Changing your appearance in Minecraft alters the "skin" of your character. Using the game's aesthetic style of large pixels and bright colours, you can customise every individual square of your virtual skin. Because of the vast possibilities for character design, you can create a completely unique character and add personality to the otherwise stock appearance of the Minecraft hero. The skins can be edited with any image editor or the specialised Minecraft SkinEdit tool.
Create a new folder on your desktop ("SkinEdit" for example). This will allow you to keep track of all of your skins in the same area. Open your Internet browser and log in to Minecraft. Visit the preferences area and download the default Minecraft skin. Save this file to your new SkinEdit folder.
Open your image editing software (e.g. MS Paint or Photoshop). Click the "File" menu and select "Open" Locate the Minecraft default skin file from your SkinEdit folder.
Edit the skin using the brushes and other tools in your image editing software. Give the character a new face or a striped tanktop -- the customisation is entirely up to you. Click "Save As" when you have finished editing. Give the file a unique name so it will not save over the default skin.
Return to the preferences page on Minecraft and follow the onscreen instructions to upload your new skin.
Download the SkinEdit tool (see link in Resources).
Create a new subfolder in a basic location on your computer, such as the desktop or a downloads folder. Unzip the MCSkinEdit_a3_pre5.zip archive into this new folder.
Double-click MCSkinEdit.jar to launch SkinEdit. A window with a blank template and empty 3D preview of your character will appear. The template provides a map of your character's body to help you create specific patterns, faces, clothes, etc. for individual areas of the character.
Fill in the template and create your Minecraft skin. Use the colour swatch tools to design clothing, accessories and even facial expressions for your character. Be creative. Develop a unique character who stands out in the multiplayer arena or matches your own persona. Check the 3D preview to see your character as it develops.
Save the image to your SkinEdit folder. Open your Internet browser and visit Minecraft. On the preferences page, follow the onscreen instructions to upload your new skin.