Blast off in this awesome costume!
What you need:
White Foam Board (approx 5 sheets)
Black Foam Board (1 sheet)
Black Duct tape
Black Permanent marker
Black Spray Paint
Start off by finding a picture of a space shuttle. You will likely learn more than you ever wanted to know about the contours of that machine! Like any wheelchair costume, there will be some trial and error as you adapt the costume to work with your particular chair and child and it helped me to look at a few different ideas.
I started my making the sides of the shuttle. Using two pieces of foam board, I played around with different ways to fit it between the sides of my son’s wheelchair and the wheels. It was a little tight, but I finally settled on cutting a rectangular notch to secure the foam board over the brakes. I also could have cut a notch to fit it over the axles, but felt it was secure enough over the axles. I then trimmed the foam board down so that it would be low enough for my son would be able to reach his wheels.
I then cut a triangular wedge out of the top front end of each side to approximate the rounded contour of the front windows. I measured and cut out another piece of white foam board to make the front window. I secured it to each side with hot glue. I made the black front window using the duct tape and wrapped it around a little to the sides.
The front nose was a little tricky. I ended up cutting three triangles of black foam board. Two of the triangles matched up the edge of the side of the shuttle and I then came together in the front. The length of these triangles should be the distance that you want the nose cone to come out - I suggest measuring for this step instead of eyeballing ;) The third matched up the bottom of the front window and came down to meet the two triangles. Using duct tape, I secured the side triangles first and the placed the top triangles.
Then I made the wings and rudder. Initially, I made two fantastic to-scale wings that went almost the length of the shuttle. However they would have blocked the wheels and part of the fun of having a space shuttle the ability to zoom around it in, so I had to drastically reduce their size so that they would fit behind the wheels. (The little boy in my first inspiration picture looks like he was using a power chair, so long wings made perfect sense for his costume.) Once I settled on a size, I decorated with black marker and NASA, USA and flag printouts. For the rudder, I couldn't think of a simple way to make the one rudder, so I settled on cutting out two trapezoids to approximate the look. I colored in the details with the black marker and hot glued on.
The last step in the structure was to cut out a black piece for the back and secure it to the sides with duct tape. I spray painted three styrofoam craft cones to make the after burners. I cut holes in the back piece and foam and secured with glue and duct tape.
I got the astronaut costume and helmet off of Amazon. One of the unintended benefits of the helmet was that it gave my son, a preschooler, a nice place to hide when the attention got to be a little too much.