My 8 year old son William happened to have a 3rd grade book project due a few days after Halloween and since he chose the fairytale “Puss in Boots,” we decided to incorporate it in this year’s wheelchair costume. I started off by getting three-four large pieces of cardboard from the grocery store.
The first step is to find the center of the cardboard and match it up with the center of the rear part of the wheelchair. I fold it to “fit” the wheelchair and then make a duplicate folded piece for the front of the wheelchair. The sides are then measured and glued (Gorilla Glue Quick Cure works best for me) to attach the front and back cardboard pieces, basically giving me a custom-fit “wheelchair box.” Of course, the front part had to be angled to make the wheelbarrow shape but you can easily figure that one out. Now I’m able to draw details of the wheelbarrow and found a disposable scalpel to be most effective for cutting the cardboard. (I used, extra care to not include any fingers in the cutting process.)
The next important step is to figure out exactly where to place the support sticks on the back of the wheelchair seat and the front foot plate. This basically “lifts” the box up from the ground and allows it to “float.” Now I’m able to measure and cut the front wheelbarrow wheel attachment and back handles. They are attached by cutting appropriate slits into the box itself. They are inserted accordingly and then glued from the inside of the box. I then cut small cardboard “stabilizers” for both rear wheelbarrow handles and for the front wheel (total of 6). These were glued on both sides of the front wheel attachment to the box (likewise for both rear handles). This really helped in keeping them from getting too “floppy.”
The final step was to paint the wheelbarrow. I used acrylic paints and started with the outlines of the wood slats of the wheelbarrow and finished with the brown wood color.
The Puss in Boots cat costume was pretty easy and consisted of a cape, a cloth sash, a play sword and a hat with a yellow plume feather made from pipe cleaners and yarn. Minimal face painting was the final step and voila, Puss in Boots is ready to roll.