How to Make an Army Tank Float Out of Cardboard Boxes

Written by erin moseley
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It's always fun watching a float parade and even more exciting preparing for one. Military theme float parades are the perfect opportunity for troop supporters to show off their creativity. Whether you’re a team of one or 20, you can make an army tank that will impress everyone. Simple outline drawings from tank photos can help you get the right proportions. You’ll just need to decide on the scale for your float and then expand the cardboard dimensions accordingly. Cut the components and tape them together. Finish the tank float with camouflage paint and decorate the surroundings to your choosing.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Tank photos
  • Roll of drawing paper
  • Crayon or marker
  • Measuring tape
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Scissors
  • Wide non-gloss packing tape
  • Acrylic paint

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  1. 1

    Use simple drawings to get outlines of the tank. Spread out a sheet of drawing paper on a flat surface. Make thick lines around all components such as gun, sides, top, base and wheels to mark them as separate structures.

  2. 2

    Measure the dimensions of all tank parts in your drawings using a measuring tape or ruler. Decide on the scale that you want for your tank and the float in general. Increase the scale in the drawings to suit the larger size of the float tank. For instance, if the drawing shows a tank gun that is 8-inches long, increase the cardboard gun size to 8-feet long.

  3. 3

    Gather large and sturdy cardboard boxes. Use wardrobe boxes or dish packs or boxes from large kitchen appliances. Look for moving vans in the neighbourhood or make a notice at your school, church or other community groups to let them know you need boxes.

  4. 4

    Lay cardboard boxes out on a flat surface. Outside on the ground is acceptable if the ground is dry, or work in a carport or garage. Tape several boxes together to make a large drawing surface. Transfer the line drawings using the larger scale onto the cardboard surface. Be sure to include the right and left sides of the tank. Allow enough cardboard to create the cylindrical gun barrel. Create as many cardboard surfaces as you need to complete all components. Double up on cardboard on the gun mount to be able to support the weight of the gun.

  5. 5

    Cut the outlines of the tank parts and then tape them together to form the tank. Apply more tape at the seams for better strength. Paint the tank according to your design and add as much detail as you want. Use more coats of paint to cover up the tape if needed. Mount the tank onto the truck float and continue to decorate the surrounding float area.

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