Miniature Mardi Gras Float from a Shoebox

pin_it_button-2345194I recently learned about a charming kids’ Mardi Gras tradition that began in New Orleans many years ago.  During the carnival season, children create miniature parade floats from shoeboxes and enter them into local shoebox float competitions.  I could not wait to make one with my kids!

To begin, I covered a shoebox with construction paper.  Gift wrap or aluminium foil are also options.

mardigrasfloat2-3711995 I turned the box upside down and secured the lid to its short side with hot-glue. mardigrasfloat1-3238772
Time to decorate!  The frill around the sides of the float are ruffled crepe paper streamers.  I followed the awesome ruffled streamers tutorial on MADE to assemble them. mardigrasfloat3-7335490
mardigrasfloat4-8833521 While I worked on the foundation of the float, the girls perused pages and pages of Mardi Gras float pictures online.  They finally decided to make the float with the enormous, creepy clown face on the front.  I think Juju did a great job capturing its menacing expression. mardigrasfloat5-4596158
mardigrasfloat9-7214057 We raided the girls’ craft supplies and toy boxes for the rest of the decorations.  We chose JoJo the clown and a lion figurine to go with the circus theme.  My daughter drew a circus tent for the backdrop.  We added beads, artificial flowers, rhinestones and more ruffled streamers.  The lion is wearing a Mardi Gras crown and JoJo is carrying a jester’s staff made from a lollipop stick and beads. A few more photos….. mardigrasfloat10-9073615 mardigrasfloat11-4822238 mardigrasfloat12-9037891
The float needed wheels so the girls could have their own mini Mardi Gras parade.  As luck would have it, the shoebox fit perfectly over the top of their toy firetruck.  And yes, those are my beads.  I acquired them years ago at the Mardi Gras parade here in St. Louis {mischievous grin}.

The girls loved my description of the crazy costumes and the bead and trinket throwing traditions of Mardi Gras.   As I type, they are upstairs dancing and throwing beads at each other.  Laissez les bons temps rouler!