Guest Author - Caroline Chen-Whatley
Halloween is almost upon us. This year there are some great costumes you can actually purchase. But I had this idea of making a home-made version of Master Shifu.
There are a few keys to Shifu's costume from Kung Fu Panda: ears, whiskers, tail, and outfit.
First off, Shifu has large ears. The easiest way to make them is obviously using cardboard or a large paper plate. Color them with a brown horizontal stripe across the upper quarter. Then color the middle of the ear the same color. The size of the ears is what makes it distinctly Shifu. They need to be disproportionately large, about the size of half your face for each. The shape of the ears is distinct as well, more like a rounded triangle than Mickey Mouse circular. If you use a paper plate, you can curve the plate to make approximately the right shape. Hold the ear in place by either gluing them to a headband or using hair clips at the edges.
Next key to the costume are the whiskers. If you remember in the first Kung Fu Panda, Po made a funny reference to Shifu with the loose noodles on his face. We need to do similar reference in order to complete the face. Gather some strands of white hair from a wig. Using face paint, you can draw white areas on your face around the sides of the nose. Then use the paint to help the hair stick onto your face. If you don't have face paint, you could try small pieces of double-stick tape to keep the hair on either side of your mouth.
The tail of Shifu is more like a fox tail, very puffy and two toned. The end of a duster is about the right thickness. The duster needs to be white or brown in color to work. Attach this to your belt or tuck it into the waistband. If that doesn't work, you might be able to get away with making a tail out of stuff animal material.
Finally, the outfit. There is the clothing Shifu wore as well as the staff he walked with. The staff is easy; find a long branch, the more knotted the better. There are two outfits you can pick from for his clothes. If you go with the first movie, Shifu wore a light or reddish brown top robe and darker brown pants. His shoes were a brown or black canvas with white leggings. If you go with the second movie, Shifu wore a green drape, which could be duplicated by draping a bed sheet or table runner.