How to Build a Homecoming Float

by Contributor ; Updated September 28, 2017

Items you will need

  • Flatbed trailer
  • Nails
  • Hammer
  • 2-by-6-inch boards
  • 2-by-4-inch boards
  • Plywood
  • Floral sheeting
  • Staple gun
  • Decorative fringe
  • Decorating items

How to Build a Homecoming Float. An exciting event practiced during high school and college, homecoming can allow students to rally together and celebrate their school. If your school participates in a homecoming parade, creating the float can be a daunting task. By working together and keeping the best supplies on hand, you and your classmates can build a homecoming float that showcases school spirit.

Step 1

Gather your committee together to brainstorm for float ideas. Most homecoming parades have a theme; use that as your inspiration. You can also focus on the team whom the school is playing against. Keep in mind that you need plenty of time to build the float. Put aside a few weeks from start to finish to create your float.

Step 2

Locate a flatbed trailer and a vehicle to pull it. An ideal trailer is a hay trailer since it has a wooden bed. If you want a float with rails, consider using a hay wagon.

Step 3

Build a new floor over the trailer if you have numerous people riding the float. Nail 2-by-6-inch boards or 2-by-8-inch boards on the edge of the trailer to form the frame, and then secure 2-by-4-inch boards next to them. Add extra pieces of lumber for any area that you think needs additional support. Lay a floor of inexpensive plywood over the frame. This adds stability and strength to the frame.

Step 4

Attach floral sheeting to the deck of the trailer with a staple gun. Add decorative fringe to the bottom of the frame, followed by petal festooning to hide the seam between the sheeting and the fringe.

Step 5

Apply papier-mâché to any chicken wire that shapes your float, using two to three layers. When it's dry, spray paint the float and add streamers or balloon arches. You may want to make a stage for the main focus point of your float. Decorate the rest of the float, and be creative. Keep the theme in mind.

Tips

  • Ask if the homecoming committee is sponsoring a contest for the floats. Some categories that may be used include: the most creative float, best overall float or funniest float. Create a float that abides by the city's laws. If you plan to have your float travel down streets, then you need to make sure you comply with city rules and regulations. Safety is the most important factor while decorations come second.

Warnings

  • Don't forget to establish a budget. If you don't, costs can escalate when you build the homecoming float. This may encourage other classmates to become creative if you don't have much money to use.