Parade Float Ideas

Ideas to Build Parade Floats

Deck the Halls with a Christmas Tree Float

Posted by paradefloats on November 30, 2007

Evergreen Tree StandeeA Christmas tree float is a great way to bring a classic touch to a holiday parade. There are tons of ways for you to create this float, but here are some of our ideas.

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 green or white Vinyl floral sheeting for the sides. There’s even snowflake floral sheeting with a perfect iridescent shimmer! The floor requires another 15 yards of floral sheeting. 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.

14″ high metallic green or white 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 metallic fringe.

Winter Fir TreeMetallic green or white festooning outlines the sides of the float. Festooning is available in 48′ long rolls. This size float requires three, 48′ rolls of 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.

The styrofoam star and letters basics letters and numbers are 8″ high, and can be used to add your slogan to the side of the float. 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.
Add the tree to your float using an artificial tree or create your own tree using chicken wire and 1 x 3 boards. To make your tree, build a basic support for it including a base and both vertical and horizontal beams. Shape the chicken wire in the outline of your Christmas tree, either in a cone shape or with branches jutting out. Stuff every other opening in the chicken wire with green tissue squares, holding them in place with pomps paste. You can add decorations with tissue squares in other colors or make them out of other materials and attach them with glue or staples.

Create packages beneath the tree by covering big boxes out of flat paper, or build the boxes out of bright colored corrugated paper. Use festooning for ribbons on the packages.

Show us pictures of your holiday floats and check out our tips for a snowman or a Santa Claus float.


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