Adaptive Costume Hacks

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Spooky Season is upon us, and crafting the perfect costume can seem downright terrifying with Halloween only a few days away! But fear not, for the Ability Tools Team has conjured up some tricks to make this year’s costumes not only spine-chillingly fun but also accessible for everyone.

Black paper cutouts of a spider web, spiders, and bats against a orange background. Beneath the Where it's AT logo, text reads "Adaptive Costume Hacks""

Seek Inspiration

The internet is overflowing with vibrant communities dedicated to adaptive costumes. Retailers like offer a wide selection for purchase. We recommend exploring forums, social media groups, and websites for inspiration, ideas, and valuable advice from individuals who have embarked on similar creative journeys. Disabled Cosplayers , Colleen Cosplay regularly share costume tips and tricks and provide insights about their experiences as a disabled cosplayers. Walking and Rolling Costumes and Magic Wheelchair are both non-profit organizations that build amazing costumes for children in wheelchairs or walkers at no cost to families.

Prioritize Comfort and Mobility

Utilizing items you already have at home for your costume not only makes the process easier but also saves money. Choosing soft, breathable fabrics and comfortable accessories from your wardrobe can also be beneficial for those with sensory sensitivities. By using fabrics that are stretchy and allow for movement can be particularly important for individuals who have limited mobility in their limbs. This approach prioritizes both comfort and creativity, reducing unnecessary stress. Explore our list of last-minute costume ideas below.

  1. 80s Workout Instructor:
    • Bright colored leggings or sweatpants
    • Leotard or oversized t-shirt
    • Sweatbands and leg warmers
  2. Cereal Killer:
    • Empty cereal boxes (with plastic knives sticking out)
    • Fake blood or red paint
  3. Jellyfish:
    • Clear umbrella (for the “body”)
    • Streamers or ribbon dangling down
  4. Solar System:
    • Black clothing
    • Balloons or foam balls painted as planets (attach to your clothes)
  5. Emoji Family:
    • Yellow clothing for each family member
    • Draw or print various emoji faces and attach them to your clothes
  6. Gumball Machine:
    • Red or white clothing
    • Colored pom-poms or small balloons (glue them onto your clothes)
  7. LEGO Brick:
    • Cardboard box painted in bright colors with holes for arms and head
    • Matching clothing
  8. Rain Cloud:
    • Blue clothing
    • Cotton balls glued onto an umbrella or hat for clouds
    • Strips of blue fabric hanging down for rain
  9. Avocado:
    • Green clothing
    • Brown construction paper or fabric for the pit
    • Green hat (for the stem)
  10. Instagram Post:
    • Poster board shaped like an Instagram frame (attach a stick for holding)

Incorporate AT devices into your costume design

There are several clever ways to adapt mobility aids into a costume. You can transform your wheelchair into part of the costume, like a pirate ship or a spaceship cockpit. If additional support is required, consider incorporating elements like backrests, armrests, or cushions into the costume. A seashell throne can be incorporated into the backrest of a wheelchair or embellishing wheel covers for an enchanted mermaid. If you use a mobility aid like a walker or cane, you can incorporate it into your costume as a wizard’s staff or King Neptune’s trident. Don’t forget to include a fun coordinating costume for your Service Animal as well. The possibilities are endless.

Someone seated in a Wheelchair posing for a photo. The wheelchair decorated as Ghostbuster car, around them are a group of people dressed up in Ghostbuster cosplay costumes.
Ghostbuster Costume from
Smiling girl poses for photo she is dressed in a mermaid costume is seated in a wheelchair. The back rest and wheels are decorated in sea shells and coral.
Mermaid Costume from
Lifestyle Blogger Hayden M. Ward poses for a photo. She is dressed in a Red Riding Hood Costume and her dog is dressed as Big Bad Wolf disguised as Grandma.
Lifestyle Blogger Hayden M. Ward models a Red Riding Hood and Big Bad Wolf themed costume

Tools of the Trade

To make dressing up a breeze, consider incorporating easily accessible fasteners like velcro, magnets, and snaps. A snap fastener available on Amazon can be a handy addition and allows you to add snaps to any existing article of clothing for better accessibility. Utilizing a product like no-sew tape, which can be ironed on to clean up a raw edge of garment. If your costume calls for wings you might choose to forgo wearing on your body and instead attach them to the back of your wheelchair using zip ties, wiring, or elastic bands. These practical adjustments enable quick changes and independent access, ensuring you can get in and out of your costume with minimal assistance.

Check out how Colleen_Cosplay attaches store bought fairy wings to her wheelchair

Remember, the key is to have fun! Add personal touches that are meaningful to you. This will make your costume truly special and unique. Halloween is about celebrating your individuality, and with our adaptive costume hacks, you can ensure that your outfit embrace the spooky season with confidence and style. Happy Haunting Boys and Ghouls!