Halloween can present a few challenges when you are searching for the perfect costume that works with a mobility device. Whether you use a wheelchair, walker, cane or oxygen tank (or other device), creating a unique costume that works with the device, not against it, requires some planning.
Great costumes can be made from simple materials, a few accessories and a little ingenuity. Just remember to leave extra room around wheelchair or walker wheels, and be sure that nothing hanging down can be caught in a wheel.
Tip: Foam board can be a light-weight substitution for many costumes that require cardboard boxes to create the shape.
1. Cinderella in a pumpkin coach - wheelchairCinderella can be dressed in any comfortable, pretty dress; be sure to add a tiara and sparkly scepter. The coach can be made of a large cardboard box - be sure to cut out holes in the side and front so that she may wave to her subjects! Paint the box white and add lots of glitter. It can be made even more fun by adding battery operated twinkling lights around the "windows."
2. Puppet theater - wheelchairUse a cardboard box for the frame, then cut out a large square hole in the front of the box. Make curtains out of felt or other scrap material; attach a length of material to the bottom front of the box to hide hands and puppets (as well as to keep hands warm in colder climates. Choose 1 or 2 small to medium sized puppets to use for the show (ala Punch and Judy). Clothing can be any outfit that is dark colored, such as a top and pants that are all black.
3. Firetruck driver - wheelchairCreate a firetruck out of 1 large or 2 medium sized cardboard boxes; cut out side windows and a front window. Paint the boxes red; add an engine number that can be painted white or gold. The outfit can be any color, just be sure to top it off with a red fireman's hat!
4. Drummer - wheelchairThe drum set can be made out of any round-shaped container, such as a set of bowls obtained at a dollar store; attach to a laptop wheelchair desk. Drum sticks can be from a real drum set or a child's drum set. The outfit can be as outrageous as wanted, with a crazy wig, spiked hair or a bandana worn on the head.
5. Race car driver - wheelchairA race car can be made of a cardboard box, or several, depending upon the type of race car desired (Nascar, Formula 1). Cut out side windows and front window. Paint cardboard the appropriate color for the driver's favorite racer. Add race car number; paint on or add stickers for various brand sponsors of the race car driver.
6. Farmer driving a tractor - wheelchair
The tractor can be made out of 1 large or 1 large and 1 medium sized cardboard boxes. The tractor may be either a cab-type tractor or an open one. Cab-type tractors will need windows and a front window cut out. The color of the tractor will vary by brand (Green with yellow trim for John Deere, reddish orange for Massey Ferguson, etc.) The farmer
should wear a flannel shirt in cooler climates and a t-shirt in warmer climates; don't forget the farmer's cap with a feed logo on it!
Wear a costume that is all one color, preferably blue for boys and pink for girls. Black gloves can be used to cover the hands, and black boots or shoes. Girls can wear a pink bow in their hair on top of their head if desired. Paint small circles in black, then paint a cross that equally divides the circle, within the circle. Then paint alternating triangles within the circle with black and the other triangles yellow (two triangles should be yellow, two triangles should be black). A circle should be on the forehead and one on each cheek. Wheelchairs, walkers
or canes can also be decorated with blue or pink.
8. Injured Olympic winter athlete - wheelchair, walker or caneWear winter clothing, complete with hats, gloves and scarves. Be sure to accessorize with a large Olympic medal on a ribbon worn around the neck.
9. Dracula in a coffin - wheelchairWear a dracula costume, complete with plastic teeth. Create a coffin out of a cardboard box; whether to have a lid on it or not depends on the age of the individual. Paint the box black. Attach a black drape beneath the coffin to keep the individual warm if in a cooler climate.
For the older Halloween participant, a black dress with fringed bottom hem. The top can be revealing as desired. The shoes can be black boots or black high heels. A large, pouffy black wig is required. Carefully drape red cloth around the back and seat of the wheelchair to look like her signature red velvet couch - attach to the wheelchair seat and back to ensure it won't slip around the wheels.