Parade Float Ideas

Ideas to Build Parade Floats

Make the Most of your School Colors

Posted by paradefloats on June 23, 2009

Purple Power Float
This Purple Power float designs is as versatile as your imagination. Adjust the design to fit your theme, school colors or mascot. It’s a simple design that goes a long way for your homecoming or school spirit parade! For more float building tips, check out the How-to-Build a Float book.

This float design is built for an 8’ x 16’ farm wagon with the back removed. A similar size trailer might be borrowed from a local construction company or hardware store. You could also build this float on the back of a flat bed truck. Be sure you adjust the measurements and quantities for materials according to the size of your base.

Construct a light wooden frame from 140’ of #2 1×3 pine to surround the wagon. The frame should extend from the top of the wagon bed to 15” from the ground. You can find the wood for the frame, and the rest of this float, at your local lumberyard or hardware store.

Attach waterproof, flameproof floral sheeting to the frame with a staple gun. This size float uses 16 yards of vinyl floral sheeting for the sides and another 15 yards of the same color for the floor. Calculate how much floral sheeting you need for your float by measuring around the base in feet and dividing by three to find the yardage. Floral sheeting is sold in square yards.

Attach 14” high metallic gold fringe to the bottom of the frame where the floral sheeting stops. This helps to achieve the classic “floating” look. Fringe is sold in 10’ long packages. This float requires five packages of fringe.

Outline the sides of the float with metallic gold festooning. Festooning is available in 48’ long rolls. This size float requires three 48’ rolls of metallic gold festooning. Floral sheeting, festooning and fringe are all made of waterproof, fade-proof and flame proof plastic material, which is reusable for another float or decorating project.

Create your float slogan with Styrofoam letters or numbers, 8” high each. Leave them white or paint them with interior latex paint. Be sure to add another board, such as plywood, to the frame beneath your floral sheeting. Then you can use small nails to attach the letters to the board. You can also simply hot glue the letters to the floral sheeting.

Spirit Signs

The “explosion” float component with wording measures 8’ wide at the base, 8’ high and 1’ thick. Create a wood frame out of approximately 150’ of #2 1×3 pine. Cover the frame with 120’ of 18” chicken wire with 1” openings. Chicken wire can be found at most farm supply and hardware stores.

Add the colors by stuffing the 1” openings with tissue pomps. This design requires approximately 40 packages of white tissue pomps and 8-10 packages of purple tissue pomps. Use pomps paste to keep the pomps in place, even in the wind. The paste cleans up easily with warm water. You’ll need four 1 pint cans. (You can change the colors of pomps to suit your creative ideas!)

Add a personal touch to the float by having your cheerleaders ride on it, or placing your school mascot on the float. Cheerleaders can hold bright balloons or deep-tone balloons filled with helium in your school colors. Expanding banners or cheer signs are a great way to greet the crowds at the parade.

A crowd-pleasing idea is to have spirit items to toss out to the crowd of fans. They’ll love wearing spirit wrist bands and spirit beads to the game after the parade or taking spirit balls home as favors from the big game!

The materials listed are based on a two-sided Purple Power design.

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