enough to serve as the backbone of your masterpiece.

2. Hook up the head. Basketballs, soccer balls, stuffed pillow cases and watering cans make good heads. So does a metal piece that will be cut into a snake-crowned Medusa.

3. Find the clothes. Raid your own or your friend’s closet or dig out that box in the garage marked “Clothes Donation.” Go for something eye catching and funky, like a loud muumuu you found at the free clothing swap at Dinnerware Artspace earlier this year.

4. Create the fine details. You need hands and dangling things. Medusa’s hands were made out of metal, but you can opt for sticks, stuffed gloves, mannequin hands or a lucky rabbit’s foot. Dangling things can be anything from Christmas ornaments to old jewelry – anything you can tie to the finished product so they flap in the wind. I made little faces, again out of metal.

5. Stuff it. Voodoo Medusa had to be gaunt, so I simply wrapped the base with and old shower curtain I found in the garage next to the “Clothes Donation” box. Make your scarecrow fatter by stuffing garbage bags with newspaper and securing to the base with cord or wire. You want the stuffing to be waterproof in case it does that strange thing and rains. You may need to dress the base before stuffing to make it easier.

6. Put it all together. Attach the head, arms and clothing by bending metal attachments, cutting holes in the things and sticking them on the base, using wire, cord or strips of a cut up skirt that was in the donation box. Just make sure everything is secure enough to withstand any howling winds.

7. Find the right location. Living rooms are a good choice for scarecrow displays, as are backyards or anywhere behind a wrought iron fence. You may want to get a wrought iron fence installed to insure the overall spooky vibe. Front yards are even better showcases, as long as you know your neighbors won’t steal it. The peace sign charm I once hung on a cut tree branch disappeared from my front yard within 24 hours.




Voodoo Medusa/Art and photo by Ryn Gargulinski

Will you be creating a scarecrow this season? Have you ever made a scarecrow?

Have you ever destroyed a neighbor’s scarecrow?

Will you be going to the Tucson Botanical Garden Scarecrow Contest?

Do you make any Halloween decorations or do you buy that cheap plastic crap at the dollar store?