Awhile back Disney announced that for the first time they were turning the Jungle Cruise into the Jingle Cruise for the holiday season! This is the first time that Disney converted an attraction (temporarily) at Walt Disney World for a holiday season. I absolutely fell in love with the poster they created to announce and promote the Jingle Cruise transformation. How cute are the hippo and the elephant with their little Santa hats?? As it so happened, later that day I was in my local craft store to pick up some oil paints. I love to just mill around, exploring all of the zillions of possibilities for creation. I got to the value section/aisle of the store where stacked bins are piled high with items that range from $1 – $3. And what do my wandering eyes find? Plastic farm and jungle animals! In the $1 bin! Get out! And they’re fairly cool looking – not scary and creepy. So the wheels quickly start turning… I should make my own Jingle Cruise scene!!
There were more farm animals than jungle animals in the bin, but I ended up with a trio of a zebra, a hippo, and an elephant. There was also a lion available – but he was pretty odd looking so I left him behind. I grabbed a 33¢ piece of red felt, and knowing I had some cotton balls and cotton swabs at home, headed to the register to make my purchase.
Once home I started to plan. I wanted to make little Santa hats like the hippo and elephant are wearing in the poster, but I also wanted some variety. I decided to give Zebra a scarf around his long neck for the sake of variation. That also worked out nicely since his head is a lot smaller, and his ears are cute. So with supplies at hand, I was ready to work.
I decided to make the Santa hats first.
Step 1: I cut a corner off of the red felt piece and rolled it into a cone, trying its size on my elephant first. Once I had decided the size right, I started to glue. As you can see in the picture above, I got out my tacky glue hoping that would be perfect for the job. It wasn’t. All it gave me was a glue-felt mess that wouldn’t stay together. Ugh. But that’s OK. I have plenty of tools in my arsenal. Out comes the hot glue gun. I cut another corner and refitted while my trusty hot glue gun heated up. Attempt two – SUCCESS! Hot glue was the way to go. Should’ve know.
Step 2: I pulled the tip of a cotton swab off and glued it to the top.
Step 3: I pulled a small piece off of a cotton ball. To my surprise, the segment came off as shown to the left. I simply widened the hole a bit, gently, with my fingers and then fitted it onto the bottom of my little felt hat and hot-glued it into place.
This hat was tall, which was fine. I wanted it to flop over, they way Santa’s hat does when he wears it, so I folded it and put some hot glue in the crease to help it stay how I liked it.
Step 4: Repeat. I made a second hat for my hippo, but this time I made the hat shorter, so it would stand upright without being too tall. This gave me a bit more variety and gave the hippo some quirkiness. Hippo strikes me as a quirky kinda guy.
Step 5: Make the zebra scarf. This was ridiculously easy. I cut a long, thin strip of felt and tied it around the zebra’s neck to check the length. Perfect. Taking it off again I cut fringe on both ends of the felt piece. I retied it around Zebra’s neck and gave the knot a quick dot of glue so everything would stay in place.
And that’s it! I glued the hats onto Hippo and Elephant, so the jungle breeze won’t blow them away. I spent $3.33 on the animals and the felt all together. And it probably took me about an hour to make everything. Not bad at all for a little fun, quirky Disney World inspired Christmas decorating.
Step 6: Stage and enjoy!