Create Spooky Spirit with a Halloween Parade Float
Posted by paradefloats on October 15, 2007
If you’re participating in a fall or Halloween parade, a Halloween parade float is a great way for you to make the most of the season and encourage school spirit. Here are our tips for a cool Halloween float.
The float is built on an 8′ x 16′ farm wagon with the back removed. A similar size trailer, used to move small construction equipment, might be borrowed from a local construction company. The float also might be built on the back of a flat bed truck.
A light wooden frame, made of #2 1 x 3 pine surrounds the wagon. The frame extends from the top of the wagon bed to 15″ from the ground. You can find wood for the frame at your local lumberyard. A basic frame this size requires approximately 140′ of lumber.
Waterproof, flameproof floral sheeting is stapled to the frame. This size float requires 16 yards of vinyl floral sheeting for the sides. To calculate how much floral sheeting you need for your float, measure the distance around in feet and divide by three to get the yardage. Floral sheeting is sold in square yards. Floral sheeting is made of a heavy plastic backing sheet with rows of sewn-on scalloped plastic flower petal shapes. The floor requires 128 square feet of indoor/outdoor Carpeting. 14″ high vinyl metallic fringe is stapled to the bottom of the frame where the floral sheeting stops. Fringe is available in 10′ length packages. This size float requires five, 10′ packages of vinyl fringe.
Vinyl festooning outlines the sides of the float. Festooning is available in 48′ long rolls. This size float requires three, 48′ rolls of vinyl festooning. The floral sheeting, festooning and fringe are all made of the same plastic material (waterproof, fade-proof and flameproof) and reusable for another float at another time. Order floral sheeting, festooning and fringe from Stumps.
Use styrofoam star and letters basics letters to add your slogan or school name to the side of your float. The styrofoam letters or numbers are 8″ high. You can paint them with inexpensive interior latex paint or leave them white. Be sure to add another board, such as plywood, to your frame under the floral sheeting. Just use small nails to fasten the letters to the board. As an alternative, hot glue the letters to the floral sheeting.
Once you’ve created the base of your float, it’s time to start the decorating. You can build decorations out of chicken wire and 1×3 pieces of wood.
For example, create a pumpkin by cutting four semi circles. Nail the semi circles together and attach them with straight pieces of wood. Attach chicken wire with a staple gun or nails and shape it into a circle. Cover the decoration in orange tissue squares and use festooning or plywood to create a leaf, vine and stem for your pumpkin. You can also use black tissue squares to create a face on your pumpkin for a Jack-O-Lantern. Similarly, you could create a witch hat making a cone and a flat base.
Here is a break down of how to calculate the amount of materials you will need:
Per Square Foot
.83 feet of Floral Sheeting
.07 lbs. of Scatter Grass (optional)
.46 feet of Fringe
.74 feet of Festooning
Send us your Halloween float ideas and pictures!