More Minecraft

I’ve had a few requests for Steve so here they are!  The files are .jpg format so hopefully that works for folks.

WordPress won’t let me post .ai or .eps files, but the Creeper PDF files can be opened and edited in Illustrator.





Left side



Right side


Top and Back




Showing my stats – my rock star status has come to an end

About a week after starting my blog, I realized it was tough to come up with ideas.  Yes, this should have been self-evident, but I’m beginning to realize that perhaps I’m not quite as bright as originally hoped.

On a whim, I posted the process of making my boy’s Halloween costume – Steve from Minecraft.  I posted the Illustrator files of both Steve and Creeper, not thinking much about it.

For the first few days, my stats continued to be single digits.  I remember hitting 12 and thinking, “Hot damn, I’m finally catching fire.”

I followed up the original post with my attempt to build a Diamond Sword and hit 32 views.  Interest waned and I went down to 22, then 15.  On October 8, something crazy happened.  I surpassed 200 views.  What?  Really?  It was just squares on a box.

My steady climb continued until October 30 when I hit the momentous number of 1387 views.  1387 human beings took the time to look at something I had to say.  It was intoxicating.  Another blog even linked to me, accounting for about 100 hits.

And today I crashed back down to Earth.  However, I would like to thank the 109 people for taking a moment out of their day to see what I had to say.

Now I just have to think of something else to talk about.

The final (?) version of Steve

With Halloween quickly approaching, I thought I’d better finish up my boy’s Halloween costume.  It takes time to stick paper to a box, you know.

A co-worker gave me a box that is approximately 9″X8″.  I never did find the elusive 10″X10″ box.

In InDesign, I created rectangles of the appropriate size of each side and place my Illustrator files in the boxes. I then scaled the image to fit within the dimensions of each side.  I’m sure the same thing would work in PowerPoint or Word.

Using an X-acto knife, I cut out the eyes.  With the new size box, it worked best to cut the eyes, not the mouth.  Again, this costume is not recommended for little ones that might go Trick or Treating.

My boy seems happy with it, although we have cross-promotion issues with the Big Bang Theory.

Diamond swords are forever – or at least until Halloween

My boy has decided that for Halloween, he is going as Steve and his BFF is going as Creeper (Minecraft characters for those lucky enough not to have been indoctrinated).

In an earlier post, I described how we made the Creeper head.  I have the Illustrator files ready to go for the Steve head, but I’m on the look out for a 10”X10” cardboard box.  Here’s the general plan.


In the meantime, we’ve made the diamond sword. On Amazon, a Minecraft foam sword sells for $19.99.  We managed to make it for $4, with lots of foam left over.

For hardcore enthusiasts, I am posting a file based on some image searches.  There is also a legend indicating how many of each coloured square is needed.  It was hard to tell the blues apart, so I also made a rather neon version to make it clearer.

I am not an enthusiast.  In fact, I just let the boy play Minecraft for a quiet life.  The sword we made looks okay and he’s thrilled (which is all that really matters).  It isn’t the dimensions of the planned version.  I just worked with what I had.

I’ll describe how I made it and what I’d do differently if I had the chance (no, I’m not making another!).

Here’s what I used:

–       A dollar store foam pirate sword ($2)

–       Self stick sparkly foam (6”X9”) (from Walmart $2)

–       Scissors

–       Sharpie

–       Ruler

–       Lots of patience

Initially, I thought 1” squares would be best, but it would have made it too wide.  I didn’t want to beef-up the width of the sword, so I made a last minute change and cut the foam to ¾” squares.   The colour choices for sparkly foam are, not shockingly, limited.  Based on what was available in the pack, my boy asked for blue and white.

I was not as exact as I should have been when cutting the squares.  Starting with the blue, I placed the ¾” foam squares as close to the middle as I could, starting at the base and placing them at a 45 degree angle to the shaft.  I just matched the corner from the preceding square to the approximate middle of the sword.  I did both sides.

Next, using the white squares, I stuck the squares beside the blue row on either side.  For the row closest to the base of the sword, I halved one of the squares.   It was a lot of cutting and peeling and sticking.

For the last row, it became apparent that I really should have spent more time ensuring that my measuring and cutting was more accurate.  I lucked out and was able to straddle the edge of the sword with one square, placing it so that half was on each side.

At the tip, I just filled in with the remaining blue squares.  There were some gaps on the last rows (the ‘blade’ sides) but I filled in the most obvious ones with some scraps.  From a distance, it’s not that obvious.

The boy said it didn’t make a lot of sense to have squares on the handle since no one was going to see it.

I doubt the sticky stuff on the foam will hold up to a lot of wear and tear.

My biggest regrets?  I didn’t measure, measure, measure…or cut carefully!

Overall, I think it’s a good substitute for the $19.99 version.

Thinking inside the box – A Minecraft Halloween Costume

“Sticks an’ stones, love. I’ve saved your life an’ you’ve saved mine. We’re square.”

– Jack Sparrow, Pirates of the Caribbean

Ever heard of Minecraft?

If not, you probably don’t have a son between the ages of 10-16.  Yes, I naively believe that the obsession will end at 16.

Minecraft is a computer game about using blocks to build anything.  It looks really cheesy, like a 1980’s video game.  Yet, left to his own devices, my 11-year-old son would play it all day and night.

My boy eagerly came to me the other day and announced, “I’m going as a Minecraft character for Halloween.  And, best part, the costume is only $30.”

I love Halloween.  If I had to choose between Christmas and Halloween?  No contest.  Halloween would win every time.

It’s always a little disappointing when I don’t get to make the costume.  Some of my favourites through the years include. . .

Harry Potter – with a homemade scarf

Halloween 2008

Obi Wan Kenobi (I sewed the jacket and cloak from a pattern)

But I’ve also relented and let him buy a few costumes.

Me and my boy

“Okay,” I replied.  Let’s have a look.

For the price of $29.99 you get a cardboard box.  Seriously.  Most of the reviews say, “Save your money.  It’s a cardboard box.”

“No way,” was my answer.  “We’ll make one.”

After a few image searches, I discovered that, generally, the characters are 10X10 squares.  That’s it.

I looked for instructions about how to make a costume, but no luck. Who would need instructions to cover a box with squares?  Don’t judge me.

What’s a cheap Mom to do?  Off to Illustrator I went.

For the character of Creeper, I made an Illustrator file and tried my best to approximate the facial features.  The top, back and sides can be the same file as it’s just green squares.  Again, it’s just black and green squares.



My first attempt is the beta version.  I’ve learned a few things that I will do differently for the final product.

Here’s what I used:

11”X17” paper (to print it off at 10”)

colour printer

10”X10” Box (I got mine from the Dollar store, but it was a bit too big)


Glue stick



X-acto knife

Cut out the pictures, eliminating any of the white margins.  Tape the front to one side of the box.  Next, tape the top, but make sure that you line up the squares.  Continue with the remaining sides.  Use the glue stick to stick down the seams.

Using an X-acto knife, cut out the mouth (not the eyes).  Why?  Because the mouth falls were his eyes are.

I would not recommend this for younger kids, especially if they are ‘trick or treating.’  My son is planning to take it to school because they are having a contest.

What did I learn?  I need to use a 10X10 box.  Mine was closer to 11×11 and the print out left a bit of room on each of the sides.  I might put black tissue paper inside the box to cover the opening so that it isn’t so obvious.  It’s important to line up the squares because if you don’t, it looks weird.  Weirder?

For our next attempt, I might make a Steve Head (that is honestly what they call it).  If anyone is interested, I’ll post the files for Steve.  Just let me know.  We are also going to make a diamond sword.  Can’t hardly wait to find out what a diamond sword is!