One of the best and most interesting aspects of Mardi Gras are the grand parades with exquisite floats.
Though it would be practically impossible to recreate this part of Mardi Gras for your own celebration, there is a way to still incorporate this part of Mardi Gras into your own festivities – just on a smaller scale.
You can create mini floats to use as decorations, invitations, or my personal favorite – have everyone coming to your Mardi Gras party make and bring their own mini-float with them so you can have your very own Mardi Gras parade.
You can make a few mini floats to use as decorations or centerpieces, or you can take the time to make a float for each invitation you need to send out. This however could be quite time consuming and rather expensive especially if you need to mail the invitations.
By telling everyone in their invitation to make and bring their own float, each float will be creatively different and unique.
When sending out your invitations, include a picture or two of floats you have already made to give your guests some ideas. Also include a list of different items they can use to help make their float.
For starts everyone will need some kind of a box, though shoe boxes work the best. Then it will either need to be covered or painted. I find that wrapping box (leaving the bottom party open) works the best as many shoe boxes can be glossy making it difficult for paint to adhere to it.
On the float pictured, I used gold wrapping paper that I bought on clearance after Christmas. In fact, most of the items on my float were decorations bought after Christmas on clearance! It’s a great way to find green, purple and gold (or yellow) decorations and items at a cheap price that can double as decorations for Mardi Gras.
At the very back of the float are two sparkly gold large picks. I used a small bladed Exacto knife and cut two “X”s into the box – one on each side – and then stuck the stems of the picks through. Once they were all the way through I turned the box over and bent the stems flat against the box and used packing tape to hold them in place.
In front of the two gold picks are three green picks. These were inserted the same way.
The other four pieces are small dowels cut to the length I needed, leaving about 2 inches to stick through the box to balance them. I then wrapped each dowel in yellow and green pipe cleaners. The star on top of each one are mini Christmas ornaments with the hanging piece pulled out of them. The ornaments are then turned upside down and stuck onto the pipe cleaner wrapped dowel. I used purple ribbon and green curling ribbon to add a little more flair. They are then inserted into the box by making an X with the Exacto knife.
The purple around the bottom of the float is Christmas garland.
The little jester sitting as if he is the king of the float I found at a thrift store several years ago.
I used my computer to print out the Mardi Gras sign on the front of the float and used scrapbooking adhesive to stick it the front. I also added some of the adhesive to the front of the sign so I could sprinkle some glitter on it to make it stick.
Items you may want to use when making your float (and telling your guests how to make theirs) could include: paint, glitter, felt, pipe cleaners, construction paper, card stock, scrapbooking paper, stickers, dowels, garland, ornaments, picks, Mardi Gras beads or coins.
At your party you can use your floats to put on your own parade and vote on your favorite one. Also – if you leave the bottom of the shoe box open when you wrap it, these floats will make very interesting hats for your guests to wear!