How to Make Parade Floats Out of Paper

Updated February 21, 2017

Everyone loves a parade, or so the saying goes. Watching a parade is a fun way to get in a celebratory mood, but riding in the parade is even more thrilling. Making a float for a parade does not have to be expensive or to involve thousands of live carnations or roses, however. You can make just as beautiful a float by attaching paper decorations to your own frame instead.

Fold crepe paper in half.

Make cuts about 1/2 inch to 1 inch apart, to about 1 inch from the fold, taking care not to cut through the fold.

Unfold the fringe carefully. Use the staple gun to attach the fringe to wooden elements or clear packing tape for metal objects.

Stack three or four layers of tissue paper, in matching or coordinating colours.

Fan-fold the tissue paper by folding about 1 inch toward you, and then folding 1 inch away from you. Continue alternating the folds until you reach the end of the tissue. Crease the folds as tightly as possible.

Find the centre of the fan; wrap one end of a pipe cleaner or piece of wire around the fan tightly; twist the end around the other part of the wire, leaving a long tail. You will use the tail to attach the flower to the float.

Pull the top piece of tissue toward the centre carefully. Repeat with each of the other layers.

Fluff the layers to create a flower.

Cut the desired shape from the poster board.

Cut the tissue into 1 1/2 inch squares.

Place the eraser end of the pencil in the centre of a tissue square. Gather the edges next to the pencil and twist gently.

Dip the tissue twist, still on the pencil, in craft glue and attach it to the poster board. Continue until the poster board is completely covered.

Crumple newspaper into balls or other shapes to build the element base. Use masking tape to connect them.

Cut newspaper into 1 inch strips. These do not have to be exact, nor do they have to be the same length.

Dip a strip into the liquid starch. Hold the strip between your first and second fingers of one hand, while holding the top of the strip in the other hand. Gently slide your fingers down the strip, removing excess starch.

Wrap the strip around the base. Continue until the entire base is covered. Allow the paper to dry completely. You may then add a second layer, if desired. However, this is not required.

Paint the dry element with tempera or acrylic paint. You may also cover it with tissue or crepe paper.


To make the flowers shine and sparkle, spray the edges lightly with adhesive and sprinkle them with glitter.


Be sure to check with local authorities about fire codes; some municipalities require that float materials be treated with fire retardant.

Things You'll Need

  • Crepe paper
  • Scissors
  • Staple gun or clear packing tape
  • Tissue paper
  • Pipe cleaners or wire
  • Poster board
  • Pencil or dowel
  • Craft glue
  • Newspapers
  • Masking tape
  • Liquid starch
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About the Author

Pamela Martin has been writing since 1979. She has written newsletter articles and curricula-related materials. She also writes about teaching and crafts. Martin was an American Society of Newspaper Editors High School Journalism Fellow. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Teaching in elementary education from Sam Houston State University and a Master of Arts in curriculum/instruction from the University of Missouri.