Introduction: Most Awesome/difficult Gift Wrap Ever
First thing's first. I will admit that the title is purely opinion. I have no awesomeometers and I have yet to see an instructable on how to build one. Next, please read through all steps before attempting.
On with the explanation. If you ever had younger siblings or children you may remember a time at birthdays or christmases when they were far more entertained with the wrapping paper than with any gift no matter how much time or money you spent on it. Well along these lines of logic, the purpose of this instructable is to make anyone you might give a gift to feel like a two year old again.
Just to make sure everyone understands the concept. These are papercraft action figures. They are hollow and allow room to fit a gift inside. What makes them even more awesome is that the shoulders and elbows actually move, so you can make them battle like rock 'em sock 'em robots as long as you are giving more than one at a time.
This instructable will take a lot of time. Probably several hours. I doubt anyone could do it in less than one, and if you want to take that as a challenge be my guest. Take note that size matters. Know your dimensions before you build. The ones I have built have bean a little over a foot tall and you could just barely fit a CD or Nintendo DS game in them. If you want an estimate the size of the finished product just check the dimensions of the chest cavity.
Step 1: Supplies
Posterboard(preferably) or Cardstock
Fair warning, do not make these out of printer paper, newspaper, tissue paper, construction paper, etc. You need something rigid and capable of supporting weight.
Do not use scotch tape it isn't strong enough. You could use duct tape, shipping tape, etc. it's up to you. I wouldn't recommend glue. This is a long enough project as it is and you don't want to be waiting for things to dry.
Markers or paint
Optional, but awesome:
Step 2: Creating the Pieces
The images are the templates for all of the required pieces. Do not simply print them even if you have card stock. You must size them appropriately. Unfortunately I can't tell you what size to make them, but if you try to print on 8.5 x 11 paper you will end up with a figure that is about 3 inches tall and able to hold a few jelly beans. If you are thinking that that's fine because you are giving someone something small like a piece of jewelry, just remember that all of the pieces will be very small and very hard to work with. You also don't want to spend four hours building and have something three inches tall to show for it.
Remember you must size all three images the same way. Each image is the same size and each shape is perfectly proportioned that way.
How to do it.
Your two best options are to either cut the images into equal sized pieces and scale them up by 200%, 5000%, etc. and then print on a couple sheets of card stock. You could print on regular paper and then trace it onto a posterboard.
View each picture, measure the dimensions against the screen with a ruler and draw them onto a posterboard. You don't need to be a great artist most of the pieces just require straight lines and 90 degree angles.
I used the latter method, but it's your choice.
Remember the right and left arms and legs are exact mirrors. You can draw the parts for one arm or one leg and just cut out two copies of each piece by layering the paper.
Step 3: Cut Out the Pieces.
As simple as it sounds.
If you want to make more than one of these, which I would suggest for fighting purposes, then layer the paper so that you can cut out a few copies of each piece without having to draw, print, or cut multiple times.
If you want a shortcut ignore the blue triangles. Blue trapezoids are important, but blue triangles you really don't need. I went without the triangles, but that's just me.
Step 4: Building It
Follow the diagram. I really can't give much better instructions than that. If you are not a visual person I apologize.
Optional: enhancing the arms
Do not cut or print pieces 8 or 9 and don't cut a hole in 10 for either arm. Instead get four small magnets. I used four cylindrical neodymium ones because they're cool. Tape one where the armhole in the chest should be on the inside. Tape the other where the hole in 10 should be on the inside of the arm. This way the arms are held in place better, and will swing more freely.
Step 5: Decorating It.
This step may be the hardest for some of you. You don't need to be artistically talented, but you do need to be creative. This took me the longest for the best one I made, and the shortest for the worst one.
The hardest one was Halo's Master Chief. It took hours. I even engraved the visor. The easiest was Frosty the snowman. I drew some buttons and a face and gave him a top hat.
Tips to make it easier.
If you can't even draw a decent stick figure(no offense), then use stickers. I don't care where you get them, but you could easily find a sticker of a face.
Stick to solid colors with few designs. I wouldn't even dare attempt any kind of shading. An easier build was Homer Simpson. White shirt, blue pants, grey shoes, yellow skin, and brown five o' clock shadow.
If you aren't even confident in coloring or you don't want to leave marker lines, just use paper or posterboard that is already the color you want.
Step 6: Finishing Up.
My favorite build was Halo's Master Chief that I gave to my brother. He has taken a hell of a beating and looked better in his prime. The Master Chief of course not my brother. The other two, along with the stormtrooper on the first page, were professionally done. Not my work. They had the same basic shape design, but different decoration. I'm sorry that I don't have any more images of the ones I made.
Now hide something inside it. The chest is the largest empty space. As I said you will have to size accordingly.
Give it to someone. True love, family, best friend, worst enemy, mailman who may fit into one or more of the previous categories.
If you gave away multiple or if you know someone who has one already make them fight. I taped chopsticks to their arms to control them.
Enjoy holidays, birthdays, etc.