Monday, November 6, 2017

DIY Minecraft Costume

I'm sure a lot of you could have guessed what Chase decided to be for Halloween.   He has a tendency to choose a birthday theme and then also wants to carry that theme into Halloween.  This is usually just fine by me because I often have made decorations for his party that we can incorporate into his costume.  This year is no exception.  He chose to have a Minecraft birthday party, and despite my attempt to persuade him into a costume that would coordinate with his brother, he opted to be Steve, the main character in Minecraft.  So, Steve it is.  And, here we go with another costume made from cardboard.  To see last year's cardboard creations, click HERE.  And to see Beckham's Man in the Yellow Hat costume, click HERE.

DIY Minecraft Steve Costume with cardboard legs!  Midwestern Mama

Pinterest is full of ideas for how to create your own Minecraft costume.  I honestly wasn't planning on doing a post about this because it's been done over and over and over.  But, when I started actually making the costume, I realized that I was doing it differently then anyone else I was able to find online, so I figured maybe my post could potentially help someone else in the same boat!  

Most of the costumes I saw online were a cardboard head and sometimes they  had cardboard arms.  I hadn't seen any that had cardboard legs.  I tried my darnedest to talk Chase into wearing normal pants, but he was determined to be a legit Steve, and that meant cardboard from head to toe!

DIY Minecraft Steve Costume with cardboard legs!  Midwestern Mama

My main source of reference was this site.  At first, I thought this guy was super hard core, making his own boxes with sheetrock screws and liquid nails...but once I realized that it would be nearly impossible to find boxes in the exact dimensions to fit my son, I understood.  Hot glue works wonderfully at connecting cardboard to cardboard though, so no need for the liquid nails and screws...just FYI.

Also, if your kid wants to be Steve, but you just don't have it in you to build a costume from scratch, I have some amazing news for you!  Amazon has premade Minecraft costume parts!  Yep yep!

So, now you're thinking, if Amazon has them already made, why on earth are you making your own?  Well, Halloween is my jam.  I just love it!  We grew up making our own costumes, and I look forward to planning out what everyone will be, and crafting them up with my own two hands (plus a few smaller helping hands).  It's just something that I choose to do, even if Amazon is taunting me with their premade Steve heads.

DIY Minecraft Steve Costume with cardboard legs!  Midwestern Mama

-Cardboard sheets or boxes.  For the head, I got a box from Walmart.  For the rest of the body, I used large boxes I received from previous Amazon purchases.  If you need a lot of cardboard, you can call Lowes and have them save some large appliance boxes for you.  They will give them to you for free!
-hot glue gun and lots of glue sticks
-box cutter
-exacto knife
-yard stick
-masking tape
-scotch tape
-large brads
-Photoshop or some sort of editing software (to edit the printable skins)


Let's start with the head.  Tape up one side of the box.  Flip it over and draw a circle for the child's head to fit through.  

I used a bowl and traced a circle, then I just free hand drew more of an oval shape.  Using a sharp knife, or exacto knife, cut the oval shape out.

For the body and arms, you will have to base your measurements off of your own child.  For reference, my son is 50" tall and weighs 50 pounds.  We used a body that was 16" tall, 11" wide and 7.5" deep.  Since I wasn't planning on doing a tutorial, I don't have any pictures of making the body, however, I used the same process to make the arms, which I will explain below. 

For the arms, I measured from the natural bend in the cardboard, and measured out for 2 sides.  For the body, I measured the cardboard to include the front and two sides.    
**Tip, I measured the actual size of the arm/body, then drew a line.  I lined up the yardstick and then drew another line on the outside of the yardstick, which gave me about 1.5" extra to use as the flange, which will be glued to the other pieces to make a box.

Using the box cutter, cut along the outer edge of your arm, including the flanges.  Be sure to have something under your cardboard to protect your work surface from the blades.  Score (Cut through the first layer of cardboard, but not all the way through) along the line where you will be bending the flange to help the cardboard bend in a straight line.

You will need a piece of cardboard with flanges and a piece without for each arm. 

Hot glue the outside of the flange to the inside of the 2nd cardboard piece (without flanges) to form a box.  Cut a square to cover the top and bottom of the box, then glue them to each arm.  Use masking tape to trim out the edges and make them more smooth where the flanges form corners. 

Using a utility knife or an exacto knife, cut a hole towards the top of each cardboard arm for your child's arm to go through.  You will need to make the same size hole on each side of the body.  

Using your exacto knife, cut a small hole above each arm hole.  This will be where you will thread a brad to connect the arm to the body and allow the arm to move.  I reinforced my hole with an extra piece of cardboard as seen above.  

I ended up having to widen the arm holes to increase my son's range of motion.   Be sure the arm holes line up with the holes in the body portion of the costume.  You can see the original hole on the right, and the larger one on the left.  He requested a hole on the top of one arm to hold the sword and a hole on the underneath side of the other arm to hold his candy basket.  
The legs were a bit of a challenge.  My son was determined to be cardboard from head to toe, so I had to figure out a way that he would be able to move.  

Measure from the floor to your child's knee.  This will be the height of the bottom leg piece.  Use the same method as above when building your boxes for the legs, but don't complete the box yet.  Lay it out flat and cut a semi-circle for the shoe to fit through.  

Draw a line diagonally down to create a gap in the back of the knee that will allow the knee to bend.  Now, measure the top of the leg and create 2 boxes, leaving them both flat for now.  

Using a small piece of cardboard with a natural bend, glue the top and bottom leg pieces together on the inside.  

You will want the front side of the leg pieces facing down, and you will be gluing the extra piece to the back side of the front.  That sounds really confusing when I type it out, but hopefully the pictures make more sense!  You are basically creating a knee with the small piece of cardboard.  This will connect the top and bottom leg pieces but also allow them to bend where the knee is.

Now, instead of glueing the leg pieces to form a box, you will want to use velcro to make it easier for your child to get in and out of the costume.  Along the inside of the back leg pieces, glue a few strips of velcro.

The finished leg should look like this above.  The front is where the toe of the shoe will poke out at the bottom and the back is were the triangle is cut out for the knee to bend.  

We had to make an additional waist section to fill in the gap from where the body stopped and the legs started.  I suppose you might be able to make the body longer, but I found this extra step, while not originally planned, ended up giving my son a little more flexibility in the costume.  His waist section was about 5 inches tall, and I used velcro on it as well.  The "n" shaped piece of cardboard you see above was used to connect everything together.  It was glued on the inside front panel of the legs, waist and body.

Because I didn't take pictures while I was making the body, here are a few I took after I decided to do a tutorial, so you can see how I formed the shoulders, how the back opens up, and where I put the velcro.

And here's the body with the back closed and velcro'd shut.

For the skins, I used the printables from this site.  I did have to resize them in Photoshop, but it was pretty easy.  I made sure everything fit onto 11x17 pages because they were pretty cheap, I believe $0.89 per color copy at Staples.  If you get into poster sizes, the prices increase significantly.  So, even though I had to piece them together on longer areas, like the arms, it was much cheaper and you really couldn't even see the seams.  

To attach the skins to the cardboard, I used Elmer's spray adhesive.  As you can see in the picture above, the skins wrapped around the corners to slightly overlap.  I had to trim the white edges off in some places, and I left them on in places where I knew they would be covered later.  This picture is of the head before I glued the face on.  After all of the skins were attached, I went around the edges with scotch tape.  Some of the corners were starting to peel up, and I didn't want them to get snagged and ripped.  I used the gift wrapping scotch tape because it has less of a glare and wasn't very noticeable.  

DIY Minecraft Steve Costume with cardboard legs!  Midwestern Mama

To make a little peep hole for the child to see, I cut out the nose area.  

DIY Minecraft Steve Costume with cardboard legs!  Midwestern Mama

I happened to have a piece of screening from a previous project, so I painted it brown and taped it to the inside of the head, covering the nose area.  This allowed my son to see through the hole, but it disguised him a little bit more.

I had originally planned to velcro the head to the body so that it wouldn't flop around when he walked.  However, when the arms moved, they would pop the head off of the velcro.  So...back to the drawing board.  

My son had a construction hard hat, so I shoved that in the box, and secured it with some newsprint.  I put a thin line of hot glue along the brim of the hat to make sure it didn't slide around.  This worked like a charm! 

 I realize not everyone had a hard hat sitting around, but this is what worked for us!

To attach the arms to the body, insert a brad from the inside of the arm, pointing outward.  

Then thread the brad through the coordinating hole on the body and press the arms of the brad outward.  

I secured mine with a piece of masking tape.  

DIY Minecraft Steve Costume with cardboard legs!  Midwestern Mama

As a side note, I had to make several trips to Staples to get my skins printed.  Even though I went to the same place, they must have used different printers because as you can see the body is a different color than the arms.  It wasn't super noticeable, but still annoying when you spend this much time on a project and that is something that could have been easily prevented.  

Steve's legs are mostly purple, with just a couple of dark squares at the knees.  I decided to just paint the legs instead of printing and taping the skins on them.  Here's a video of him walking, so you can see the legs in action!  

For the diamond sword, I used this tutorial.  I ended up getting black foam board from Walmart and using the spray adhesive to secure the skins to the foam.  To be honest, this was the hardest part of the entire costume!  I don't know if it was the foam board, or the fact that my exacto knife was probably as dull as it could possibly be at this point, but for some reason it was really hard to cut all of the zig zags of the sword!  So, if you're not up for the challenge, you can always purchase one here.  

DIY Minecraft Steve Costume with cardboard legs and a TNT candy bucket!  Midwestern Mama

And, for the TNT candy bucket, I collected lots and lots of paper towel rolls!  Spray painted them red, and then hot glued them onto a bucket.  I used this TNT sign below (again on, 11x17 size paper) and glued it around the paper towel rolls.  

I will say, this costume took a whole lot more time to make then I had originally anticipated.  But, my son LOVED it and he was so proud to wear it.  He was somewhat of a celebrity because so many kids asked to take their picture with "Steve"!  So, to see the smile on his face, makes it all worth the effort!

Good luck!  If you make a Minecraft Steve, I would love to see your pictures!  

More Halloween posts are HERE!

***Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission.  This does not affect the price you pay, but does help me maintain my blog.  Thank you for your support!

DIY Minecraft Steve Costume with cardboard legs!  Midwestern Mama

 photo Niki Heart Auto signature-2_zpso77bkiti.png


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