Building a 4th of July parade float for Egypt VBS

Building a 4th of July parade float for Egypt VBS

Gathering Supplies

I headed out to find some decorations for our float.  I hit Jo-Ann Fabrics first for some gold braided cord (we needed that for Vacation Bible School anyway) and landed upon a gold-mine!

50% off already clearanced fabric?  I’ll take some of this, some of this, some of that… well, maybe a little of this too.  Okay, I think I’ve gone over budget.  Let me put that back.  Or should I….?  You get the idea!  I did manage to snag two or three patterns for a great price: $1 a yard!  Very Egyptian looking too.  I know a few ladies in our church who can sew this fabric into a great sash to use in the VBS program after we use it in the parade.

At Party City, I picked up this cute little sun balloon at  that apparently looked like a sunflower to everyone else.  Oh well, for 3.99 — worth it!  I originally went to Party City to get some of that parade float fringe to put under our “Egpytian Boat”.  I wanted blue so it would look like water.   Of course, they only had silver, so I headed over to Lowe’s to buy some blue spray paint ($3.00).  I also picked up a can of black spray paint ($3.00) to spray paint some oars I had acquired at a garage sale.

I asked if they had any “oops” paint at Lowe’s (paint mixed wrong, so they sell it at a discount), but they hadn’t priced it out yet, so I dug our old livingroom paint out of the basement and used that to put a base coat on the Nile River Boat.

All the Little Details…

While waiting for that to dry, I spray painted the oars so they didn’t look quite so “modern”.  We only put one coat on, so some of the paint got scraped/scratched off, which actually gave the oars a more authentic look I think.  Who knew?

By now, my friend Paulette had taken pity on my and had arrived at the church to help.  Thanks Paulette! We put a few heiroglyphs on the side of the river boat, drawn with a giant sharpie.

Paulette kindly colored the pictures in with more sharpies.  Now, for those of you who are thinking this is a quick solution, don’t do it!  The “Pharoah’s Egyptian River Boat” was painted (with paint left over from the baby’s room) and then outlined with sharpie.  The hieroglyphs were colored with markers and were completely faded by the next day.  You couldn’t even tell they were colored.  Not good.

Can ANYBODY load a Staple Gun?

You may be wondering how we attached that lovely spray-painted blue fringe.  Don’t wonder.  Just walk away.

It’ll be better.

Still here?  Okay I’ll tell you.  I borrowed a staple gun from my dad.  Now, wonderful dad that he is, he tried to tell me how to load the thing, but I assured him some guy at the hardware store would do that for me when I bought more staples.  Apparently they don’t teach that little skill in hardward store training anymore.  No one could do it.   It took me 20 minutes, 3 employees, and one innocent bystander before we could get the thing loaded.  Or so I thought.  I get back to the church and Paulette and I try to staple on the fringe.  Bang.  Nothing.  Bang.  “I think we’re shooting blanks.”  Great.  The culprit?  Wrong size staples.  Thanks hardware people.  So Paulette goes back and returns with the right size staples.  Or so we thought.  Wrong.  I hate this stapler.

We get out hammer and nails.  Yes, I’m serious.  The only problem is… the smallest nails we would find were 4 inches long.  So we had to pound in the nail and then bend it up so our innocent kids who would be helping with the parade wouldn’t be skewered.   Suddenly, I had a brainstorm!  Let’s use thumbtacks.  So we did.  We hammered thumbtacks into the fringe.  Only the tops kept breaking off.  Preserverance!

Then, by some miracle, my husband shows up, digs around the church supply closet and comes back with a staple gun, already loaded, with the RIGHT size staples.  What a concept.  This made the job much faster.  Until the gun ran out of staples.  We did not even attempt to the load the thing.  Call us jaded, but I just wasn’t going to risk wasting even MORE time on a stapler.  Back to the thumbtacks. When telling my husband this story, he was not impressed with my resourcefulness.

Okay.  Done.   Ah.  Next day, the parade!  Having those kids all dressed up and smiling from the float was great.

Totally worth it.

More Parade Posts:

Tips for 4th of July Parade

Counting the Costs

More Float Pictures! (coming soon!)

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  1. Whoa, great story. I just now clicked a link to your website and am already a fan. 😉

  2. Hmmm, I see exactly what you mean. Also, do you happen to have an RSS feed? I am trying to subscribe to it so I can get your updates. Let me know.

  3. Awesome, that’s just what I was shooting for! You just saved me alot of looking around

    I’ll make certain to put this in good use!

  4. You bring up some good points. Thanks and keep it up!


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