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2014-04-02

DIY Wood Minecraft Blocks

diy minecraft block cube gregoryd



With some birthdays coming up in the family I thought I'd take the opportunity to test out an idea I had for a home-made gift. A set of physical home-made blocks modeled after the video game Minecraft .

I started by doing a few tests to determine how large a set should be in order to enjoyable. I modeled some sketchup blocks to scale and built a few test scenes. This started a series of discussion among my friends that led to the introduction of lava... cause lava is cool.

diy minecraft block cube gregoryd diy minecraft block cube gregoryd

My total numbers for the 48 blocks:

11 Grass
9 Oak Leaves
6 Oak Trees
6 Dirt
6 Stone
6 Lava
2 Iron Ore
1 Diamond
1 TNT

I should also speak briefly about where the images came from. I decided to use the 'Faithful' texture pack. To keep the pixels fresh and crispy while digitally enlarging them to fit a 1.5" cube I created an action in Photoshop. The key piece to this exercise is to use Photoshop's "Image Size" tool and at the bottom of that window where it says "Resample Image:" choose the drop down setting "Nearest Neighbor (preserve hard edges)". Sweet pixel magic! 

Now for the not so fun part of this exercise, the work.

I wanted to make a few sets for various family members so I figured I'd make them all at once... 192 blocks. You can buy wooden cubes online for a fair price but to keep costs down I opted to make my own cubes from some poplar boards from the local big box store. I used a compound miter saw, set up a "stop", and knocked out a couple hundred cubes in no time.

diy minecraft block cube gregoryddiy minecraft block cube gregoryd

After the dust settled I saw a stack of cubes and started to contemplate if I bit off more than I could chew. I would put this question to the test as now the 192 cubes turned into 1152 sides.

1152:
     Faces I had to sand
     Printed squares I had to cut out
     Squares I had to glue to the cubes
     Sides I coated to protect the faces

To glue the squares on I used Mod Podge and applied it to the cube with a brush. I then turned the block over and pressed it to the tabletop to push out any air bubbles.

To coat the cubes I used a Gel Medium. I have had good success with this product. In many ways it is like Mod Podge but it dries extremely clear and with the Matte finish there is a slight texture that is put on the surface. This texture helped keep the cubes from sliding around on each other. 

When I was done I had 4 coats of Gel Medium on the cubes. I focused on putting more gel on the edges to help prevent the edges of the paper from peeling up.


diy minecraft block cube gregoryd

The next step was to knock out a chest to store the 48 pieces. I made this chest out of gatorboard and adhered the image to it in a similar fashion as the cubes. The joints are made from black duct tape. Not all of the duct tape ends were as clean as I would like so I may explore other options later.

Now on to the final product!!!

diy minecraft block cube gregoryd

diy minecraft block cube gregoryd diy minecraft block cube gregoryd

diy minecraft block cube gregoryd

diy minecraft block cube gregoryd

diy minecraft block cube gregoryd

diy minecraft block cube gregoryd

diy minecraft block cube gregoryd

diy minecraft block cube gregoryd

diy minecraft block cube gregoryd

diy minecraft block cube gregoryd

diy minecraft block cube gregoryd

diy minecraft block cube gregoryd

diy minecraft block cube gregoryd

diy minecraft block cube gregoryd

diy minecraft block cube gregoryd

diy minecraft block cube gregoryd



6 comments:

  1. Anonymous2:21 AM

    I love your blocks and would like to make my son some for his birthday. Is there any way you would share your files used to create the blocks? Also, how big are your blocks. Thank you. Emily
    emilyenorris@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. I would love to make these for my sons. How would I get the files for the pictures on the blocks?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amber - There are a few ways to get the Minecraft images.

      1. If you have the game installed on your computer you can find the folder that has all of the images.

      C:\Users\"username"\AppData\Roaming\.minecraft\resourcepacks

      2. You can go onto some minecraft mod pages and download packages (these will be different than the standard game)

      3. I can share some of my print files if you can share an email address. Mine are from the "Faithful" resource pack which took the original graphics and made them a little higher resolution.

      Once you get the images you need to arrange them onto a sheet so you can cut them all out (i prefer straight edge and exacto).

      Good luck to you!

      Delete
  3. Leslee9:29 PM

    Would you please email them to me too! My son would love for me to make these. And I might just get him to craft it up with me!
    leslee_fisher@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am in awe of this project! I do a fair share of woodworking but I'm still deciding if I want to tackle this just for my one daughter LOL you did an amazing job! If you're still willing to share your image files I'd love to have them too so I can focus on cutting down lumber & sanding! candi.daitch@gmail.com Thank you! Again, amazing job!

    ReplyDelete