Parade Float Ideas

Ideas to Build Parade Floats

Create a New Orleans Luau Theme Float

Posted by paradefloats on August 7, 2009

Hawaiian-LeisChoosing one theme for your parade float can be tough. Plus, you may have one idea, but the parade theme committee has another. Sometimes combining a couple themes can create a really fun finished product. Here are some tips to create a New Orleans Luau themed parade float.

This float is designed to be 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. Our Mardi Gras Floral Sheeting is a perfect fit. 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 purple, green, or gold fringe is stapled to the bottom of the frame where the Floral Sheeting stops. Green tissue fringe is great for creating a luau grass skirt effect. Fringe is available in 10’ long packages. This size float requires five, 10’ packages of fringe.

Purple, green, or gold 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.

Styrofoam letters or 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.

Accent your float by placing Mardi Gras Balloon Pedestals on each corner of the float. The balloon columns are great for creating a border to your float and bring in the luau theme when you top them with palm tree mylar balloons from ShindigZ.

Add some purple mardi gras masks to your float for another great accent. The masks are made out of wire and floral sheeting. You can even make your own giant mardi gras mask out of chicken wire and tissue pomps and pomps paste. Or, make a Mardi Gras themed tiki mask. ShindigZ has tiki mask decorations and giant Mardi Gras masks too.

For a really fun Mardi Gras touch, have the people riding on your float wear Hawaiian leis in Mardi Gras colors. You can toss the inexpensive leis to the crowd for great crowd interaction!

Check out all of our parade float materials for more ideas and float decorating supplies! Tell us about your unique parade float themes too!


One Response to “Create a New Orleans Luau Theme Float”

  1. Stephanie Whitfield said

    Our theme this year is A Brand New Day,”Engraved with Hope”. Please give me some ideas for a float.

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