Lo & Behold!!! An unusual but real crochet Jungle Book with characters from the movie “The Jungle Book” 2016, crocheted on it. 🙂 Mowgli television series was my favorite while I was growing up and I never missed any episode of this series. I got this crocheting idea in June 2016 to make a unique jungle book inspired by my love for this series and the movie.
I wanted to make a birthday gift for Anurag Sir whom we all love and respect a lot. He is my dance class owner and instructor in Hadippa Dance Academy. The Hindi version of the song (Jungle jungle baat chali hai pata chala hai..) was the song that was being taught at that time to my daughter, Shaman. It was this song which inspired me to create this crochet jungle book design as me and Shaman sang and danced to this song all the time.
The process that I used to create this design was slow and steady. But the end result is so satisfying that the time it took to make it really doesn’t matter. I completed this project today after almost two and half months and gifted it to my instructor. He was very happy with the gift. He said that he really needed a diary but he doesn’t want to use it. He meant it as a compliment. I understood that he meant that the book was more of an art and art is meant to be displayed and treasured rather than being used.
Let me tell you how I made this crochet jungle book. First, I got a diary and covered its front with a neutral background fabric. I used my own hand dyed khadi fabric dyed with red onion peels that I had blogged about in an earlier post.
Then came the tough portion. I wanted to make a poster scene of the movie on the book. This book is longer and the scene was wider. So I couldn’t fit in all the characters as shown in the poster on the book. But I tried to fit as many characters of that movie as I could. I planned and drew the design and the placement of the pieces.
Most of the characters and the pieces that I made are mostly freeform. It means that I did not follow any particular pattern to make this crochet jungle book. I just made it as it came to me. Freeform is my most favorite type of crochet technique as it gives me a lot of freedom without really following any established rules, patterns, methods, etc. It really liberates my mind.
I made the freeform tree with acrylic yarn in brown color. I made some freeform stones in purplish variegated alpaca yarn. I made Shere Khan a little bigger than the other animals. I personally think in the hindi version of Jungle Book, Nana Patekar did an awesome role as Shere Khan. His role made a great impact in the movie even though he was portrayed as a villain in the movie. So, definitely he had to be bigger than the rest of the characters.
Then I made Bagheera with a black cotton yarn. The tree was bare with no leaves till now. So I crocheted tiny leaves with cotton thread. The weaving in the ends countless times as there are lot of leaves was a long process. I hate weaving in yarn. But the project was interesting enough so I forgive this project for making me do it so many times.
I was already pretty sure that the normal glue would not hold the pieces together on the book. So I got a glue gun. But I misplaced it somewhere and could not find it. So, my project was held midway, incomplete and in my WIP (work in progress) bin for sometime. Thanks to Raaj (my hubby) who finally found it for me. He finds all my lost stuff in my ever growing supplies stock. <3
This was the 1st time I used a glue gun. I found a fun game while using it. You can actually make a plastic yarn with it, hahaha. Yes, it takes some time to get used to gluing with a glue gun. But I finally managed to glue the pieces on the book. Viola!
I continued making some more pieces. I crocheted some vines with petals in green cotton thread. The tree in the picture had some different thickness vines just like a Banyan tree. So I crocheted some brown vines for the thick ones. I used plain brown yarn in different lengths for the thinner vines.
I did not have a black variegated yarn to make Baloo. So I used some black and white sewing thread held together to crochet him. His face was really fun to make as he has a raised pointy nose unlike other animals that I made so far in this project. I used 2 dimensional crochet technique to make Shere Khan and Bagheera. But Baloo’s face is 3D while the rest of his body is 2D.
Kaa, the sexy voiced python is made using a 2D crochet technique. However, she mostly looks 3D due to the way she is placed draped over the tree. I used the same yarn I used for the tree combined with this beige organic yarn which I had hand dyed using onion peels.
The tree and the rocks in the movie poster looked mossy. So I dabbed my fingers in some mossy green acrylic color and finger painted the mossy green portion on it. The opening in the tree trunk at the bottom which looks more like a root portion has a four leaf clover like the free crochet pattern that I published earlier. The movie poster displays another kind of leaf. But I wanted it to be a four leaf clover as it is considered lucky. I hope it brings faith, hope, love and luck to my giftee. 🙂
The Jungle Book theme song in Hindi version of the movie has the mention of these birds Koyal (Cuckoo) and Kauaa (Crow). So I glued some black yarn on the top of the tree in the shape of flying birds (just how we draw birds when we are kids, lol).
The portion between the birds looked kind of empty to me. So I designed a new pattern for a cloud. It is an easy crochet pattern. The pattern will be listed in my shop soon.
The hardest part of this project was the making of Mowgli, the young hero of this movie. This was the first time I made such a tiny crocheted amigurumi. Yup!!! Mowgli is crocheted with sewing cotton thread and the thinnest of crochet hook. Even his chaddi (tight shorts) is crocheted, :P. It took me many hours to make him. The best thing though is, I also wrote his crochet pattern which will be listed soon too in my shop. YAY!!!
The last remaining portion was to make eyes for all the characters except Shere Khan. I had sewed his facial features already. I painted their eyes with different acrylic colors. I used green color for Bagheera and Kaa, brown color for Baloo & black color for Mowgli’s eyes and mouth. I then posed and stuck all the remaining characters and pieces over the book and hot glued them.
I hope you enjoyed reading about the process of my crochet jungle book project as much as I enjoyed making it. Always keep your inner child alive in you and keep playing whatever your age is!!! (y)