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How to make a carnival float

Updated April 17, 2017

Bring your great ideas to life by creating a carnival float. Bring smiles to children's faces as you drive your float past them at the carnival. Movie scenes, characters and moving parts are all ideas that can be created on a float. With the use of a truck, trailer, and a few decorating items you can bring joy to everyone at the carnival.

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  1. Create your float on a trailer. Most floats are built on trailers that can be used for easy travelling to and from the parade site. A hay trailer is ideal for an easy to manoeuvre carnival float. The trailer size will determine how big your float will be.

  2. Design your float. Get your family, friends, and float builders together to discuss your floats theme. Take into consideration the carnivals theme and use symbols to reflect it. Take this time to delegate assignments to everyone participating. Have groups focusing on costume designs, frame work building, decorating materials, and signage if you plan on having some.

  3. Build a skirt frame for your floats trailer. The skirt frame is used to cover up the wheels and undercarriage of your trailer. Use 2-foot-by-2-inch pieces of wood for the frame and leave 16 inches of space between the frame and ground.

  4. Decorate the trailer skirts. Purchase floral sheeting, festooing, and other decorating products from float decorating companies in and around your area to decorate your trailer skirts. You can also use fringe to cover your side skirts. You can cover the deck of your trailer with more floral sheeting or grass mats.

  5. Add a character to your floats theme. Use chicken coup wiring to shape a character that matches the them of the carnival. Mix 3/4 cup of glue and 1/4 cup of water together to make a paper mache paste. Cut up pieces of newspaper or coloured sheets of paper and dip them in the paste. Cover the chicken wire character ship with about 4 layers of paper mache to bring the character to life. You can also dress your character by sewing fabrics on the character and draping them over the frame of the float.

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Things You'll Need

  • Chicken coup wire
  • Paper mache
  • Sewing equipment

About the Author

Ashton has been a freelance writer since 2008. Ashton has had works published in school newspapers such as the "Carolina High Weekly" as well as other Internet publications. She is currently seeking a nursing degree from Greenville Technical College in her hometown of Greenville, SC.

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