Decorating Tips

The following are some tips to consider in decorating your unit.

  • STREAMERS. Tie ribbons or streamers to the car antenna. Let them hang down approximately 6 to 8 inches as you don’t want them distracting your driving. If you can find one, place an antenna topper on there as well. The same ribbon or streamers can be hung along the sides of the car. Do this by using regular clear tape, but affix it to the black trim of the window only. Tape could damage the paint.
  • FESTOONING. Festooning is a colorful garland that can be attached to edges of vehicles and floats or wrapped around parts of each.
  • FRINGE. Both tissue and metallic fringe can be attached to edges of vehicles and floats.
  • FLORAL SHEETING/PETAL PAPER. This is a bit pricey, but it covers large areas quickly and looks good.
  • CHICKEN WIRE AND POMPS. After securing the chicken wire to the unit — usually with staples, spray the wire with spray adhesive. Then, take a single pomp sheet, form it into a cone at the end of your index finger, and tuck it into the wire opening. For large areas, consider putting a pomp into every other wire hole.
  • CAR CHALK. Decorate the windows with window chalk, writing appropriate messages. For example, if your vehicle is pulling a parade float, you can give information about the organization involved (Girl Scout Troop 123). Also, have fun decorating around the words by drawing stars, hearts, flowers and whatever else you can think of
  • TIN CANS. String some tin cans and tie them to the rear bumper. Use can use empty soda cans, or those from canned vegetables. Clean the cans by rinsing them with water. For the soda cans, you can tie the string to the pop top. For other cans, you can drill a small hole or tape the string to the bottom of the can. Fishing line makes a very good string for this project. The noise from the tin cans will let your presence be known from a mile away.
  • BALLOONS. Fill balloons will helium and attach them to the top of vehicles and high parts of floats.
  • FOAMBOARD LETTERS. You can use these letters to identify your unit or group. Make sure they’re large enough to be easily read from a distance.
  • GRASS MATS. You can use these mats to dress up the floors and sides of trailers and other units.
  • POSTERS. Create posters for the sides of each car. Decorate them with markers, and then adhere them to the window trim with several pieces of tape.

Some local stores will carry many of these materials; however, some are available only at specialized party shops and online sites. Just do a Web search of “parade decorations.”

Check out the images below. Use these materials or get creative for your own style and design. Download a handout with this information by clicking here.

You can find photos of several fine vintage Apple Blossom floats by clicking on the Apple Blossom history link here and scrolling to the bottom of that page.

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