Shan Yu Crochet Pattern

DISCLAIMER: This pattern and the pictures associated with it are property of One’s Creative Mind and are strictly for personal use only. You may NOT sell this pattern on any platform or use my pictures to advertise. However, please feel free to sell your finished crocheted items if you wish and/or post pictures of them on social media. Just remember to tag me or give me a mention as the pattern designer using @onescreativemind.                             © One’s Creative Mind 2023

Happy October!

This month’s midi tier pattern is Shan Yu, the villain from Mulan. When it came to sketching out and designing this pattern, I saw how big it was going to be, so I thought about scaling it down. However, when I thought about it, I could not have Shan Yu being smaller than Li Shang, especially when a large part of his intimidation comes from his size. So, I just wanted all the sizing to line up with each other which left me with no choice but to keep Shan Yu this size.

When I first started this pattern, I began it in 4ply yarn using a 2mm hook, but I soon realised that this project would be such a mammoth task if using 4ply yarn. So, I decided to switch to DK. I would have preferred to use mercerised cotton DK yarn, but I did not have any available, so just ended up using my standard acrylic DK yarn. If you decide to make this pattern and you used cotton for the other characters, then you could opt to use mercerised DK cotton to make this project.

Also, I would like to note that as you can see, my Shan Yu’s skin tone is a greige colour which is not the correct shade. The correct tone should have been flesh coloured one with a pinkish/grey undertone, I do not know why or which picture I was using at the time that made me assume that this shade was the right choice! But I had been using my sketch to crochet so by time I went back to look at picture of Shan Yu and realised that the colour just was not right, I had already done the arms and legs and at that point there was no way that I was going to redo it all. So, if you make this project use the shade that you feel fits. Despite the error in the skin, he still turned out pretty darn great.

As happy as I am with the body, the head from the nose up could use some tweaking. But fortunately, once you do all of the customisation, the head shape aside, I feel this it is obvious to anyone that has seen Mulan who this character is meant to be.

I played yarn chicken and lost with 1 decrease to do at the end for the top of the head! So very annoying but luckily not obvious. Also, I had not yet done the nose or toes, so I had to do them in a different shade of grey. This does not matter too much because with his boots on, you cannot see the different coloured toes.

The fingers, toes, bottom and crotch were done a bit more creatively in this pattern. I really wanted to focus on contouring and realism so new techniques were tested. Overall, I am glad that I tried it and am quite pleased with the knowledge learnt and the outcomes. I am looking forward to trying them out and finessing them in my future projects.

This project does not require the use of craft wire for stability; however, you can use it if you want to have some manoeuvrability of the arms and legs.

This mammoth of a man measures 13.5 inches/34.5cm tall and 6 inches/15cm wide shoulder to shoulder (with a thigh circumference of a whopping 6inches/15cm!!!)

  • DK yarn in your chosen flesh colour – this can be acrylic or mercerised cotton yarn. (Shan Yu’s flesh colour will be listed as greige throughout this tutorial).
  • 2.5mm crochet hook
  • Yarn needle
  • Fire retardant Fibrefill
  • T-shirt transfer paper printed eyes
  • Black yarn (for the hair)
  • Grey and brown faux fur
  • Black faux leather
  • Dark grey, black and cream felt
  • Sewing thread
  • Sewing needle or sewing machine
  • Felt glue
  • Scissors
  • Craft wire and pliers * (OPTIONAL)
  • Pins
  • Stitch marker


A full list of the abbreviations that I use in my patterns:

  • MR# – magic ring with the specified number of single crochets
  • SC – single crochet (double crochet English)
  • HDC – half double crochet (half treble English)
  • DC – double crochet (treble English)
  • INC – single crochet increase
  • #in1 – the specified number of SC in the same stitch (i.e. 3in1)
  • #DCin1 – the specified number of DC in the same stitch (i.e. 3DCin1)
  • #HDCin1 – the specified number of HDC in the same stitch (i.e. 3HDCin1)
  • hdcINC – half double crochet increase
  • dcINC – double crochet increase
  • DEC – invisible decrease (if it is a DEC in BLO I tend to use the 2TOG decrease method)
  • 2TOG – two stitches together decrease (non-invisible) method
  • *_______* X# – repeat sequence within the asterisks the specified number of times e.g. *SC, INC* x6)
  • FLO – front loop only
  • BLO – back loop only
  • CH – chain stitches
  • CC – colour change
  • CH1T – chain a stitch then turn your work
  • SS – slip stitch
  • ST/STS – stitch/stitches
  • OFFSET – a term I use when adding or taking away additional stitches in order to line up or get the right placement
  • = # ROWS – repeat the stitch sequence for the row the specified number of times e.g. 32SC (32) = 5 ROWS
  • FO – fasten off

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You are now complete!

The completion of this project relies heavily on the clothing, and it really brings the character to life. How did you find this tutorial? Are you also an avid fan of mixed media like me? Either way I hope that you are happy with the outcome.

November’s Mini and Midi tier patterns are Bunny from Toy story and Hayabusa the Falcon from Mulan.

Until the next post, happy crocheting!

Chantelle X

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