February 23, 2011

Create a mini Mardi Gras Parade Float out of a shoe box

Krewe of K1 floats

Mardi Gras shoebox float
In Louisiana, schools around the state have their own version of Mardi Gras with small parades at school. Children craft parade floats out of wagons, boxes, crates and shoe boxes. This precious tradition is one that children and parents alike look forward to each year.

Want to create your own mini Mardi Gras parade? Here is our tutorial for a Mardi Gras shoe box float. Making a tiny Mardi Gras float out of standard shoe box is a fun craft for a children's Mardi Gras party. It also makes a great art project for a school class.

The shoe box parade floats pictured here were created by a local kindergarten class for their Fall Festival. 
mini Mardi Gras float ridersThank you to the Krewe of K1 for sharing their Mardi Gras floats and to Lori Stoekle, their talented room mom,  for sharing her tips and tricks for creating this cute shoe box Mardi Gras float complete with mini Mardi Gras float riders (my favorite part).

We recreated a similar mini Mardi Gras shoe box float. Here is the tutorial showing the steps to create your own shoe box Mardi Gras float

Shoe box for float
  Use a shoe box with unattached lid as the form for your mini Mardi Gras float. Choose a color for the float. The traditional Mardi Gras colors are purple, green and gold (preferably one of these colors). We chose a bright kelly green. You can paint the shoe box or cover it in paper. 

We chose to paint our shoe box. Spray paint is an easy and fast paint option. Once the paint is dry or box is covered, attach the back of the shoe box lid as shown to form a backdrop for your mini Mardi Gras float.

Shoe box float supplies
These are the Mardi Gras supplies we used to decorate our Mardi Gras float.

Purple, green & gold craft feathers
Mardi Gras garland
Mardi Gras flags
Metallic crown decorations
Gold tinsel pipe cleaners
Mardi Gras beads
Glue and/or tape

Here are some other Mardi Gras items you could use to decorate a float:

Mardi Gras floral sprays and picks
Comedy and Tragedy mini cutouts
Mardi Gras Doubloons
Mardi Gras Centerpiece
Floral Sheeting/ Petal Paper
Mardi Gras Ribbon or Ornaments or Masks

Garland on shoe box float
Start decorating the float by adding a Mardi Gras garland around the perimeter of the shoe box.

 Attach the Mardi Gras garland with glue or tape. Line both the box and attached lid with garland.

attach Mardi Gras flags

Feather the float
Attach a group of purple, green and gold feathers to each of the front corners of the shoe box.

Add crown decorations
Glue or tape on the crown decorations. Add one to each side of the box and to the back as well.
Scatter Mardi Gras beads
Layer Mardi Gras beads across the top of the float deck. Attach as necessary.

Create your own mini Mardi Gras float riders. These float riders are made out of standard size pipe cleaners. Each "rider" is made of 1 whole pipe cleaner and 1 cut in half. This photo shows each step.
Pipe cleaner Mardi Gras men

STEP 1: Cut one pipe cleaner in half
STEP 2: Form a loop for your head and twist to form the body.
STEP 3: Bend the end pieces to form feet.
STEP 4: Twist the 1/2 pipe cleaner onto the body portion to form arms. Bend to form hands.

Shoe box Mardi Gras float
Add your Mardi Gras float riders to the float deck.  Use these shoe box Mardi Gras floats as decoration or add a string to the front of the shoe box and you can pull them down the school hall for your own mini Mardi Gras parade.

With your mini Mardi Gras float and riders ready to roll, Laissez les bons temps rouler!


  1. Just the info needed- thanks for the easy instructions. THink I 'm going to incorporate this idea into my next family reunion.


  2. this is all the help we needed. this website is great and helpful=)

  3. omgsh ithink im going to use all of thhis ideas relly nice who every made it is cool love it !!!!!!!!!!1

  4. This website all I need for my project. Good. Ideas

  5. Awesome ideas!!! Yeah all the kids do them these days for school parades, they even incorporated READING into it, they have to decorate FLOATS to depict a book that they have read & try get graded on their floats & have a PARADE with them too!! Pretty Neat, awesome Project... Gets their imaginations rolling!! Love your ideas too, would be cute as a normal household Decoration, might have 2 make one 4 that purpose!!!

    1. I love the idea of decorating floats with a book theme. At my children's school the children each pick a state as the theme. Another fun and educational idea. Thanks for the comment and stopping by our blog!

  6. omg all i needed was this like everything my teacher asigned was her thnx who eveer made this



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