The Happiest Ninjago Sensa Wu Costume
My son absolutely loves anything LEGO so when I asked him what he wanted to dress up as for Halloween he said a LEGO. A LEGO I thought no problem but then he was specific he wanted to be the Ninjago Sensa Wu (White Ninja Master). I quickly started looking online to see what was available but after several searches I came to the conclusion that he couldn’t be a LEGO Ninjago. As Halloween was getting closer and still no other answer from my son besides the White Master I started thinking and looking at this figurine and thought maybe just maybe I could build it out of boxes. Okay! So now I’m going all in to make my son the LEGO he wants to be but the head…. Crap! the head I thought it’s round not square how will I pull this off now to make him look like a real Ninjago. Well I was sitting at my kitchen table just thinking what would work I tried several containers none big enough but then a few days later I was throwing away a protein container and BINGO that was it. Now with my mind set I had to get this costume done and it took me longer to convince myself this could be done than actually building it. So the day I went to go collect my boxes what else happened…. YEP! It rained. So I knew if I didn’t at least start by Saturday Oct. 26 2013 I may not get it done with my work schedule. So I had to go to Lowe’s for some PVC pipe and while I was down that isle I seen huge boxes for sale and so I bought one for $1.36. I went straight home and told my son we needed to get started if this was going to happen before trick or treat or his school parade.
I had to use two huge boxes and lots and lots of duck tape. The first box I had to buy at Lowe’s because it rained for days and there wasn’t any dry boxes anywhere. I looked at the figurine that my son wanted to be and drew an outline and cut it out. Then I traced that to make the back side. I measured my son just by eyeball nothing too precise and then cut out what I thought was his width. I was so wrong. I had cut too big which was no problem I just kept cutting it down till he it was big enough for him to move in but tight enough for him to control. So the first box was the perfect size to make all four sides of his LEGO body. I used clear packaging tape in the joints to hold together I just think it held better than duck tape but covered it all in white duck tape because cardboard just soaks up all paint and primer. That was the first night and after only 1 1/2 hours I ran out of white duck tape. Finally I decided he would need legs but it was still raining and so back to Lowe’s I went for the second box and two more rolls of white duck tape. I went home and studied the legs and how I could make the legs work and be comfortable for him to walk that’s where zip ties came in to play. I knew if I could attach them to the body and then make a boot to his knee he could walk pretty easy. With a little bit of adjustments to him walking around in the box legs I knew I would have to add some styrofoam to give him stability and a little trim here and there and he was walking great. I just had to sturdy them up with more clear packaging tape and white duck tape for the look. Guess what I ran out of duck tape and had to get two more rolls and thank goodness it was plenty. I had him to try on the body again to make sure it and the rounded part of the legs would fit and look good. I made a few holes and added the rounded part of the legs which was made from one oatmeal container I just cut it in half long ways and duck taped that to match the rest of the body and boots. When I took the body off of him his shoulders had been rubbed red and I knew he couldn’t wear it for two hours and not be sore so I had a pool noodle and cut just a small piece and then cut that long ways and taped it to the inside where it would lay on him and yes it worked perfect and no more redness. Once the body and legs were all done with duck tape I had to figure out how to cut the protein container for the eyes it was solid black so I cut out the bottom of the container and put on his head then made four punches where I thought he could see he pointed to the small holes he could see out of and I made them bigger and bigger till I could see exactly where they needed to be. I then had to buy plastic primer to spray the container and I had a yellow spray paint already in my building. The head didn’t look like much till it was yellow then it started to come to life and from there on each step looked more and more like Sensa Wu. I just used white art paint for the eyebrows and mustache and made my own gray out of black and white for a little shadow to give detail in the face. I used some light and dark browns for his wrinkles which looked great and I added more black around the eyes for more detail. I cut a piece of screen from an old door and taped that inside the head to block out the eyes and added a small dot of white to each eye to give the full look of the LEGO. Sensa Wu wears a Chinese hat and I made that out of poster board took me two tries but I did it. The first was too small and not a perfect circle so I walked around the house and found a fan that was perfect I traced it on the poster board and cut out and it was a good fit. I cut it half way and then pushed it together and got the shape I then taped it with painters tape and taped it to the lid of the protein container and painted it gold when it dried I just screwed it on. The head was now done. I just had to paint a few lines on the body and I would be done. I used a red sharpie for the symbol on the left side and traced the circle with the duck tape roll and by hand did the center. I used black and yellow art paint for the middle of the body and used black electric tape for the belt and painted the white lines on. I had to use clear white packing tape to protect the paint and sharpie otherwise it rubbed off easy. The mustache is a big part of this LEGO so I used a can of white foam and sprayed it on a piece of cardboard and used clear tape to make sure it didn’t fall apart and to tape it to a styrofoam ring. His hands were made from cup koozies and painted yellow. The final and greatest part of the costume and the main reason my son wanted to be Sensa Wu was his brown wooden staff. However his was made out of a pool noodle wrapped in painters tape and added two small pieces of pool noodle for the large part in the staff and we painted it brown.
The reactions he got was AWESOME!!!! No other way to put it. He first was seen at school for the parade and he was getting looks and everyone saying….LOOK! and WOW! and best of all the principal said BEST COSTUME in the building. That was so much fun and he did he Ninjago Wu walk with his staff and walked like a pro in cardboard box boots. After school we went home for a bit until it was time to go trick or treating and the very first house we went to they said they were done there wasn’t going to be any better costume come through. About two houses later a lady loved it and asked if she could take a photo and she wasn’t the only one. If he wasn’t getting a picture taken by a stranger then the candy givers were giving him extra candy for being unique. Even though you couldn’t see his face a lot of the kids we walked past would call out my son’s name because the knew that was him from school. Another boy said Hey and my son’s name and his mom said honey not every boy you see in that costume is your friend and she apologized and I said no he is right that is my son’s name and no one should have this costume because I made it out of boxes and tape she could not believe that. As we continued through the night he caught many more peoples attention and got many more complements for being different and many people including the elderly knew what he was because of their grandchildren. We had only a few houses left and ran into the school principal again and she continued to praise him and his costume. Let’s just say the whole night was nothing but laughter and smiles and that was us and the strangers we met. When the night was done my son just kept thanking me and telling me he knew I put lots of time into his costume to make it super special and he was absolutely right I did this only for him because I knew how bad he wanted to be this LEGO and he means the world to me. I believe it’s not the material things that I give my son but the things I will do for him and he knows that he is worth all my time. Now the costume is in his room next to his bed and he still throws it on for a few minutes and tells me that when he can’t wear it anymore he will hang it on his wall.
In order for him to sit I had to cut the back with slits on the sides and folded it up this just gave him the comfort needed to sit but didn’t take away any of the look. Everything that was done throughout this process wasn’t just to get the look down it was to be fun for him and it’s not fun being uncomfortable. I kept telling him it might not look exactly like Sensa Wu but I insured him he would look like a LEGO because a box isn’t that hard. Right? Well yes and no but to be fun and able to walk and control the whole costume so it’s a little more than just a box. It was my son’s dream!