Isaac really wanted to be a Minecraft Creeper for Halloween. I bought a pretty cool cube-shaped mask online, but he really wanted to have a full costume including a Creeper body. I would have been happy to buy one but could not find such an item anywhere online or in stores (dangit). So I thought on it for a while and came up with a plan.
We have a million moving boxes saved from our move over the summer, so after trying a few for size I settled on the Home Depot Small as our best bet. I turned the flaps up at the top and bottom in order to get the most length out of it. I also cut the side from another identical box, and kept the top and bottom flaps intact. This became the top part of the Creeper’s torso. The boxes were plain brown cardboard with orange and green logos and writing, so I prepared them with flat white primer spray paint. I cut a hole into the top piece for Isaac’s head to fit through.
I fastened the two pieces together with clothespins so Isaac could try it on. The weight of the cardboard pulled the flat top part down and didn’t look so great. We happened to have a big bag of various kinds of foam acquired recently at the Scrap Exchange for a school project. I hot glued a couple of the denser pieces to the underside of the torso top, to stiffen it a bit and also keep it more in place on Isaac’s shoulders:
I used the mask as a guide for the colors and size of the squares (1.5 ” each side). This piece of foam is almost the same width so I used it to lightly pencil in a grid:
There are about five different colors in the squares. Maybe slightly more but I aimed to keep things simple. I drew a grid on a piece of paper and assigned numbers from lightest to darkest.
Next I pencilled in the grid on the cardboard and wrote in the corresponding numbers:
Painting by numbers!
Painting in the squares took a few hours. It didn’t go as smoothly as I hoped but there wasn’t time left to let the paint dry between the lighter and darker colors so I could tape everything off. I was nervous Isaac would be disappointed that the blocks weren’t as precisely aligned as on the commercially manufactured mask. But when he saw it he was thrilled! I used hot glue to attach the flaps on top of the torso to the flaps hanging down from the top piece:
All done just in time!