For years we have been trying to convince our kids that Halloween is all about making your costumes, not buying them. Sadly, this has fallen on deaf ears year after year after year. Our vision of what would be awesome and their vision of what would be awesome has never aligned... until now! Thank you Minecraft!

Our kids, like millions of others around the world, are obsessed with all things Minecraft. While I'm not much into gaming myself, I can definitely appreciate the virtues of this game - namely the simplicity and  open-ended creativity that it offers. The simplicity in particular is what made this a logical choice for this year's costumes. The pixelized, blocky look of all of the characters make them perfect for construction out of cardboard - which happens to be free and plentiful. 

After careful consideration of all the possible characters and skins, my son settled on 'Minecraft Steve'. He wanted to make it as recognizable as possible to the most number of people.  Our primary goals for the costume were (1) to make it as close to the actual game character as possible and (2) allow for the mobility that will be required during Trick-or-Treating.  After 2 weeks, 10 sheets of cardboard, and many late nights, it's safe to say that the results exceeded our  expectations.

Materials you will need:

* cardboard sheets
* Photoshop - or similar photo editing software
* sheetrock screws
* liquid nails
* tape - masking and scotch
* 3M spray adhesive
* Velcro
* Gorilla Glue
* scrap foam (like the kind used to package computers or appliances)

Tools you will need:

* color printer
* straight edge
* utility knife and Exacto knife (with lots of replacement blades)
* screw gun/cordless drill

Step 1: Gather your source images

I've found that one of the keys to making a great costume is to have it scaled correctly. I've seen lots of pictures of Minecraft costumes where the head is too small compared to the body, or the arms are too large compared to the body and head. These were most likely made with pre-existing cardboard boxes. To make ours truly to scale, we were going to need to make our own boxes. And to do that required a complete set of dimensions.

The problem with Minecraft Steve is that there really aren't any action figures to measure (at least not in my house). There are, however, hundreds of papercraft templates out there on the web. Step one is to search for a high resolution template. This will give you every dimension you will need for every component to the body. It will also serve to provide the 'skins' for your boxes... but more about that later.

Once you've gathered the dimensions, you will need to then determine your scale factor.  Since this costume is for my son, we took our key scaling dimension off of him. Our scaling dimension was measured from his shoulders to the ground. The thought is that the body portion of the costume is supported by his shoulders, and as a result the shoulders of Minecraft Steve need to match this height. 

The scale factor can then be applied to all of the dimensions from the papercraft template. You are now ready to start cutting cardboard.

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