Sunday, May 1, 2011

Fiesta Shoebox Float

If you live with a school age child in San Antonio chances are you have made a shoebox float.  I was sweating this project.  I didn't want to let Kaitlyn Joy down, but for the life of me I didn't know what to do.  The school sent a slip home telling us to think "flowers".  Well I had a whole HUGE bag of silk flowers that needed a purpose; I was going to cover a box in them.  Then another San Antonio mom mentioned her kid was doing the same thing and they were doing a Littlest Pet Shop theme float. 

Well snapdragons and chicken spit!  No one said I had to put toys on it.  I started racking my brain as to which toys we could use.  My biggest concern was not taking the paint off when using hot glue.  We talked about using her Mini Lalaloopsy dolls.  I debated wiring them on.  I thought about wiring them to flowers then using hot glue to put the flowers onto the float.  Then I thought of the several My Little Ponies that McD bestowed upon us.  Kj only owns one "real" MLP.  Before I go any farther I want to say she picked where each pony would go.  Yes I know they aren't even and that she wanted all, but one to be facing the one in the center.  I have no idea why.  When it came right down to which toy to glue on a last minute switch brought the ponies onto the scene.

If you have yet to make a float, perhaps you are searching websites looking for ideas; good luck to you.  This was our first year doing a shoebox float.  I learned a few things while seeing the other kids floats...
  1. Securely attach the string, rope, ribbon (what we used), or yarn, to the box.  We saw a lot of crying from kids who tried pulling their float and the string pulled right out.  On the inside of Kj's float we actually had a plastic strip with button holes on either end.  After cutting the box I slipped the ribbon through the plastic button hole and tied it in a big knot.  The plastic prevented the ribbon from slipping back through the box.  You could use a washer, glue a toy, button, anything bigger then the hole onto the ribbon, yarn, ect, to keep it from pulling through.  You might think this isn't necessary, but I can point you to four kids who it would have helped.  Don't let that be your kid!
  2. You don't have to use a shoebox.  I knew we had a normal shoebox around, but I couldn't find it.  We had a couple flip top ones, but I didn't want the ugly ridge.  One girl had a car covered in a trimmed grass skirt; all you could see was the inside of the car. They put a lei around it and a Barbie in the seat.  We ended up using a box that was between a boot and sneaker size.
  3. They only need wheels if they are going outside.  The boxes pulled as good on the floor as Kj's did with wheels.
  4. Use supplies you already have on hand.  If you must buy something so be it, but otherwise save your money.  The only thing I bought for Kj's was the pink paper.  If I had a lighter color (only had red) paper on hand I would have used it.  When you get to the last photo you will see why it's laughable for parents to go out and buy new toys, wheels and so forth just for a little float.  A store was throwing out some flower heads so I spoke up for them before they hit the trash.  The tissue paper was from Kj's recent birthday party.  I already had the ribbon on hand.  And of course the toys are from McDonald's.
  5. You don't have to put wheels on the box, you can put the box on wheels.  We cut the bottom off the box and fit a Little People bus into it.  Just tape those big toys on well so when the child picks the box up the car doesn't fall out.
Because Kj and I worked so hard to tape, cut, sew, and glue it all together I'm going to flood you with photos.

Then, after all your hard work, money, tears and sticks and sticks of hot glue...

This was her float minutes after arriving home

Now a couple videos...  Kj is in the red and orange outfit


Hilary said...

It turned ou super CUTE!!! I love my little ponies :)

Anonymous said...

My daughter is 2 and a half and we have to make a shoe box float for her mardi GRAS parade this weekend. She loved the little pony idea. Thank you so much for posting all the Picts. Putting the bus underneath is a wonderful idea! I feel much more confident heading into the craft store now. Your float was beautiful! I'll post you picts of how ours turns out! You have been a HUGE help!!
Baton Rouge, LA

Jennifer said...

Amy, if you have photos send them on, I'll post them. We have to do our second float at the end of the month. I saved the box and flower skirt from last year. I'm thinking about spray painting the flower skirt so it will be different yet I can keep all my hard work. =)

Whitney said...

O my goodness!! We live in SA as well, and I just got our FIRST paper home saying we were having a shoe box parade! Agggghhhh!!!
My biggest concern is what to attach it too, wheel-wise. Should be interesting... :)

Angela said...