Parade Float Ideas

Ideas to Build Parade Floats

Create a Mardi Gras Float in Bourbon Street Style

Posted by paradefloats on July 31, 2009

Mardi Gras Float KitA Mardi Gras theme float is fun for any season–not just Fat Tuesday. Use a Mardi Gras theme to bring the festive atmosphere of Mardi Gras to your Homecoming float or other parade!

Here are some possible slogans for a Mardi Gras theme float. This theme is a great choice if you’re using a Mardi Gras theme for your Homecoming Dance! Substitute your school’s mascot or your opponent’s mascot as needed.
• Bourbon Street Blowout
• Show the Eagles a Bayou Blitz
• The Blazers are Gator Bait
• Un-mask the Knights
• Jazzed Up for the Jaguars

Once your theme and slogan are decided, brainstorm on the colors and decorative elements that would fit this theme. Here are some ideas for your jungle float.

Float Color Ideas
• Green
• Purple
• Gold
• School Colors

Float Decoration Ideas
• Mardi Gras Throne
• Jazz Instruments
• Aligators
• Swampy Area
• Vines and Grass
• Mardi Gras Balloons
• Mascot

PLANNING YOUR FLOAT

One 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 green and the trim to be gold, 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.
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 gold or purple metallic fringe for a Mardi Gras 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. Gold metallic or green vinyl festooning would look great on a Mardi Gras float.
4. Display your slogan or school name with Styrofoam 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. Keep the letters white or paint them with your school colors!

CREATING DECORATIONS FOR YOUR FLOAT

Decorations are an essential part of any float. We’ve given you some basic ideas for your Mardi Gras float – but what’s the next step? Here are some suggestions for actually creating your Mardi Gras decorations!
• Use a “King of Mardi Gras” throne in the middle of your float. Your mascot can sit on it during the parade. We offer a sturdy throne that will save you the hassle of trying to build one. Although it is a royal throne, it can be easily transformed into a Mardi Gras throne! Simply drape it with metallic gold gossamer and green festooning (to look like vines).
• Order a royal King’s Crown for your mascot to wear while seated on the throne. (You can even add a royal robe as well!) Recruit a student to dress up and pose as your opponent’s mascot. The opponent’s mascot can be bowing down to your mascot or simply have the opposing mascot costume bitten in half by an aligator.
• Create several trees out of chicken wire (available at hardware stores) and tissue pomps. Each palm tree should measure approximately 6’ high x 10” in diameter. Make a tube using 6’ high x 20” wide chicken wire (available at a hardware store), attach the wire to a vertical wood beam, and stuff it with brown Tissue Pomps. Tissue pomps can go in every other opening. Attach each tree to a wooden base for support. To make the leaves, attach strong (but thin) wire to the top of each tube and hang Green Fringe from the wires. Place a tree on either side of the throne.

• Make vines from green festooning. Drape the vines around the palm trees and throne.

• Inflate lots of mardi gras mask latex balloons with helium and tie them together in bunches with curling ribbon. Make four separate bunches of balloons and place one bunch on each corner of your float.

• Add aligators, snakes, and other swamp creatures to your float, if desired. These elements can be made from chicken wire and tissue pomps or painted plywood.

Check out mardi gras party supplies at Shindigz.com for more accents for your float!

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2 Responses to “Create a Mardi Gras Float in Bourbon Street Style”

  1. So with Mardi Gras (literally Fat Tuesday in French or Shrove Tuesday in English tradition) only a day away and the Mardi Gras season hours from starting, I decided it would be a great idea to write a little bit about the season and the events, where it all comes from and what the meaning of the whole thing is.
    Read More: http://www.shawnmichaeladamsonline.com/2011/03/mardi-gras-carnival-fat-tuesday-shrove.html

  2. odyslooxs said

    odyslooxs…

    […]Create a Mardi Gras Float in Bourbon Street Style « Parade Float Ideas[…]…

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