Parade Float Ideas

Ideas to Build Parade Floats

Bring in the Season with a Santa Float

Posted by paradefloats on November 14, 2007

Santa Float DecorationsThanksgiving and Christmas are big times for parades. Creating a holiday parade float can be a great activity for your family, club, team or other organization. Bring out the cider and hot cocoa, some gingerbread cookies and these float building tips and get the festive float building under way!

Start the float building process by brainstorming for holiday themes, slogans and decorating ideas.

Once you have these ideas, the next thing you will want to do is make a sketch of your float. This will help you when you go to build it! Include the placement of your slogan, colors, and decorations. For instance, if you want the fringe to be brown and the trim to be red, label this on your sketch.

MEASURING MATERIALS FOR THE TRAILER
Before you can build your float, you need to order float materials! Here is an estimate of how much material is required to cover various standard-size floats. The measurements will give you plenty of material to cover the deck and sides of your trailer.

2’ High x 18’ Long x 8′ Wide Trailer
Three 6-yard rolls of Floral Sheeting (for deck)
One 18-yard roll of Floral Sheeting (for sides)
Three 3-pound bags of Scatter Grass (may replace floral sheeting on deck)
Six 10-foot rolls of Fringe (for perimeter)
Two 48-foot rolls of Festooning

2’ High x 24’ Long x 10’ Wide Trailer
Four 8-yard rolls of Floral Sheeting (for deck)
One 23-yard roll of Floral Sheeting (for sides)
Five 3-pound bags of Scatter Grass (may replace floral sheeting on deck)
Seven 10-foot rolls of Fringe (for perimeter)
Two 48-foot rolls of Festooning

2’ High x 32’ Long x 10’ Wide Trailer
Four 11-yard rolls of Floral Sheeting (for deck)
One 28-yard roll of Floral Sheeting (for sides)
Seven 3-pound bags of Scatter Grass (may replace floral sheeting on deck)
Nine 10-foot rolls of Fringe (for perimeter)
Two 48-foot rolls of Festooning

Float Materials Per Square Foot
If your float doesn’t fit the particular dimensions in the examples above, don’t worry! Here is an approximate break-down of the materials you will need for each square foot.

Per Square Foot
.83 feet of Floral Sheeting
.07 lbs. of Scatter Grass (optional)
.46 feet of Fringe
.74 feet of Festooning
Simply take these measurements and multiply them by the square footage of your trailer. (To determine the square footage, simply multiple the length by the width.) The result is how much material you will need. For example, if your trailer is 200 square feet, you will need 92 feet of fringe (.46 x 200 = 92).

COVERING THE TRAILER
Once you have received your float materials, it’s time to get to work! Below are some steps to follow when covering your float trailer.
1. Cover the deck and sides of the float completely with floral sheeting. (Scatter grass or grass mats can be used on the deck instead of floral sheeting.) For your holiday float, we suggest using red or green metallic or vinyl floral sheeting on the deck and sides.
2. Attach fringe to the bottom of each side of the trailer. This will cover the wheels and make the float look like it is truly “floating.” We recommend red or white vinyl fringe for a holiday theme.
3. Edge the sides of your float with festooning. Attach the festooning between the floral sheeting on the deck and the floral sheeting on the sides of the trailer. This accents the float’s straight line while creating an appealing color contrast. You can also use the festooning between the floral sheeting on the sides and the fringe. Silver metallic or white vinyl festooning would look great on a holiday float.
4. Display your slogan or school name with styrofoam star and letters basics letters. The letters usually look best when attached to the floral sheeting on the sides of the trailer. You can also add them to other areas of your float. Paint the letters green or use your school colors!

Decorating your holiday float can be as much fun as decorating your home for the holidays. Here are our tips for creating a Santa themed parade float.

Build a giant chair or throne for someone in a Santa costume to sit in or build this Santa decoration out of chicken wire and tissue squares:

Using 1 x 3 boards, build a frame shaped like a Santa stick-figure. You may have to create feet for the frame by attaching the boards to the bottom of your float with nails. Once you’ve built the frame, surround it with chicken wire. Shape the chicken wire, which you can find at many hardware or farm supply stores, into the contours of Santa, remember the big belly! Stuff every other opening in the chicken wire with red, white, or black tissue squares. Use pomps paste to hold the squares in place. Making a Santa will be complicated, but the hard work will be well worth it!

Some other options include
• Add a giant fake or real Christmas tree to the float. Have people dressed in holiday or winter apparel ride the float and decorate the tree.
• Use winter event theme kits to create a winter wonderland, candy cane theme, or ski lodge theme float.
• Use giant boxes and wrap them with wrapping paper and big bows, to create a float covered in big gift packages.

Let us know what holiday float decorations you come up with!

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2 Responses to “Bring in the Season with a Santa Float”

  1. Minneapolis Tree Pruning…

    […]Bring in the Season with a Santa Float « Parade Float Ideas[…]…

  2. […] Bring in the Season with a Santa Float […]

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