Mardi Gras Shoe Box Parade Float – DIY Craft

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Mardi Gras Shoe Box Parade Float – DIY Craft

Growing up in New Orleans is fun and unique craft traditions you remember for a lifetime.  Some of my favorite memories from childhood has to do with Mardi Gras.  One thing every child participates in while growing up in New Orleans is Mardi Gras Shoe Box Parade Float contest.  Many are done at school, the local malls, etc.

I wanted to introduce this to my daughter since she will not have the opportunity to be raised in such a fun city and enjoy the Mardi Gras festivities.

You will need:

  • Mardi Gras beads
  • tissue
  • a shoe box
  • tape
  • hot glue gun
  • and any thing else you want to decorate the float with.

Be creative!  If you don’t have Mardi Gras items on hand you can purchase some HERE.


Wrap the shoe box and lid separately with tissue.  Best to use tape to secure the edges.  Will fit a little baggie and that is ok.  Take the box part and flip it upside down so the bottom of the shoe box is actually the top of the float.  The lid you will fit inside the box.  Make sure to glue the box to the lid so it is one piece. Some people get creative and put wheels on the float.  I did not since I was letting my 3 year old play with it.


Next take Mardi Gras beads and glue in whichever pattern around the box.  I used hot glue gun as it secures the beads the best.  I prefer to glue the edges around the box with a strand of beads.  As you see I stuck to the true Mardi Gras colors or Purple, Green and Gold to design our Mardi Gras Shoe Box Parade Float.

I added sunglasses and deblume’s to add final touches.  Deblume’s are the Mardi Gras coins that usually advertise the name of the parade.  I also finished the sides of the float with a zig zag design of beads with hot glue.

Rear of Float:

Don’t forget to do the back of the Shoe Box Float. In parades, the back of the floats are sometimes the most decorated as they have a bigger workplace to design.  On my Shoe Box Float, I used a piece of green construction paper to wrap the rear of the float (see picture above).  Glue the beads and decorations.

Next, I let my daughter play Mardi Gras with her barbie dolls.  We set her barbie doll chair and put a Barbie on the chair.  I made small beads for her barbie to throw to her other barbies.  It was a very fun Mardi Gras day in our house!  If you have boys, you can have them pay with the float with their Marvel Men and Transformers.

Check out our Mardi Gras King Cake recipe HERE.

If you are having a Mardi Gras party think of Beignet Mix,  Cafe Du Monde Coffee, Mardi Gras beads and you can think of doing a parade in your backyard with bikes and wagons.  Have fun and get creative.  Living away from New Orleans we make it a tradition to celebrate all weekend with cajun food like Gumbo (this is the Gumbo Mix I use), Red Beans and Rice (Camillia Red Beans is the best beans) and more!  Have fun with the holiday and Happy Mardi Gras!

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