So you want to build a float. Great! Look no further, because at Anderson’s you’ll find everything you need to create a float masterpiece that will get oohs and ahhs from all your adoring fans.
Building a cool float is not as hard as it may look at first, especially when we have everything you need in one place. Let’s get started!
Form a committee or group of float builders
First, gather friends, teammates, volunteers or classmates. The more people you have on your float committee the more ideas you will generate, and the bigger and better your float can be! You can then split up the work amoung the groups of people based on their interests: one group can be in charge of props or costumes to be used on the float. Another group can be in charge of the lettering or signage that will be displayed on the float. Another group can be in charge of the frame-work used underneath the decorating materials (including tools needed for assembly), and yet another group can be in charge of determining the amounts needed of all the float-building materials and getting everything ordered (for more on this, see diagram below). Building a float is a team effort, so make sure everyone understands their part in building the float. Most importantly, remember to have FUN!
Set your schedule and float-building location
Estimate how long each step of building your float will take (including any lead time needed to have float-building materials shipped, and to find the trailer you will use!). Work backwards from your parade date to decide when you need to start and how often your group will meet to work on your float. Try to avoid doing everything at the last minute – no one needs that stress! Also, plan your float-building location to be as centrally located for all team members as possible, as well as a place that will have all the tools you might need handy.
Plan your float
Choose a theme and/or slogan that’ll draw attention to your float. Also finalize your color scheme. This may often be based off your school colors, but if that’s been done many times, mix it up a little – anything goes when it comes to colors! Also, consider inviting your Mascot to help “man” your float – to promote school spirit and get the crowd going! Click on the float image above to get you started with some proven theme ideas for your float.
We’ve included links to many of our float building materials in the list below to help you get a jump start on building your float!
- A Trailer or Hay Wagon
- Floral Sheeting
- Fringe (used around the base of your float it gives the illusion of “floating”)
- Festooning for borders & trim.
- Pomps & Pomps Paste
- Artificial Grass – Awesome for sports-themed floats! Intersperse with white for field markings.
- Props & Decorations
- Chicken Wire
- Staplers and extra staples
Build Your Float
Create your supporting structures, and add decorations. Consult our float building diagram below to get a rough idea of the amounts of basic float-building materials you will need to create your float!
Additional Tips and Tricks:
- Watch the weather. Rain & floats do not mix well!
- Secure everything on your float well. The last thing you want is to have pieces of your float falling off as you make your way down the parade route!
- If you have riders on your float make sure they have something stable to hold on to or sit on. We want everyone to have fun but be safe!
For a downloadable version of the float building diagram above, click on the following link: