How to Make a Shoebox Mardi Gras Float for Kids

Mardi Gras Float image by Jamie Patrick from

Things You'll Need

  • Shoebox
  • Tissue paper
  • Tape
  • Glue
  • String
  • Beads
  • Mardi Gras decorative doubloons in gold or colored
  • Glitter
  • Craft decorating items
  • Barbie doll or figurine to put on top of float

Children can celebrate Mardi Gras by making a shoe box float. The translation of Mardi Gras is Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. It is celebrated between February 3 and March 9. People celebrate it all week long. According to the Mardi Gras website, “Mardi Gras today is about various cultures coming together to celebrate the things that make them unique and uniting under the common theme of being people who like to have fun and enjoy each other and have a great time.”

Find a shoebox with a lid. Pick a theme for your float. Some examples are a luau theme, tropical theme and other holiday themes such as St. Patrick’s Day. If you have a theme doll like a jester or theme Barbie doll like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, follow one of those themes on your float and put the doll on top.

Decide what colors your float will need. Cover your shoe box and lid with colored tissue paper. If the original shoebox colors would show though tissue paper then cover it with aluminum foil first then tissue paper on the outsides and bottom of the shoebox. The open side of the box is covered too and should be on the bottom of the box.

Take the box cover, and stand it up straight and attach at the end of the box to create a high back for the float. Attach with stapler or hot glue gun. Decorate your float with glitter, a chair or seat for your doll rider, hang ribbons or create fringe around the entire sides of the float. Write the name or theme of your float on the side.