If you follow me on Facebook, you know that the big kid is obsessed with Minecraft.
She has been for years, so I am thrilled that it is getting popular and that she can share it with her friends. Because, for the longest time, people looked at her like she was nuts for talking about a pixelated world with "creepers" and "zombies" and where everything was made up of blocks.
Way back in May, she told me that she wanted to be a Minecraft Skeleton for Halloween, so I've been mentally preparing for that. The thing that kept getting to me was that, Minecraft Skeletons have bows and arrows.
And I had no idea how I was going to make her a bow and arrow.
Until I started really working with the pink insulation foam from most home improvement stores to make the gravestones. And it clicked! It's lightweight, easy to work with with, rigid for a weapon (but not so hard that, if she hits someone with it, it'll cause severe damage).
And also, she has a pickaxe from Jinx, and it's made of a similar material (did I just give away my secret?).
So I set to work on making her a bow and arrow! But.. why stop there? The big kid, Baby Goats and a lot of their friends like Minecraft! Why not make a few more weapons so they could all play with them? And then I thought... Why can't these be party favors for The Big Kid's birthday party?! So I have templates for you so you can DIY a Minecraft sword, pickaxe or bow and arrow. So if your kid asks to be a Zombie Pigman for Halloween this year, you'll say, "SURE! I can even make your gold sword!" (I know that did not make sense to a lot of you, but I hear about this game way. too. much.).
I'll link to the templates at the end of the post, but for now, as if there wasn't enough talking already, let's talk about how I made the weapons!
First things first, download the template and tape the sheets together, making sure to line up the reference lines.
Then tape it down your your insulation foam board and trace it firmly with a ballpoint pen or a pencil. This will leave an impression in the foam. If you do this carefully, you should be able to get two weapons from one template (before the page starts tearing).
I stole one of the big kid's rulers to make sure I was making straight lines, and a cool trick is to place the ruler and make all lines on that plane (since these are "pixelated", most lines will line up with another, so you can get a few lines in one swoop)
You can see the impression is quite visible, but I wanted to make it more visible for when I would be cutting.
So I went over it with a Sharpie and cut it out with my Dremel Trio using the jig saw bit. You could also do this with a jig saw. Maybe even a hack saw or a coping saw, if you're not diggin' power tools!
The cut edges are not very neat, and probably not perfectly straight (if you can get a straight line with a jig saw, I'm super jealous!) but you can help that by sanding them with a sanding block. I think mine was a 100 grit, but I can't imagine that it would matter a whole lot. Just go slow and steady.
After sanding, I started creating a grid based on the lines of the weapons (and had to fill in some by eyeballing them). Just use a pencil and ruler, and make sure to do both sides. You want a slight indentation, but if you go too far, it'll be hard to get paint into it.
Then it's time to prime (use a good, high quality primer! I used Glidden Gripper - it's amazing!) and paint! I used regular acrylic paints from Michael's and/or Walmart.
I bought a cheap bow and arrow set from Dollar Tree (mid-Sept 2013 they're available at every one I've gone to - where the halloween costumes are!) and used the elastic rope from that on the bow (The Big Kid has a better bow but is always wanting more arrows, so it was a purchase with a few purposes). We wanted the bow to be "useable". It is, but it only shoots 3-4'. I was afraid that, if I did a bow exactly like the game one, that the kids would break the "rope" part of it.
Click here for the Pickaxe Template PDF.
Click here for the Sword Template PDF.
Click here for the Bow and Arrow Template PDF.
Has anyone else had Minecraft costume requests for Halloween? Baby Goats wants to be a Minecraft Zombie.