Last year for Halloween we set the bar high. This is good and bad; good because Maddie Kate had an absolute blast in her Cinderella carriage (which we made with her wheelchair and PVC pipe), but bad because I knew this year would also have to be something you can’t just buy in the costume shop.
Since we are a Disney family, and Maddie Kate is all girl, she wanted to stick with the princess theme again. That being said, I set out to the internet for ideas on incorporating her chair into her choice princess, Rapunzel.
I was able to find about three pictures of a few Rapunzel towers parents had built around their children’s wheelchairs. I wanted to try to mimic this idea, but maintain Maddie’s ability to push her chair herself. I set out to the craft store, no real shopping list in mind. I was hoping that ideas for materials would just appear out of thin air, as if they were conjured up by my very own fairy godmother. (Not quite how things really went down, unfortunately.) After trips to the craft store, hardware store, and department store, I finally had a sufficient pile of every supply under the sun to try to begin my venture.
Out of my pile, the supplies I ended up using were:
- Four pieces of black foam board
- A roll of black duct tape
- Grey acrylic paint
- A large sponge
- Gold yarn
- Fake ivy
- A roll of galvanized wire
- A hula hoop
- A brown blanket
I started by standing the four foam boards around Maddie’s chair like a box, tracing out appropriate places for windows with chalk. The front board rests on her footplate, the back slides between her chair and her handlebar, and the two sides are supported by the front and back boards. The sides are far enough away from her wheels that she can still reach to drive and use her brakes. After cutting them appropriately, I used my gray paint and sponge and painted the boards like stones by stamping with the sponge. Next, I taped the boards together into a box shape with the black duct tape. I did this on the inside of the tower so you cannot see the tape at all. The tower comes on and off her chair just by lifting it up. We can set it down after she is seated in her chair.
After the tower was done, I used the galvanized wire and made a frame for my roof on the hula hoop for a base. The wire is very pliable so I was able to shape it just how I wanted. Then I draped a brown, light blanket over the wire frame, cut it down to size, and sewed it tight on the underside. This way, the top can easily come off and on, should we need it to, while trick or treating.
The only step remaining was the finishing touches. I stapled the ivy onto the tower for added decoration. I used a spool of thick, golden yarn to make a long braid for the signature Rapunzel look.
Maddie Kate was beyond excited to don her Rapunzel gear and get inside her new tower. She says Daddy is going to be the charming Flynn Ryder. Mommy (who spent all the time making her tower) has apparently been assigned to be the evil Mother Gothel who stole Rapunzel away from her real family.
I have to think these costume choices better next year! I’d rather be the lizard side kick!
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The opinions and experiences presented herein are for informational use only. Individual results may vary depending on your condition. Always consult with your health care professional. This individual has been compensated by Bard Medical for the time and effort in preparing this article for BARD’s further use and distribution. BMD/BMDA/0916/0305