After making a Halloween ‘costume’ for BJ’s wheelchair this year, I thought I’d share how we did it. Our family have never really done much for Halloween. There have been some school discos but we have always just hung a few things from BJ’s wheelchair and left it at that.
This year BJ was going to a Halloween party at his day service and I wanted to go to a bit more effort. BJ gets overheated when he is excited so I didn’t want him in a costume that would make him hot. That left decorating his wheelchair again. In years gone by I have seen some impressive efforts by our US friends so I was inspired. It then needed Hubby to get inspired as it was his skill set rather than mine that would bring it to reality.
Given BJ has bat wheel guards on his wheelchair and a myriad of Batman shirts, it made sense to go with a Batman theme.
Hubby brought home from work some large strong cardboard squares. He positioned one piece on the side of the wheelchair without the wheel on while the chair was on its other side. He then did a free hand outline of a bat mobile.
After checking how it fitted around the arm rest and back of the chair, he cut out the main shape and checked it fitted between the arm rest and the wheel, before finishing this shape.
This was then used as the template for the other side so the two matched.
As BJ has an arm to support his iPad, the bracket also had to be cut out so it would fit around this as well.
He cut these out with a box cutter and industrial scissors and spray painted the cardboard.
He printed out the Batman logo and glued this to the cardboard.
The greatest challenge was ensuring BJ could still self-propel and use the wheelchair as normal. The cardboard needed to fit under the arm rests so BJ did not have to reach over the cardboard to self-propel.
Hubby had done the work in secret so it was a wonderful surprise to BJ when completed.
As you would imagine any bat mobile worth talking about comes with accessories.
BJ took his drinks in his bat cooler bag, his iPad and bracket fitted nicely and he was ready to party.
When I think back to what I was doing when I was 20, I was rarely home. I even remember my parents suggesting I used the house like a hotel, only there to sleep. It is so different for BJ. He is hardly ever out at night and there are few social occasions like this one. It means that when there is one there is great excitement in the house and it was certainly worth going the extra mile by making the night special. It also gave people something new to talk to him about and comment on. I am always conscious that this helps because BJ is non-verbal.
PUMPKIN CARVING FOR THE FIRST TIME
Meanwhile at home, AJ was keen to carve up her first pumpkin. I thought it would be a lot harder than it was. After watching a Martha Stewart video I felt inadequate with no specialised tools. We just took to it with a knife, a large spoon and we were happy with the end result.
Hubby cut the top out of the pumpkin and AJ sourced a jack o lantern pattern on Google where there are plenty to choose from. AJ printed the pattern, cut it out and stuck it to the pumpkin with blu tack so she could trace around it.
Cleaning the inside of the pumpkin was easy and AJ was able to cut the face out by herself. We put a tea light inside and we were thrilled with the final result. I am sure some of our US readers do much fancier carving but we were happy with this for our first attempt.
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