How to Decorate a Parade Float

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I’ve signed myself up this school year to becoming a troop leader for two of my girls that are in a scout program. It will definitely take a lot of planning to do all of our service projects and fun crafts, but if it was anything like last year, it will be well worth it! I love seeing little leaders develop. While they are making memories and messes, I’m going to be embracing the fun and joy that our troop has throughout the year.

These next few weekends are all about school pride and homecoming! In every city and small town, communities are celebrating their school spirit as football season is upon us! This year, we did our first float as part of our home town high school’s homecoming parade. I wanted to gather up some of my lessons learned that I hope you can learn from as you endeavor in your own parade float!

How to Decorate a Parade Float

Get Kids Involved

Kids love decorating floats – so reach out to your group and plan out a date or two for decorating. You’ll need supplies like paint, scissors, glue, markers and crayons. Let me just warn you, it can get quite messy! Having Huggies® Cleansing® Wipes on hand can make cleaning up spilled paint or glue a breeze while you are decorating!

You can get all your supplies at your local Sam’s Club prior to decorating day, including the Huggies® Cleansing® Wipes. They are fragrance, alcohol and paraben free – hypoallergenic for even the most sensitive kids.

I would recommend using their awesome pick-up service where they can pack it up for you so that you don’t have to walk up and down the aisles. As a troop leader, my days are pretty packed – so that means I can shop online for all my supplies and bypass the register.

Add Fringe to Your Float

Fringe in your group’s color provide a gorgeous and more professional look. It is an essential part of decorating your group’s float!

Balloon Arches

Balloon arches can be made out of inexpensive flexible PVC tubing. My tip: Buy two PVC pipes, connect them and measure where you need to cut. Make sure that you cut it so that the connection point is not the center. You’ll need to blow up four balloons and tie them together in a cluster. Next, just twist and criss cross the balloons on the arch!


This is the easiest item for your group to decorate when everyone shows up to your location to decorate. Create some signs for people that are walking around your float and ON your float! Another older troop helped create this amazing sign!

Yard Signs for Group Members

This was something I saw on another float that are keeping in mind for next year. Instead of printing flimsy posters, print out yard signs for photos of your troop and/or team to put on the float. That way, the signs are durable and reusable!

Pomping and Chicken Wire

You might want to wait on this if you have little ones, but it does make for awesome decor! I did a lot of pomping in college for floats. A LOT. You can either use chicken wire to STUFF the tissue in OR you can wrap the pomp around a marker and stick it in modge/podge onto the plyboard.

Seating with Straw Bales

We purchased six straw bales for around $40. I knew my little Kindergartners and first graders would complain about the scratchiness of them, so we threw moving blankets on top of the straw bales! You could easily

Wheel Covers

Our troop sells cookies as their major form on fundraising. So we themed our tire and wheel covers with cookies!

You could do something similar like helmets or baseballs. We made ours out of plywood and tied them using plastic ties.

Candy and Necklaces

Make sure you have a lot of candy and necklaces on hand to throw out! Make sure you let the kids know not to throw them all at the very beginning of the parade route.

Wear Your Uniforms

This may be stating the obvious, but make sure all the kids wear their uniforms on the float! It will make for a more cohesive look.

These are my tried and true tips and tricks for doing your first float successfully.

Reminders for Parents Day of Float Parade

Here are a few reminders you may want to send in preparation for parade day.

1. Ensure that everyone has gone to the bathroom prior to getting on the float.
2. Everyone should have  their own candy and/or necklaces to throw. Rules are that only underhanded tosses are allowed.
3. Bring your own drink that will last throughout the parade.
4. To minimize the risk of kids getting sick, limit the consumption of candy on the actual float.
5. Have some Huggies® Cleansing® Wipes in the case of a cleaning emergency.
6. Have a First Aid Kit ready.

I hope this provides some great ideas on how to decorate your parade float! Interested in using Huggies® Cleansing® Wipes in your next creative adventure? Hover over the photo to click through to and buy them!


Working mom, loving wife, lifestyle blogger, family photographer, and the ultimate purveyor of the "honey do list".

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1 Comment

  1. Decorating a parade float seems like so much fun! This is something I’ve never done, but would love to help my daughter’s Daisy troop if we ever got the chance. I can imagine it can get quite messy. Good thing you had an easy cleanup with the wipes! 🙂 #client

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