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Outdoor Halloween Decorations: Make A Rotting Corpse Scarecrow

Feature | Outdoor Halloween Decorations: Make A Rotting Corpse Scarecrow

If you're looking for scary and creepy outdoor Halloween decorations, this freaky rotting corpse scarecrow should make the cut. Follow the step-by-step tutorial below!

DIY Spooky Outdoor Halloween Decorations and Ideas


What You Will Need:

What You Will Need: | Outdoor Halloween Decorations: Make A Rotting Corpse Scarecrow

  • Long PVC Pipe about 10ft. long
  • PVC “T”-shaped joint
  • Tinfoil
  • Masking Tape (lots of it!)
  • Twisted willow branches
  • Foam Skull from Michael’s Crafts
  • Gnarly Wig (Goodwill – optional)
  • Old Sheets (2-3 of them from Goodwill)
  • Caramel brown + dark brown spray paint (not pictured)
  • Scissors
  • Plastic to cover your work surface for spray painting



Step 1. Framing

Framing | Outdoor Halloween Decorations: Make A Rotting Corpse Scarecrow

Pop the “T”-shaped PVC joint onto your mega-long PVC pole. No need to glue it–just slip it snugly onto the end. Wad up some tinfoil around the base of one of your tree branches and stick the tin foil end into one side of the PVC “T”.

Step 2. Scarecrow Arms Frame

Scarecrow Arms Frame | Outdoor Halloween Decorations: Make A Rotting Corpse Scarecrow

For my “arm branches”, I snapped off thin limbs that were about 4-5 feet long and had some spindly little twigs at the end. Seal the tinfoil-twig-wad into the PVC pipe with some generous layers of masking tape (as pictured, and then some!)

Step 3. Work on the Spindly Hands

Work on the Spindly Hands | Outdoor Halloween Decorations: Make A Rotting Corpse Scarecrow

Wrap masking tape all the way up your branches, and over the little twigs at the end. Do a messy job of it so that everything looks a bit skeletal and creepy. No smooth corpse arms – we want that rotten bone look! I was lucky enough to have 3 twigs at the end of this first “arm branch”, so I only had to attach two fingers. To attach fingers, I simply snapped off some curly willow branch pieces (regular little twigs would work, as well), and taped them onto the “hand” to finish the finger arrangement. I taped and tweaked each taped-twig finger until I had a ghastly, spindly hand.  Perfect, mwahaha! Repeat the arm + finger process on the other side.

Step 4. Form Scarecrow Torso

Form Scarecrow Torso | Outdoor Halloween Decorations: Make A Rotting Corpse Scarecrow

Now that you’ve got super creepy arms protruding from your PVC pipe on either side, it’s time to fashion a torso. To create the shape, rip off some tinfoil and begin wrapping and wadding it around the top of the pole, between the two arms. Add tinfoil wads and pack everything down until you get a satisfactory torso shape that tapers off at the waist (as if our corpse was cut in half, ew!)

Step 5. Finish Torso

Finish Torso | Outdoor Halloween Decorations: Make A Rotting Corpse Scarecrow

Once you like your tinfoil torso shape, wrap it all around with masking tape (as in the picture for Step 5).  Can you see this all starting to take shape?

Step 6. Work on the Skull

Work on the Skull | Outdoor Halloween Decorations: Make A Rotting Corpse Scarecrow

Wrap your foam skull in – you guessed it – more masking tape!  What’s creepier than a bony skull?  A rotting flesh skull, of course!  Tape the skull up as in the picture, leaving the teeth exposed, and move on to the next step.

Step 7. Connecting the Skull to the Torso

Connecting the Skull to the Torso | Outdoor Halloween Decorations: Make A Rotting Corpse Scarecrow

Forming the neck for our corpse is quite easy!  Take a stick that’s about a foot long, and stab it deep into the base of the skull, from the bottom.  Wrap the stick in tinfoil and cover it with masking tape. This is looking creepier by the minute!

Step 8. Form the Full Scarecrow Figure

Form the Full Scarecrow Figure | Outdoor Halloween Decorations: Make A Rotting Corpse Scarecrow

Attach the corpse neck to the corpse body using even more masking tape.  Nothing fancy about it – I just wedged mine down into the top of the torso and taped it liberally.

Step 9. Start Painting

Start Painting | Outdoor Halloween Decorations: Make A Rotting Corpse Scarecrow

Time to start painting!  Grab a dark spray paint (either black or a chocolate brown), and give the eye sockets a quick spray.

Step 10. Use Flesh-Colored Paint

Use Flesh-colored Paint | Outdoor Halloween Decorations: Make A Rotting Corpse Scarecrow

Now take your rotting/charred flesh caramel color, and spray the rest of the corpse.  Try not to cover the teeth entirely.  You can give them a light little dusting with the spray to make the teeth look rotten, but you still want that nice definition between the teeth to be there.

Step 11. Dress Up the Rotting Corpse Scarecrow

Dress Up the Rotting Corpse Scarecrow | Outdoor Halloween Decorations: Make A Rotting Corpse Scarecrow

Time to dress our disgusting scarecrow corpse in tattered rags!  With scissors and your Goodwill sheets, create some messy robes for your little monster.  I found the middle of the sheet, cut a hole for the corpse’s head to go through, and then used the scissors to snip and tear around the edges of the fabric.

Step 12. Put Up Your Outdoor Halloween Props

Put Up Your Outdoor Halloween Props | Outdoor Halloween Decorations: Make A Rotting Corpse Scarecrow

Lift this hauntingly terrifying corpse high into the air on its tall pole, and stick it into the ground or a large bucket full of rocks (or cement, if you want to go the extra mile).  I just dug a narrow hole in my yard and sunk the base of the PVC pipe into it, and that worked splendidly (if you don’t mind a hole in your yard!)

Step 13. Finishing Touches

Finishing Touches | Outdoor Halloween Decorations: Make A Rotting Corpse Scarecrow

Shine some ghoulish light on your creation, maybe throw a fog machine at the base, and you’re done!  Ready to do some serious frightening of your Halloween guests. Just imagine what scare you'll bring to anyone that sees your Halloween decor. You might also want to make for one of these equally terrifying Halloween decorations–a DIY decayed corpse props!


Complement your scare rotting corpse outdoor Halloween decorations with these skull tiki torches. Watch this video from Wicked Makers to find out how:

Bag the award for the scariest Halloween decorations ever in the block with this creepy rotting corpse scarecrow dangling up a tree in your front yard. Have fun making these cheap outdoor Halloween decorations with your family and use the money you saved for more Halloween candy!

Would you work on this outdoor Halloween decoration idea? Let us know in the comments section below what your thoughts are on this scary rotting corpse scarecrow!

Up Next: 31 Breathtakingly Easy-to-Make DIY Halloween Decorations


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Placard | Outdoor Halloween Decorations: Make A Rotting Corpse Scarecrow

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on October 24, 2014, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.


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