Friday, October 31, 2014

It's Me, Mario ... And My Kart!

Dawn's 3rd favorite holiday of the year is Halloween. It's her 3rd favorite because her and her mom are that special kind of Christmas nuts that go in the Christmas stores in April and stay in there for 2,000,000 hours (not even an exaggeration here). In a close running for the #1 spot, but falling short, is my birthday. Now, I know what you're thinking and YES, MY BIRTHDAY IS A HOLIDAY!!!!!

Since we started dating, we've always dressed up and and went out for Halloween. Whether is be Pimp and Hoe, Zombie Prom King and Queen, or 80s Kids (Yes, this is our 5th Halloween, we did the Pimp/Hoe the year of "The Fall" since we already had it and money was tight after bills). This year we were back and forth between a few options until it hit me ... Mario and Princess Peach with our own Mario Karts.

I looked at a couple of DIY sites that had their versions of karts, but I didn't like any of them. I basically used their instructions for guidelines, and then just made my own.

The fact that I didn't really do a whole lot of pre-designing made this take longer than it probably should have. In total, to build one, it'll take a good couple of hours. I broke it down into a few days.

First, you'll obviously need your material. I never measured the whole thing out, so I really don't know exactly how much to tell you to get. Again, I basically just winged it. You'll also need something to hold it together. I used a combination of duct tape and spray glue. Also, don't forget your box cutter and tape measure/ruler.

I cut one of the boxes in half and it just happened to work out that it was pretty close to the length that I was wanting to go with, so I just drew my design out on it. This looks all nice and pretty, but I really drew it about 10 more times before I found the exact angle and lines that I wanted to go with. Again, no measurements, just eye balled it to how I wanted it to look.

Once I had my angle, I cut it out and placed it on another piece and just traced it over. Note: I only cut out the edge of my design and used the top and bottom flaps for support.

I don't have pictures of this, but my boxes were 24 inches wide. You want to make sure the kart is thin enough to make it through a door frame (I measured around 31"). Since the box already had a nature edge at 24 inches, I just went with that for my width. 

I cut that off and cut off the top flap, and spray glued the bottom to the folded under bottom flaps of the side pieces. Then folded the side in to give it an angled front end, and spray glued it to the side. Here, you might want to make a "T" bracket to hold it better. Simply take a small piece of cardboard and fold it in half. Spray one side and stick it to the front end and spray the other side and stick it to the side wall. It'll just give it a little extra holding strength. If you make one similar to mine here, you'll cover it up later anyway, so if you do it on the outside that'd be just as fine.

Once the basics to the front is holding together, you'll start on the rear end. Again, took one of the side pieces of my boxes that was 24" and cut the top flap off. I wanted to make the rear end inset, so I marked off 5" from each end to be my taillight area. Went a little crazy for my tailpipes, but you get the idea. However many pipes you go with, measure it and cut them out. 

To make the inset, I glued the bottom flap of the back on top of the bottom flap from the side pieces 3" from the back. To give it more stability, I cut the top flap of the sides down and, where I could, glued it to the rear.

Once that was holding together, I cut pieces out to make the rear taillight box. If your measurements were correct, they should be 5"x3". If your measurements are exactly spot on (which is hard with cardboard), then you can always just cut down as needed. Remember, you can always cut more off, but you can't ever add to it (well, you can with tape). I held this together with duct tape since there wasn't much surface area to spray glue.

For the heck of it, I wanted to test out the pipes. This is the tubes I used in their full length, I later cut them down to look more like pipes.

The front is basically the same steps as the rear. I made the side 5" wide, and then had to get creative with the sides. Cardboard is pretty tough to do curves in multiple sides with, so I just cut pieces and taped it all together.

Once I had everything together, I cut some extra pieces to bring the top in the rear, front, and sides together and taped it all down. On the front side, I used an empty 12 pack can container to be my steering column. I cut a notch out of the top for it to fit in, put a T bracket under the top and on the front of the can box, spray glued the remaining bottom piece to hold to the front end (this also helps to make sure your angle is the same), and taped it at the top of the front in and on top of the support rail

I had pictures of the wing, but apparently deleted them off of my phone too quickly.

It was fairly simple, I cut the mounts 7" in the back and 6" on the front and 5" wide. I took one of the left over top flaps that were 24" and cut it 5" wide as well. I had created a side piece to go on the wing, but even with 2 T brackets on each side, they didn't last through paint.

Which takes us now to paint. I cut the pipes in half, and sprayed them with a metallic silver with flakes.

I could have made it a little cleaner, but after building 2 of these things, I was running low on energy. I originally was going to do 2 different paint schemes, but again, they got done in time so I was happy.

With with a white on the tops and red/pink for the sides and front.

It was easier to paint the wing separately and then add afterwards.

No, this isn't how I left them, I cleaned it up and make sure there wasn't any over spray all over the place.

The goal for the flap surface on the front and rear was for some lights and reflectors. However, yours truly forgot to add them.

A few final detail touches, I used a gallon paint can to outline for the tires, free hand drew the numbers, and purchase some checkered flag duct tape that I laid down on the bottom to give it more of that Mario Kart look.

One detail that I couldn't find anywhere, so I'll be a helping hand and let you know. I used some nylon rope to hold them up. I cut 2 hole in the front and in the back, crossed the rope once (to help pull everything back to the middle instead of it falling off your shoulders), and just tied them in. I wasn't sure how they'd hold up over night, but they held all night.

The final detail, we used actual Mario Kart Wii steering wheels to give it that authenticity.

Everyone at the party loved our costumes and the karts, so it made the many hours worth it.

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