You can easily transform that little red wagon that normally provides opportunities for play into a miniature parade float. Attaching decorations to a child's wagon is surprisingly easy, particularly if the wagon has wooden slat sides. Once you complete this mini-float, it can carry a small passenger or perhaps candy or other items to give away along the parade route.
A local craft store will carry most of the supplies you need to create a mini-float using a child's wagon. Streamers, flags, garlands, balloons, pinwheels or battery-powered lights can bring an ordinary play wagon to life. If you want to deliver a message or relate the wagon to the parade theme, make simple signs using poster board. If a tiny passenger won't be riding in the wagon, you can fill it with brightly colored potted plants or stuffed animal mascots.
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If you have a simple design in mind, some basic decorating tips can help you pull your parade float together very quickly. Start by selecting a color scheme or theme and deciding whether or not the mini-float will carry a passenger. Small children or even the family pet can be real crowd-pleasers, particularly if they wear appropriate costumes. Attach metallic fringe to the sides of the wagon with ample amounts of duct tape. Trim the fringe so that it doesn't drag on the ground. Drape fabric bunting over the sides of the wagon to conceal the duct tape and secure it along the top slat with a needle and thread. Simply stitch the fabric into place by folding an edge over the top slat and drawing the needle through the slat opening to the outside fabric. Add a few balloons or other decorative elements and your mini-float is complete.
Children's wagons also lend themselves to more elaborate parade floats. Construct a pirate's ship by adding appropriately painted cardboard siding to the wagon. Add a larger cardboard box at the end to create a stern and a triangular configuration at the front to form the bow. Use a painted broom handle with fabric attached for the sail. Creative use of cardboard boxes and fabric can also transform a child's wagon into other vehicles, such as a miniature automobile, covered wagon or airplane.