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DIY Halloween Costumes For Wheelchair Users

By Complete Care Specialist October 04, 2018

Pumpkin spice and everything nice! It is finally that time of year again, where our favorite holidays are coming up. A little spooky, but always fun, Halloween is the first one! For some, it may be your favorite holiday and you’ve been preparing your costumes for months; but for others it can be stressful, especially if you or your child is in a wheelchair. However, a wheelchair can take an ordinary costume and make it extraordinary. Below are some of the best DIY costume ideas, some how tos and links, and three awesome resources for costumes and ideas.

First off, I want to give two different ways to create a car/racecar/ship/truck base. The first way is a little more difficult and I will attach a couple different links for how people did them; the second way is easier and will take less time and craftsmanship. Once you know how to make the base of these, you can use your imagination and create any costume.

  • Full vehicle frame, over the wheels: For this one you will need cardboard or foam board, box cutter, something for a frame for extra support (pvc pipe, light wood like plywood, empty wrapping paper roll, dowel rod, etc), zip ties and c clamps, duck tape, gorilla glue, your decorating materials.

You want to first take your measurements of the wheelchair so you know      the dimensions of your base and still have room for the wheels to move without catching anything. Then you can cut the cardboard/foam into the different sizes and shapes that will form the vehicle, using the dimensions from your measurements to ensure an opening for the person to sit up and the wheels are free moving. Now you can glue/duck tape the pieces together to form the base of your vehicle (keep the extra material for the different accessories, like lights, wheels, wings). In order to give the base extra strength and connect it to the wheelchair, you will use the material you chose to form the support frame on the inside of the base. In building the frame, keep in mind how you will attach it to the chair and build accordingly. Once your vehicle’s base and frame are together and fit on the chair, it is time for decoration and the finishing touches. Now that your vehicle has come to life, attach it to the wheelchair. For more detailed descriptions on how to assemble, check out these following links: Buzz Lightyear, Race car driver, Pirate Ship, Hello Kitty Car, Mystery Machine Scooby Doo.

 

  • Vehicle frame, wheels in design: This design is much easier and will require less materials. You will need cardboard or foam board, box cutter, gorilla glue/hot glue, duck tape, and decorating materials. Again the first step here is getting your dimensions, your vehicle is going to sit on your chair, allowing the wheels of the chair to be on the outside. Once you have your measurements, cut out all of your pieces for the frame and different parts/accessories of the vehicle (spoiler, bumper, wheel covers, etc). Then glue the frame together and create the body of the vehicle, separately, assemble and glue the different parts and accessories together (you can use duck tape to reinforce this). Once all the parts are respectively created and ready to be assembled, you should paint the base colors. Then put the whole thing together, and start accessorizing, painting and doing the finishing touches. Once the whole thing is complete put it on the chair, if your measurements are done correctly and the vehicle is proportioned to the chair you may not need to secure it on the chair, but it may be necessary in some cases. Also some designs may require the use of pvc pipe or something to sturdy the vehicle. For more detailed descriptions on how to assemble, check out these following links: Mario Cart, Ambulance, Batman and batmobile, Space Shuttle.

Below the Bolded, underlined names have the links to the instructions and source information and pictures are available for inspiration.

(Image Source: themclellands.blogspot.com)

Once you know how to create the cart, you can do any character from the Mario Cart Games.

(Image Source: themclellands.blogspot.com)
  • Bee hive

This one is pretty easy. You will need pool noodles, duck tape, yellow paint, and your bee costume. You create a yellow nest out of the pool noodles and duck tape them together, then spray paint yellow and attach to wheelchair. (Photo credit: cerebralpalsymentor.com)

 


(Image Source: themclellands.blogspot.com)

(Image Source: themclellands.blogspot.com)

Could utilize the bike instructions and tweek to be a Biker, Bicyclist, etc.


Instead of another person being a shark, you could attach a stuffed animal, toy, or make a shark out of foam or paper mache and attach to cage.


This one is one of the most difficult to make because you are creating a dragon as the base. Foam may be your best bet, but you could also assemble it and create the details with paper mache. If you can figure this out and execute it, you will have the coolest costume! You can either be hiccup riding toothless, the mother of dragons riding one of her dragons, or the Night king riding the white walker dragon.  

  • Lil pump & Kanye west “I love it”

Okay, this one I have not seen incorporated with a wheelchair anywhere, so try and use your imagination. You will need cardboard, fabric, glue, something to make a gold chain (can be cardboard and paint). You can probably do the body by modifying different sized shipping/moving boxes and covering in fabric, fairly easily. Here are some links to how to make the costume in general, and you will have to use the tips from above and some creativity to create it over a wheelchair. Carboard version,  cheap thrills version.

Make sure to leave a gap so that the wheels can still rotate, the fabric will easily conceal the gap. You can use the foot rests already on the chair, for the base of the giant flip flops.

  • Other Ideas: Pirate, Trucker, Chef, Firefighter, policeman, ambulance, racecar driver, Las Vegas poker Dealer, Hunter in hunting blind, Chef, Flower Child, Prisoner, tank commander, pilot, alien in spaceship, superman, circus animal in cage, cowboy on horse. etc. 

Talk to your kid, see what they want to be, and get creative with them and how you can incorporate the wheelchair. For an example, maybe your kid wants to be a fisherman, the wheelchair could be turned into a boat. Really you can take a lot of what you learned from this post and the blogs linked to create your own masterpiece.

Here are three awesome sites that you can utilize to make or buy your very own custom costume.  The first is called Walkin & Rollin Costumes and they will provide a costume to any child with a disability free of charge. However, there is an application process and not everyone will get chosen. Check them out, here. The second place is called Magic Wheelchair, this was started by parents whose son was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), and one year they thought of bringing his costume to the next level. It got so much attention and brought so much joy it brought their son, that they wanted to spread that joy to more people. You do have to apply and not everyone may be chosen, but they do some really incredible designs. Check them out, here. Both Magic Wheelchair and Walkin & Rollin Costumes welcome donations and volunteers to help fulfill kids dreams. The last site is a blog called Wheelchair Costumes, and is run by a mother of a child with Spina Bifida. This blog is filled with DIY costume ideas and instructions that she has made or that her readers have made for their children. It is crazy resourceful and most of the links used above are from this site. Not only does she have a lot of DIY ideas but she also has a link to her Etsy site, where you can order her premade Wheelchair Costume kits, which are super helpful if you are low on time or are not super crafty. You can find the link to her page here. Her Etsy collection is called Wheelie Awesome Costumes, by Cassie McLelland.

 

Also check out Pinterest for some other good ideas. Here is our board of fun DIY ideas: https://www.pinterest.com/getcompletecare/diy-craft-and-ideas/halloween-ideas/


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