Sunday, November 3, 2013

DIY Minecraft Costume

I first saw a costume like this on Pinterest without a tutorial attached.  Ideas started to go round and round in my head of "if I ever made that, how would I do it?"  The idea that stayed with me the most had to do with using paint chips to be the pixels.  I collected a bunch and hit up Kent (our local hardware store chain) for a couple of boxes that would be the right size for the head and body.  I was all ready to go when I decided to look up some tutorials for a Minecraft costume, seeing if anyone else had done something similar.  What I found was a very snarky tutorial that judged what she considered to be inferior costumes and that her way and her downloads were so much better to do it right.  Can I just say that this is the evil side of Pinterest?  I love it so much for the ideas, but really people, can we not just accept that crafts and costumes are not going to be (and don't have to be) perfect?  A homemade costume made with love is something most kids will never know the joy of.  Can we not just celebrate that they were made with love and the kids who wore them loved wearing them? Sorry, I know I could go into a longer rant, but that post I read really put me off!
Anyway, I decided to forge ahead with my own idea.  Here's how it played out:


-2 large boxes, one for the head, one for the body
-paint chips in skin tones, browns and blues.  The ones I collected were similar enough in tone that the could create that pixel-y look that Minecraft is so known for
-dark brown (or black) spray paint
-blue spray paint - make sure your spray paints are good quality - see my Lego costume post as to why
-glue (I used Elmer's white glue)

How I did it:

The Head
1. Cut the bottom flaps of the box off
2. Cut out eye holes - make them large enough to see out well, keep them rectangular to fit in with the design
2. Cut out the paint chips into rectangles (I also cut off the paint numbers and names)
3.  Lay out your face design to make sure the layout will work
4.  Spread glue all over the box and lay down the chips in your design - they will curl up, don't panic!
5. Once all the pieces are on, turn the box face down to dry.  I put several heavy cookbooks inside the box to put weight on it and let it dry overnight.
6.  Once dry, take your box outside and place it face down.  Spray paint the rest of the box in dark brown or black to be the rest of the hair

The Body
1. Cut the bottom flaps of the box off
2. Use an exacto knife or serrated knife to cut out a head hole and arm holes - make them large enough that the head and arms can fit through comfortably
3. Spray paint the box blue.
*Now, you could stop there and it would look great.  I did carry on with the next steps because I had gotten the paint chips
4. Cut the paint chips into rectangles as you did with the face ones
5. Spread glue over the front of the box and lay the chips down in your design.
6. Once again, place your box design side down and place heavy books inside to weight it down and leave overnight to dry.

If I had any doubts about this costume being 'inferior', the look on my son's face the morning he saw it made them all drift away.  He really, really loved this costume and thought it "tres cool" (his words, not mine)

DIY Lego Brick Costume

This costume was a lesson in "don't cheap out on spray paint!"  Fortunately, I had lots of green tempera paint in the house, so I was able to fix the mess and the costume worked.  Best of all, my son loved it!
The first step to this costume was finding a box large enough.  One kind person suggested Indigo book store (which I never would have thought of).  Sure enough, they had it (one more reason to love that store).  Once I had the box, the rest was just figuring it out and actually taking the time to make it.

-large cardboard box
-moving tape
-paper bowls (think Royal Chinet or similar)
-paint - a good spray paint would work as it did with my other son's Minecraft costume, but I cheaped out and ended up painting several coats of tempera over top.

How I did it:

1. Cut the bottom out of the box.
2. Use an exacto knife, or a serated knife to cut a round hole large enough out of the top that the head will fit comfortably through.
3.  Also using an exacto knife, or, serated knife cut armholes out of the top sides.
4. Place and tape the bowls (placed upsidedown, spread out to look like the Lego brick bumps)
5. Paint - and continue to paint until it is coated well

Now, I know this is not the picture perfect Pinterest example of a Lego brick costume, but I think it's a pretty good example of what the rest of us can do.  He absolutely loves this costume and got great compliments at the Trunk or Treating even we went to.  I thought it was a lot of fun and I had fun making it for him too.