Parade Float Ideas

Ideas to Build Parade Floats

Parade Float Building Basics

Posted by paradefloats on June 8, 2007

It can be challenging building a parade float, but it can also be fun! With the right supplies, the right group of people and the right attitude, you can create an award-winning float and have a great time in the process. Check out our basic parade float building tips below.

The Parade Float Basics

Parade Floats

  1. Gather a fun group of float builders.
  2. Brainstorm to select your theme and your slogan.
  3. Collect the materials you will need to construct the float – don’t forget the hay wagon.
  4. Create your float structure.
  5. Add decorations and finishing touches.
  6. Attach the appropriate safety signs and slow-moving vehicle warnings to your float.
  7. Sit back and enjoy the parade!

Basic Materials for Your Float

Floral Sheeting – This is waterproof, flameproof and reusable. Use it to cover the sides and the top of your float as well as objects on the float.

Vinyl fringe – fringe helps conceal the float wheels and gives the float the illusion that it is truly “floating”. You just want the fringe to “brush” the ground, so you may have to trim it to achieve the “floating” effect.

Festooning – A vinyl material that adds spunk to floats! Use it on edges and corners to add the final touch to your float.

Chicken Wire – You can buy this at any farm or building supply store. Be sure to buy chicken wire with 1″ openings. You will need to stretch the chicken wire across a wooden frame that you have designed and constructed. Secure the chicken wire to the framework by either stapling or nailing it.

Tissue Squares – These are very economical and easy to work with. Stuff them into the openings of chicken wire and glue them securely (we sell some wonderful pomp paste). One package of tissue squares will cover two square feet of chicken wire with 1″ openings (if you fill every opening).

Fake Grass – Use this to cover the top of the trailer bed. We offer indoor/outdoor carpeting, “real” grass mats, scatter grass and tissue grass mats.

Styrofoam star and letters basic letters and numbers – Use these for your float slogan. You can either leave them white or paint them to match your float colors.

A Few Tips

  • Keep the weather in mind when building your float.
  • Make sure the objects on your float are secure.
  • If you will be having people ride on your float, be sure that they have something stable to hold on to.
  • Know the route that your float will be taking. Keep in mind overpasses, hills, curves, etc. that may affect your float.

Be sure to check which float building tools you’ll need also so you can install and build your decorations! You can build tons of different themes out of basic decorations or incorporate some of our float components into the decorations you build. Our Loud and Proud Megaphones and goal post decorations are prefect for Homecoming floats. Check out our patriotic float tips for a summer parade.

Trailer decorating kits and kits for decorating the car or truck pulling your float are a great way to finish the float off in coordinated, professional look. A popular way to make a big finish is stocking up on spirit beads or sports balls to toss out to the crowd during the parade. Simple candies or confetti work well too.

When your float is complete, be sure to enter our Float Contest!

15 Responses to “Parade Float Building Basics”

  1. Karen said

    We understand how to build the frame. We don’t understand how the frame is to be secured to the wagon. This is a particular problem for us because our float will be constructed on a flat bed tow truck, which is entirely metal. Ideas?

  2. Try using hinges (the kind found at hardware stores). Attach one side of the hinge to the truck and the other to your frame. Then, drape the frame over the side.

  3. Kelley said

    so i’m wondering how exactly the scatter grass works. how do you secure it for a base?

  4. Melanie said

    Our town will be celebrating 125 years during July 4th. I’m looking for float ideas for this tribute and Independence Day Celebration. Can you help with ideas?

  5. laura said

    how do you build a person. For my school float our mascot is “The Green Knights”, and we are trying to build a knight, but it is very hard.

  6. dewman said

    Parade theme shine in 2009 I need an Idea for a church float.

  7. monique said

    This is my first year doing this. I need some ideas on how to get started and what would be good to do on a budget.

  8. Jarrett said

    The theme for the 2010 christmas parade is “Its better to give than to get” i need an idea!!!!!!!!!!!! help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. -.~ I am really thankful to this topic because it really gives great information ~’*

  10. Excellent post!! I really like your site!!

  11. jeffrey preston said

    i been doing floats for the labor day parade for a minute now and i love it

  12. jeffrey preston said

    can yall put some ideas up for parade lineups like numbers and things to use to line up a parade

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