Christmas in Darwin

How to Build a Float at Home

Written by
A Very Darwin Christmas Team
Read time
3 minutes

If you close your eyes and listen very carefully, you might just hear the sound of jingle bells ringing in the distance.

That’s right, the most magical time of year is just around the corner, and we can’t wait to officially welcome the festive season with the second ‘A Very Darwin Christmas Pageant’ on Saturday November 18 2023.

Expressions of interest to register a float for this year’s Pageant are now open, and to get ready for the big day we’ve put together some tips for building your own float at home – it’s easier than you might think!

Hot Wheels for Your Hot Float

First things first, you’ll need to decide on what kind of float you want to register.
Do you have access to a car, bus, ute, trailer, boat, golf cart, motorbike, or gopher? Could you decorate your bike, scooter, skateboard, segue, or skates? If not, no worries! Walking floats are great fun too.

A Very Darwin Christmas Theme
Next, you need to decide on a theme. You might already have one in mind, or you might draw inspiration from your own school, charity, business, or club.

What makes your group unique? What does Christmas look like, sound like, and feel like to you?

You could look to Christmas colours, traditions, carols, stories, or movies to inspire your float’s theme. Or, if the weather’s already got you going troppo, channel it into ‘A Very Darwin Christmas’ themed float.

Gather Your Thoughts
Now that you’ve decided on your float and its theme, you might want to take a moment to plan out your design. You don’t have to be a professional artist; you just want to get a general idea of what it’s going to look like.

You could do this by taking photos of your float vehicle, printing them, and drawing over the top. If you have a tablet, you could just draw digitally onto your photos. To get started, block out some main sections or shapes, try out different colours, draw in any main features, and then use this as your blueprint.

Gather Your Supplies
Now that you’ve got a plan, see what you can find lying around the house and yard to build with, or head to your local Vinnies, Red Cross or the Shoal Bay Recycling Shop. Don’t forget to check for bargains at Bunnings in the off-cuts section too.

Tips and Tricks
Think about signage to let everybody know who you are, and hang some streamers, bunting, or other festive fringing from your float’s base. That way your float will be festive from top to toe. Be consistent, bold, and bright, and stay with your theme – but most importantly, bring your tropical Christmas spirit out to play.

Last year’s Pageant was a huge success and we loved seeing everybody’s colourful, creative Christmas floats parading through our city. We’re on the edge of our seats waiting to see where your imagination takes you this year, and to see Darwin’s tropical Christmas spirit out on our streets again!