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