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Disney fan creates miniature crocheted version of infamous balloon house in Up

A Disney fan who has been compared to Banksy by some in her local area has crocheted a miniature version of the famous balloon house in the movie Up.

Sarah Simpson’s creation, which adorns a postbox in her local area of King’s Hill in the borough of Tonbridge and Malling in Kent, took around a week on-and-off to complete and alongside the house, she made a crocheted version of owner Carl Fredricksen.

Crocheted house on top of a postbox
Sarah Simpson’s crocheted version of the balloon house in Up (Sarah Simpson/PA)

She told the PA news agency that she “loved” the 2009 movie, which led to the project, much to the joy of her three daughters who were “getting really excited” about it.

“If you’re a Disney fan, you instantly know what the house looks like and how much it resonates with people,” the 37-year-old stay-at-home mother said.

“I thought, it would look so cute on a postbox as it would look like it’s floating.”

House on a table
The balloons were the trickiest part of the house to make (Sarah Simpson/PA)

To make Mr Fredricksen’s home, she referred to a couple of pictures online as a guide, drew a diagram of the house, wrote what colour each panel would be and also made another diagram of what panels she would crochet.

“Then, what I did was get cardboard and cut that into the pieces of the house, covered the cardboard in duct tape so it would be waterproof and then I started crocheting each piece individually and sewed them around the cardboard structure,” she said.

“I did the roof completely separately and then attached that on top.”

House on a window ledge
The structure of the house is made from cardboard (Sarah Simpson/PA)

For the balloons, Mrs Simpson used polystyrene balls for the structure and glued crocheted balloons she made with wool onto them.

Wires and strings were attached to the balloons via duct tape and glue, and wrapped around the chimney to give off the impression that they were floating.

She said that this element was the hardest as “I did a load, thought I’d made enough, glued them all on and there was still a gap at the top” and it felt as though the process would “never end”.

She added that she was “relieved” when the project was completed, especially because she got a new kitten who nabbed a few balloons before they were added to the house.

Mr Fredricksen – complete with his walking stick come ball thrower – took roughly three hours to make during the same week she made the house, with Mrs Simpson using a photo of him online as a guide.

Crocheted man
Carl bears a striking resemblance to Mrs Simpson’s granddad (Sarah Simpson/PA)

She noticed that the crocheted figure bore a strong resemblance to someone close to her shortly after posting her creation online.

“I put a post on Facebook about it and my dad messaged me and said, ‘you know, we all make fun of and laugh at your granddad (Alexander) because he looks just like Carl’,” she said.

“He really does – he’s the double of him – so I think I’m going to have to make another little Carl to take up to my granddad in Scotland.”

She said that seeing lots of people online sharing, liking and commenting on her posts about the Up creation has been “amazing”.

“The reactions make me want to do more just to make people happy and crochet also really helps me chill out, so to think that I can make something like that which others love and makes them want to take pictures, it’s lovely.”

Crocheted house and man on top of a postbox
The house and Carl took about a week to make (Sarah Simpson/PA)

Mrs Simpson – who has crocheted for two to three years – has made several postbox toppers, including for the Coronation, with some likening how she carries out her work to Banksy.

“I used to sneak out at like five or six am so that nobody would see me, but now my work is known a bit more in the town so I don’t really do it,” she said.

“My two younger daughters love to come with me while I’m putting them up and do a distraction dance so people don’t know I’m the one putting the toppers on, which is really funny.

“When I put this one out, I had a few people stop in their cars and go, ‘you’re the crochet King’s Hill Banksy’ and said they loved them and it’s such a nice feeling.”