What do you do when the sweetest 6 year old you know wants to be Cinderella for Halloween? Well, you convert her wheelchair into a carriage of course! Complete with tiny white lights to illuminate her journey door to door, collecting her treats along the way.
Most people who know me, know that our youngest daughter Ruby was born with Spina Bifida. In short, that means she has wheels. She rolls these wheels to school every day. So, this year when she wanted to be a princess for Halloween, it seemed like a no-brainer. She would be transformed into Cinderella…
And her wheels…a carriage.
After a little bit of research on Pinterest, a trip to a local craft store and some inspiration from the talented ladies on the Studio Calico message boards, I was armed with the ideas I needed to make this Ruby’s best costume to date.
He dress was made using 6in rolls of tulle in varying blues, silver and whites, complete with tons of sparkle. Over a long sleeve dance leotard I ordered online. It’s cold in Chicago around Halloween and I wanted to give her an extra layer to prevent having to cover up her costume with a big heavy coat.
The carriage consists of two hula hoops, a very sparkly piece of sheer fabric, and two different shades of orange tulle. I wanted the carriage to have a soft draped look and the fabric served to do just that. The only hula hoops I could find were hot pink and neon green. Those are definitely not princess colors, so I wrapped them with pre-wrap from Walgreens. What is pre-wrap? It’s a self adhering wrap about a step down from an ace wrap you use to wrap a sprained limb. I covered both the bright colors on the hula hoops and the purple on her very stylish wheelchair without the need for adhesive. I wasn’t very found of using anything that would be hard to remove from her chair later. It worked like a charm! I zip tied the hoops to her chair, weaved some tiny little battery operated white lights to the top, and laid the fabric over the top. The pre-wrap served a dual purpose as there was no need to adhere the fabric to the hoops, preserving it in one unaltered piece that I could use for a future dress or project. The texture kept the fabric in place. After a few strategically placed white safety pins, I was on to the wheels.
I really wanted to figure out how to incorporate the pumpkins, without actually using a a drawn or printed pumpkin. I wanted to keep with the softness of the look and didnt want it to look cartoonish. I agonized about this for a week and then it hit me. Tulle! It was perfect. I was using it for the dress and tulle pumpkins would tie it all together!
Using two different shades of orange, I was able to transform her wheels into pumpkins, without taking away from the look of the carriage. Can I just say, after this project I am a huge fan of tulle! I zip tied two zhu zhu pets (without the batteries) to the small wheels in front and her carriage was complete.
Overall, she had a wonderful day and I had even more fun making it for her. There were a few practical issues I hadn’t considered. Like the fact that she couldn’t operate her own breaks. Oops! But I will definitely keep those in mind for next year. So far she’s considering The Little Mermaid, or Bat Girl. I better start planning now, because transforming her wheelchair into the bat mobile could be complicated! Since Halloween was on a school night, we needed to break down the carriage aspect of her chair so she could go to school the next day. As I was breaking it down, I decided to take apart everything but the tulle pumpkins on the wheels. She went to school the next day telling everyone that at midnight her carriage had turned back into a pumpkin! It was adorable!
I hope you enjoyed reading my first blog post as much as I have enjoyed writing it. I’ll leave you with a few more random favorite photos of mine from Halloween. Ruby loves to pose for a picture!