Create a Giant Pumpkin Float for Fall Festivals
Posted by paradefloats on October 6, 2009
Fall is a season full of festivals and parades. If you’re creating a float for one of these fun autumn events, a giant pumpkin parade float is an adorable option. You can create a spooky jack o’lantern float, or create a sweet float featuring the Great Pumpkin. Use your imagination and your results will be spectacular. Here’s some basic tips for creating a pumpkin parade float:
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.
Create a light wooden frame around the wagon using #2 1 x 3 pine. The frame should extend from the top of the wagon bed to 15” from the ground. The wood should be available at your local lumberyard. A basic frame this size requires approximately 140’ of lumber.
Staple waterproof, flameproof floral sheeting to the frame. This size float requires 16 yards of Vinyl floral sheeting for the sides. Cover the float in orange floral sheeting. 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. It’s great for decorating and adding festive texture to your float.
Next, attach 14” high metallic fringe in black or orange by stapling it to the bottom of the frame where the Floral Sheeting stops. Fringe is available in 10’ long packages. This size float requires five 10’ packages of metallic fringe.
Festooning twistees in black or orange 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 if you remove the materials carefully after the parade.
Add a festive fall message or school spirit slogan to the side of your float using Styrofoam letters or numbers. They’re 8” tall and 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.
To create the giant pumpkin, use chicken wire acquired from a local farm or hardware store to create a round structure. You can do this by creating several cylinders wrapped around each other in opposite directions. Use tissue pomps to fill in the wire structure to make the pumpkin orange. Pomps paste is a handy way to keep the tissue squares in place. Our green festooning twistees are great for adding a vine and a stem to your pumpkin.
You can also create the giant pumpkin or some smaller pumpkins for an accent using paper mache.