This year, my son, Reese, wanted to be Buzz Lightyear. I thought this might be an easy costume for him. The challenge is working his wheelchair into the costume. Now what would Buzz be in that we can turn his wheelchair into? An obvious choice would have been Buzz’s spaceship, but I thought it would have been much more memorable to put Buzz in the Claw Machine from the first Toy Story movie. Once I suggested a Homemade Claw Machine with Buzz and Woody Wheelchair Costume to my son, he loved the idea and was all for it.
The costume is actually built in pieces so I can assemble it around him after he is in the wheelchair. First step is the base. This was created out of red foam core board. It’s all cut and taped and glued together to fit snuggly around his wheelchair, while still allowing him to roll his wheels. There is a slit in the front for all the candy to go in with a bag to catch it inside, that rests at his feet.
The LGM (Little Green Men) were printed from a free down loadable computer wallpaper from Disney’s website. I printed out many copies of it, and then cut them all out. I then laminated them for protection and to make them easier to stand up around him.
The top part of the costume slides onto the handles behind the wheelchair. The frame is PVC pipe that I spray painted red. More red foam core board is made as a cap at the top. I then created on my computer the words, “The CLAW,” “SPACE CRANE” and “PRIZE” to be placed at key spots on the costume.
The final step was the actual Claw. It was made from some chain I bought at a hardware store, and then the arms of the claw were made out of aluminum foil. The Woody doll was added because after I was all done with the costume, my son looked at it, and asked, “Where’s Woody? He was in the claw machine with Buzz.”
One funny thing about the costume is that while I was building it, my son was telling everyone about it. He began explaining that the claw was going to lower down from above, grab his head, and then pick him up out of his wheelchair. I had to break it to him that it probably wouldn’t be safe to have it actually lift you out of the wheelchair by your head. But we compromised by having the claw attached to the top of his head as if it just grabbed him.
1. a wheelchair
2. 3 sheets of Red Foam Core Board
3. PVC Pipe
4. Red Spray paint
5. Computer to print out LGMs and signs
7. Woody Doll
8. Buzz Lightyear costume