Sure you can buy a Halloween costume from the store, but where's the fun in that?

This is probably the coolest costume I've made, to date, for one of my kids. And I've had some doozies in the past -- the Elf on a Shelf costume I made a few years ago was legendary at my son's daycare center.

My DIY Elf on the Shelf Costume

When my son said he wanted to be Steve from Minecraft for Halloween, I thought OMG FINALLY SOMETHING EASY. All I'd have to do is get a Steve head (available in any Halloween costume store/section), t-shirt, pants and shoes. Boom. Done.

Then he specifies, "No Mommy," as he runs over with his iPad to show me *exactly* what version of Steve he wanted to be -- he excitedly says, "I want to be Diamond Knight Steve."

Cue the extensive Googling. I was lucky enough to find this Etsy shop. I PayPal'd my way to get the premade PDF files that were created by this really imaginative dad, Mike Morvay, who'd made the exact costume my son wanted. He posted a tutorial on, I made some modifications (or MODS if we're speaking Minecraft language).

Minecraft costume construction...mess everywhere.

Here's how I did it (my modified version anyhow). You'll need the ability to get color copies on cardstock, hot glue, hot Exacto knife, metal straight-edge of some sort, LOTS of foamcore, spray adhesive, clear coat spray, and a package of thick elastic.

1. After buying the instructions and files from Etsy, I put the PDF files on a jump drive and had them printed on glossy cardstock at my nearby office supply store.

2. According to the instructions, I cut the shapes out with the hot exacto knife. Why use a hot knife? You won't need as much pressure to make the cuts, and the cuts are far smoother than you'll get with a regular exacto knife.

3. Using the spray adhesive, I glued the paper to the foamcore. When dry, I cut the foamcore-backed shapes out with the hot knife.

4. I cheated a bit by buying a premade Steve head, my favorite tip!

5. I constructed the foamcore into the box shapes using hot glue (caulk gun style). Lots of hot glue. I didn't get to finishing the top of the armor for the arms, but you would approach constructing those pieces in the same manner.

6. After making the helmet and body armor, I used clear coat spray to (hopefully?) prevent the ink from running or splotching on the paper should it rain. This hasn't been road tested yet, so...

7. The hemet sit fairly well on the premade Steve head, so I didn't do anything different -- thinking kiddo would like the option to be Diamond Knight Steve sometimes, and regular old Minecraft Steve other times.

The head, helmet and armor sections.

8. To get the armor to fit around kiddo's body, I cut out armholes in the sides, and to get it to stay up (since I skipped making the shoulder pieces for now), I attached thick elastic straps to hold the piece up, sandwich-board style.

9. Add in blue pants, an aqua blue t-shirt, and a store-bought Diamond Knight sword, and you're done!

Here's the costume in action...